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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 126

Verses 1-6

CXXVI. Comfort in Tears.— An apparently easy and really very difficult Ps. According to the usual interpretation which is adopted in RV we have in Psalms 126:1-3 a picture of the joy felt when Cyrus permitted the Jews to settle in their own land. The time is that of 2 Is. and the reference to the restoration under Cyrus seems to be inevitable. But in Psalms 126:4-6 it is startling to find the poet praying for a restoration which had already taken place as if it were still in the future. To express this meaning in each place, he has the same phrase “ turning the captivity,” on which see Psalms 14:7 and note. We get something like a consistent explanation by the following changes, not in the text, but the translation. (1) “ If Yahweh had turned” : “ We should have been like,” etc. (2) “ Our mouth would have been filled.” “ Then they would.”

Psalms 126:3 . “ Yahweh would have done.” After this the Psalmist naturally prays for change in Israel’ s state. He compares the change to that made by the torrents of fertilising rain in the Negeb (p. 32) or dry region in the S. of Palestine, or to the contrast between painful ploughing and the joy of the harvest home. In Psalms 126:6 translate with a slight emendation, “ trailing his seed.”

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 126". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.