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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 128

Verse 1

1. Summary statement of blessing 128:1

Everyone who fears Yahweh and obeys His precepts enjoys blessing.

Verses 1-6

Psalms 128

In this wisdom ascent psalm, the writer rejoiced in the Lord’s blessings. He reviewed previously received blessings and then prayed for greater blessings (cf. Numbers 6:24-26).

"In one form or another, the word ’bless’ is used four times, but it is the translation of two different Hebrew words. In Psalms 128:1-2, it is the word asher which is often translated ’happy’ (Genesis 30:12-13), and in Psalms 128:4-5, it is barak, which means ’blessed of the Lord.’" [Note: Ibid., p. 348.]

Verses 2-4

2. Some specific blessings 128:2-4

The work of the person who fears and obeys God will be productive. It will yield joy and well-being to him (Psalms 128:2; cf. Psalms 127:1-2). Such a man’s wife will also be fruitful. Vines were everywhere in Israel, and grape production was one of its chief industries. The implication of this statement is that the wife would bear children. Likewise, the children of the godly would make beneficial contributions symbolized by olives, another one of the most important crops in Israel. The psalmist pictured the family gathered around the dinner table (Psalms 128:3). Psalms 128:4 with Psalms 128:1 frame the thought of Psalms 128:2-3.

Verses 5-6

3. Specific supplications for blessing 128:5-6

The psalmist offered a general prayer for his readers’ future, and then specified particular blessings following the form he used in Psalms 128:1-4. The petition concerning seeing Jerusalem prosper all of one’s days is appropriate in a psalm of ascent. The prosperity of the city would extend to every family in the nation ultimately. Seeing one’s grandchildren also expresses God’s continued blessing for many years to come.

"From bride and groom to grandparents in just six verses! How time flies! Three generations are represented in the psalm, and all of them walking with the Lord." [Note: Ibid., p. 349.]

This psalm beautifully tied family and nation together in the thinking of the pilgrim Israelite who traveled with his family to Jerusalem for a national feast. It is a reminder of the importance of God’s blessing on both home and nation that are mutually dependent. Families and nations can only succeed with God’s blessing.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 128". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-128.html. 2012.