The Psalms

Psalm 129

An exhortation to praise God for saving Israel in their great afflictions, 1-4. The haters of the church are cursed, 5-8.

1 [A Song of Degrees.]

Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth—/
may Israel now say—

Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth,/
yet they have not prevailed against me.

The plowers plowed upon my back./
They made their furrows long.

The LORD is righteous./
He has cut apart the cords of the wicked.

Let them all be confounded and turned back/
who hate Zion.

Let them be as the grass upon the house-tops,/
which withers before it grows up,

With which the reaper does not fill his hand,/
nor he who binds sheaves, his bosom;

Neither do those who go by, say,/
"May the blessing of the LORD be upon you./
We bless you in the name of the LORD."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 129[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

This Psalm teaches, in the first place, that God subjects his Church to divers troubles and affections, to the end he may the better prove himself her deliverer and defender. The Psalmist, therefore, recalls to the memory of the faithful how sadly God's people had been persecuted in all ages, and how wonderfully they had been preserved, in order by such examples to fortify their hope in reference to the future. In the second part, under the form of an imprecation, he shows that the divine vengeance is ready to fall upon all the ungodly, who without cause distress the people of God.