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Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Psalms 129

Verses 1-2

This psalm begins, as Psalms 124 did, by calling on the pilgrim Israelites to speak for the nation. The writer urged the people to acknowledge that God had enabled Israel to survive the many persecutions she had experienced throughout her history.

Verses 1-4

1. A tribute to past deliverance 129:1-4

Verses 1-8

Psalms 129

God had delivered Israel from her enemies. The psalmist praised Him for doing so, and then asked Him to continue doing so, in this psalm of communal confidence.

Verses 3-4

Israel’s enemies had, as it were, plowed deep furrows on Israel’s back. This was a vivid figure of speech in an agricultural economy. It pictures the land as a human being. However, righteous Yahweh had cut the cords to Israel’s oppressors. The cords in Psalms 129:4 may represent the reins that the plowman of Psalms 129:3 used, or they may simply stand for the things that bound Israel.

Verses 5-8

2. A petition for future deliverance 129:5-8

The psalmist encouraged the Israelite pilgrims to pray for continuing deliverance. The mention of Zion, the pilgrim’s destination, recalled the place where God dwelt, the most important place in Israel. Those who hated Zion would be hating and setting themselves against Yahweh. Grass and weed seeds often blew onto the flat roofs of the Israelites’ houses, but they did not flourish long because they had little soil in which to root. In Israel it was customary to greet someone by wishing God’s blessing on him or her (cf. Ruth 2:4). However, the psalmist prayed that Israel’s enemies would receive no such greeting.

God’s people should carefully thank Him for past deliverances, but should also continue to pray for His safekeeping in the future, since their enemies will continue to oppose and oppress them.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 129". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-129.html. 2012.