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Psalms 128:1 « A Song of degrees. » Blessed [is] every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
Ver. 1. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord ] This psalm is fitly subjoined to the former, and it is λογος επιθαλαμιος , a kind of wedding sermon, written for the instruction and comfort of married couples, and showing that Coniugium humanae est divina Academia vitae. And it is to be observed that here all men are spoken to as wedded; because this is the ordinary estate of most people. See 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 . At this day every Jew is bound to marry about eighteen years of age, or before twenty.; else he is accounted as one that liveth in sin; and how the Popish clergy, professing continence, have turned all places into so many Sodoms, who knoweth not?
That walketh in his ways ] The true reverential fear of God will easily form the heart to a right obedience. They that fear the Lord will keep his covenant, Psalms 103:13 ; Psalms 103:18 , and therefore was the law delivered at first in that terrible manner.
Psa 128:2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy [shalt] thou [be], and [it shall be] well with thee.
Ver. 2. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands ] That is, thou shalt reap and receive the sweet of thy sweat, whether it be of the brow or of the brain, according to the kind of thy calling. And although thou be forced to live by the labour of thine hands (whence man’s life is called the life of his hands, Isa 57:10 ), yet that shall be no hindrance to thy happiness, but a furtherance of thine account.
Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee ] The Chaldee thus expoundeth it, Happy thou in this world; and good shall it be unto thee in the world to come.
Psa 128:3 Thy wife [shall be] as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
Ver. 3. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine ] Full of bunches and clusters of rich ripe grapes; so she of children, and those virtuous; the little ones hanging on her breasts, as grapes on the vine; the elder as olive plants, straight, green, fresh, and flourishing, Psalms 52:8 , legitimate also; as the olive admitteth no other graft. Indeed, the olive set into the vine yieldeth both grapes and olives, whereby is represented the natural affection that is between the mother and her children. The vine and the olive are two of the best fruits; the one for cheering the heart, the other for clearing the face, Psalms 104:15 ; the one for sweetness, the other for fatness, Judges 9:13 , both together implying that a great part of a man’s temporal happiness consisteth in having a good wife and children. It is said of Sulla that he had been happy had he never been so married, Si non habuissem uxorem; and Augustus’ wish was (but all too late), Utinam aut caelebs vixissem, aut orbus periissem, Oh that I had either lived single or died childless (Suetonius).
By the sides of thine house ] Where vines are usually planted, that they may have the benefit of the sun. The modest wife is domiporta, found at home, as Sarah in the tent; not so the harlot, Proverbs 7:12 .
Thy children like olive plants ] See the note before on this verse.
Round about thy table ] Making a most delectable enclosure.
Psa 128:4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
Ver. 4. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed, &c. ] "Behold," and "that thus"; q.d. Know it for a truth, and rest assured of the blessedness of married couples, whatsoever the devil and his agents (speaking basely of marriage) suggest to the contrary, so be it they fear the Lord, for that is it that sweeteneth and sanctifieth all estates of life whatsoever.
Psa 128:5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
Ver. 5. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion ] viz. With spiritual benedictions, Ephesians 1:3 , and these are far better than all other that heaven and earth afford, Psalms 134:3 .
And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem ] i.e. The prosperity of the Church, without which all other comforts are to a good soul but as so many Ichabods; a good Christian enjoys them not, but is even sick at heart of the afflictions of Joseph, Amos 6:6 .
Psa 128:6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, [and] peace upon Israel.
Ver. 6. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children] A faithfid man shall abound with blessings, Proverbs 28:20 , he shall have all that heart can wish or need require.
And peace upon Israel ] Procured in part by thy piety and prayers.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 128". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20