Ps 120:1-7. This is the first of fifteen Psalms
(Psalms 120-134) entitled "A Song of Degrees" (Ps 121:1—literally, "A song for the
degrees"), or ascents. It seems most probable they were designed
for the use of the people when going up (compare 1Ki 12:27, 28) to Jerusalem on the festival
occasions (De 16:16),
three times a year. David appears as the author of four, Solomon of one
127:1), and the other ten are
anonymous, probably composed after the captivity. In this Psalm the
writer acknowledges God's mercy, prays for relief from a malicious foe,
whose punishment he anticipates, and then repeats his complaint.
2, 3. Slander and deceit charged on his foes
implies his innocence.
tongue—as in Ps 52:2, 4.
4. Sharp arrows of the
coals of juniper—which retain heat
long. This verse may be read as a description of the wicked, but better
as their punishment, in reply to the question of Ps 120:3.
5. A residence in these remote lands pictures
his miserable condition.
6, 7. While those who surrounded him were
maliciously hostile, he was disposed to peace. This Psalm may well
begin such a series as this, as a contrast to the promised joys of