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124. Psalm 124

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say;

2If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us:

3Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:

4Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:

5Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.

6Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.

7Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.

8Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

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Ps 124:1-8. The writer, for the Church, praises God for past, and expresses trust for future, deliverance from foes.

1, 2. on our side—for us (Ps 56:9).

now—or, "oh! let Israel"

2. rose … against, &c.—(Ps 3:1; 56:11).

3. Then—that is, the time of our danger.

quick—literally, "living" (Nu 16:32, 33), description of ferocity.

4, 5. (Compare Ps 18:4, 16).

5. The epithet proud added to waters denotes insolent enemies.

6, 7. The figure is changed to that of a rapacious wild beast (Ps 3:7), and then of a fowler (Ps 91:3), and complete escape is denoted by breaking the net.

8. (Compare Ps 121:2).

name—in the usual sense (Ps 5:11; 20:1). He thus places over against the great danger the omnipotent God, and drowns, as it were in an anthem, the wickedness of the whole world and of hell, just as a great fire consumes a little drop of water [Luther].