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Psalm 124

Thanksgiving for Israel’s Deliverance

A Song of Ascents. Of David.


If it had not been the L ord who was on our side

—let Israel now say—


if it had not been the L ord who was on our side,

when our enemies attacked us,


then they would have swallowed us up alive,

when their anger was kindled against us;


then the flood would have swept us away,

the torrent would have gone over us;


then over us would have gone

the raging waters.



Blessed be the L ord,

who has not given us

as prey to their teeth.


We have escaped like a bird

from the snare of the fowlers;

the snare is broken,

and we have escaped.



Our help is in the name of the L ord,

who made heaven and earth.

When he says, (Psalm 124:3,) They had swallowed us up alive, 7878     “The metaphor may be taken from famished wild beasts attacking and devouring men, (Comp. 5:5,) or the reference may ‘be to the case of a man shut up alive in a sepulcher, (Proverbs 1:12,) and left there to perish, or (Numbers 16:30) swallowed up by an earthquake ” — Cresswell. “A figurative expression to intimate the savageness of the adversaries, alluding to the practice of many predatory animals of swallowing their victims alive. Such is the well-known habit of many of the predatory kinds of fish.” — Phillips. he not only expresses barbarous cruelty, but also disproportion of strength. He describes then in the first place how violent was the onset of the enemy, and secondly, how feeble and inadequate the Jews were to withstand them, since these cruel beasts had no need of swords for slaughter, but without a battle or an effort of strength, could easily devour that unwarlike and defenceless flock.

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