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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 121

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

« A Song of degrees. » I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

A Song of degrees — On, of ascensions, in singing whereof there should be ascensions in our hearts. See Psalms 120:1 .

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills — Not to your mountains, Psalms 11:1 , human helps and carnal combinations, Jeremiah 3:23 , much less to those mountains, in quibus gentes idola collocant et colunt, wherein the heathens set and serve their idols, Deuteronomy 12:2 , but to Zion and Moriah, where God’s sanctuary is, Psalms 87:1 , or rather to heaven, Psalms 18:9 , with 2 Samuel 22:10 ; 2 Samuel 22:14 , where God himself is; and so it followeth.

Verse 2

My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

My help cometh from the Lord — To whom, therefore, alone I must look for help. Sursum corda, sursum etiam capita. Naturalists tell us, that of those twenty-eight muscles whereby the head is moved, twelve lift up the head behind, and two only before let it downward; to teach us to contemplate heaven more and earth less (Bodin. Theat. Naturae, 413). Others advertise us, that it is one main end why God hath set in man’s eye a fifth muscle; whereas other creatures have but four; one to turn downward, another to hold forwards, a third to turn the eye to the right hand, a fourth to the left hand; but no unreasonable creature can turn the eye upward, as man can, that he may look up to God (Columb. de re Anatom. l. 5, c. 9).

Which made heaven and earth — And will rather unmake both again, than his people shall want seasonable help.

Verse 3

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved — Not greatly moved, Psalms 62:2 , an utter prolapsion.

He that keepeth thee will not slumber — And if King Philip could say that he could sleep securely because his friend Antipater watched by him, may not we be much more confident who have God to keep us?

Verse 4

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Behold, he that keepeth, … — He repeateth that sweetest promise (that we may roll it as sugar under our tongues, that we may suck and be satisfied, Isaiah 66:11 ), and setteth it forth with a behold, q.d. mark it, "and know thou it for thy good," Job 5:27 .

Shall neither slumber nor sleep — Shall not fetch one wink of sleep. Dormitamus priusquam dormiamus, we slumber before we sleep; but God shall do neither. His seven eyes Zechariah 3:9 are ever open, yea, they run to and fro through the whole earth, Zechariah 4:10 , sc. spectat universes, quasi singulos; sic singulos, quasi solos. Howbeit, he looketh with special care and complacency on the godly, Isaiah 66:2 .

Verse 5

The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon thy right hand.

The Lord is thy keeper — His peace within thee and his power without thee shall safeguard thee to his heavenly kingdom, φρουρησει , Philippians 4:7 .

The Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand — To shelter and shield thee from all annoyances, as the pillar of cloud did the Israelites in the wilderness, as the poet feigneth that Paris, out matched by Menelaus in a duel, was by Venus wrapped in a cloud, and carried off.

Verse 6

The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The sun shall not smite thee by day — So choice and chary is God of his children, that he will have no creature to hurt them (parching heat by day or pinching cold by night), but both north and south must blow good to them, Song of Solomon 4:16 , and all creatures must cater for them, Hosea 2:21-22 , yet ever with exception of the cross, if need be, 1 Peter 1:6 . But let the pope be the sun and the emperor the moon (as the canonists called them), yet the sun shall not smite the Church by day nor the moon by night. Luther was at the same time excommunicated by the pope and proscribed by the emperor; yet died he in his bed.

Verse 7

The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil — Whether of sin or of punishment; from the hurt if not from the smart thereof.

He shall preserve thy soul — Which is oft untouched when the body is in durance. A sick servant of Christ being asked how he did, answered, My body is sick, my soul is well.

Verse 8

The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out, … — Thou shalt have his safe-conduct, his public faith for thy defence, in all thy lawful enterprises at home and abroad; together with good success in all thine affairs and actions, Proverbs 3:6 .

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 121". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/psalms-121.html. 1865-1868.
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