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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.

4. The waters had then overwhelmed us. He embellishes by an elegant metaphor the preceding sentiment, comparing the dreadful impetuosity of the enemies of the Jews to an inundation, which swallows up whatever it meets with in its overflowing course. And he continues to preserve the character of a man affrighted. He names the waters, next the torrent, thirdly, the proud or impetuous waters. He says, over us, and over our soul, as if, by presenting the thing to the eye, he intended to strike terror into the people. And certainly this impassioned language ought to have all the effect of a graphic representation, that the faithful might the better feel from what a profound gulf they had been rescued by the hand of God. He only truly attributes his deliverance to God, who acknowledges himself to have been lost before he was delivered. The adverb them is here either demonstrative, as if the Psalmist had pointed to the thing with the finger, or it is taken for long ago. The former signification is, however, more suitable to the present passage.

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