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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Psalms 126

Verse 1

Psalms 126:1 « A Song of degrees. » When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Ver. 1. When the Lord turned again ] viz. From Babylon; and therefore that which some translations have in the title, A psalm of David (which is not in the Hebrew) would be left out; for it seemeth to have been penned by Ezra, or some prophet of his time.

We were like them that dream ] Tanta fuit liberationis admirabilitas, so admirable was the deliverance, that we could hardly believe it; as fearing the certainty, and yet hoping the truth. Such a passion was upon Peter when enlarged by the angel, Acts 12:7-11 ; upon the Grecians when set free by Flaminius, the Roman general; Maius gaudium fuit, saith the historian, quam quod universum homines caperent, &c., their joy was too large for their hearts, they scarcely believed their own ears when the crier proclaimed their liberty, but had him say over that sweet word liberty again; they also looked upon one another with wonderment, velut somnii vanam speciem, saith Livy. And such an ecstasy is the new convert in; as was Cyprian, Austin, Bernard; witness their own writings (lib. xxxiii., Cyp. Epist. lib. i., Aug. Confes. lib. vi. cap. 12, Gosr. in Vit. Bernard).

Verse 2

Psa 126:2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

Ver. 2. Then was our mouth filled with laughter ] We laughed amain, and shrilled or shouted aloud, when we found that it was υπαρ non οναρ , as Plato speaketh, not a dream, but a done thing, which (before) we held optabile potius quam opinabile, incredible altogether.

Then said they among the heathen ] They who were wont to jeer us, Psalms 137:3 . God can soon alter the case of his afflicted people. See Esther 8:17 , See Trapp on " Est 8:17 "

The Lord hath done great things ] Magnifica :so, Vere magnus est Deus Christianorum, the God of the Christians is a great God indeed, said Calocerius, a heathen, observing his works done for his people.

Verse 3

Psa 126:3 The LORD hath done great things for us; [whereof] we are glad.

Ver. 3. The Lord hath done great things ] q.d. It is a shame, then, for us not to say so, much more; and, by a holy avarice, to take the praises out of their mouths, who are no sharers in it, but spectators only. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, speaking good of his name.

Verse 4

Psa 126:4 Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.

Ver. 4. Turn again our captivity, O Lord ] Perfect what thou hast so happily begun for us.

As the streams in the south ] i.e. Miraculously, say some, as if thou shouldest cause rivers to run in dry and desert places; or comfortably, as if thou shouldest refresh such hot parts with plenty of water. Or, suddenly. The south is a dry country, where are few springs, but oft land floods, caused by the showers of heaven. The Jews at this day pray for a speedy rebuilding of their temple. They cry all together, Templum tuum brevi, valde cito, valde cito, in diebus nostris citissime nunc aedifica, Templum tuum brevi, that is, Build thy temple quickly, very quickly, in our days, &c. Should not we be as earnest for the mystical temple (Buxt. de Synag. Jud. cap. 13).

Verse 5

Psa 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Ver. 5. They that sow in tears ] Whether ministers (as some restrain the sense), who serve the Lord with many tears and temptations, Acts 20:19 , but see little fruit; or others, who sow in the tears of affliction and compunction for sin, the cause thereof; his foecunda sine dubio messis indulgentiae orietur, saith Arnobius, these shall certainly reap in joy pardon of sin, Isaiah 1:16 , power against it (these troubled waters cured the soul, as the tears of vine branches cure the leprosy), increase of grace. The lily is sown in her own tears, saith Pliny; so is grace: the olive is most fruitful when it most distilleth; so here, These April showers bring on May flowers, and make the heart to be like a watered garden, besides an access of glory; for they that weep with men shall laugh with angels; their tears shall be turned into triumphs, their sadness into gladness, their sighing into singing, their musing into music, &c. See Matthew 5:4 . This the proto-martyr foresaw, and therefore (Bernbus de St Stephano),

Ibat ovans animis, et spe sua damna levabat.

Verse 6

Psa 126:6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves [with him].

Ver. 6. He that goeth forth and weepeth ] Heb. he that going goeth, &c., which Luther interprets of temptations continued, and mutually succeeding one another; taking their turns upon a poor soul.

And weepeth ] Going and weeping, and asking the way to Zion, with their faces thitherward, Jeremiah 50:4-5 . Some faces appear most orientally beautiful when most stamped with sorrow.

Bearing precious seed ] Such as are hope and faith in the truth of God’s promises. Some render it seed of acquisition, such as the poor seeds man hath got, prece et precio, by praying and paying dear for it. Some, bearing a seed basket, or seed-lop, canistrum (Leo Judae Bucer).

Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing ] Only he must have patience, James 5:7 .

Bringing his sheaves with him ] Or, after so me, their handfuls, even gripes of gladness, as Philpot the martyr rendereth it. Then shall Abraham, the good mower, saith another, bind us up into sheaves as pure corn; and fill his bosom full with us; carrying us into the Lord’s barn, to make a joyful harvest in heaven.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 126". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.