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Bible Commentaries

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms

Psalms 125

Verses 1-5

Psalms 125:1-5.

V. 1 . It does not clearly appear on what occasion, or by whom, this Psalm was written : some however consider it, as referring to the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib, and the miraculous deliverance granted to Jerusalem, in answer to the prayers of Hezekiah and Isaiah. (Notes, 2 Kings 19:1-37:) The security of the church implies the security of every true member of it.

(Note, Matthew 16:18.)

V. 2. " Jerusalem, the mountains are round about her. " And the LORD is round about his people from hence" forth for evermore." This is a literal translation. The surrounding mountains only seemed to render the holy city impregnable: (Notes, Lamentations 4:12. Zechariah 2:1-5:) but the power of the almighty God, through the intercession of our heavenly Advocate, and his everlasting covenant, effectually secures his true people. (Notes, Romans 8:28-39.) ’ While her inhabitants ’ (Jerusalem’s) ’ continued to trust in the Lord, this was the case. But when they became faithless and disobedient, she became weak, and like another city. Let not our " trust in God" be a presumtuous ungrounded assurance ; but let it be a confidence springing from faith unfeigned, out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and fervent charity.’ Bp. Home.

V. 3. The persecuting rage and power of the wicked fall upon the righteous, but they do not " rest upon them," or prevent them from possessing and enjoying their allotted inheritance. (Marg, Ref.) Persecutions and oppressions, as well as other afflictive dispensations, are permitted, moderated, and sanctified, for their trial, correction, and spiritual proficiency: but if augmented and continued, according to the desire of their enemies, they might become too powerful a temptation, and at length induce them to put forth their hands unto iniquity.

(Notes,Psalms 76:10. Is 27: 7-11. Matthew 24:21-22. 1 Corinthians 10:13.)

V. 4, 5. Uprightness before God, and kindness to men, characterize true believers, for whom the Psalmist here prays, that God would do them good, or, deal gently, kindly, and mercifully with them, according to his faithful promises. But as to those who " turn aside unto their crooked " ways," the Lord would " lead them forth," and allot them their portion with such as had always been " workers " of iniquity ;" (Note, Ezekiel 3:20-21. Habakkuk 2:4. Zephaniah 1:6. Hebrews 10:35-39. 2 Peter 2:20-22 ;) while peace would still be continued to Israel, to the nation as a body, and to all true Israelites. (Ixxiii. 1.) Ctooked. (’>) The way of holiness is straight: there are vol.. ill. no windings or shiftings in it : it is a uniform course of piety, integrity, sincerity, and kindness. But the ways of sinners are crooked: they shift from one pursuit to another, and turn hither and thither to deceive ; they wind about a thousand ways, to conceal their base intentions, to accomplish their iniquitous projects, or to escape the punishment of their crimes : yet disappointment, detection, confusion, and misery, are their inevitable portion. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Is. 59: 3- 8, Psalms 5:8. Hebrews 12:12-13.)


The people of God trust in his mercy, truth, and power, and keep his commandments : they copy his example of goodness ; and, with all their defects, are " upright in " their hearts." Their hopes and their souls are built upon that tried and precious Foundation, which God has laid in Zion ; on which the whole church is founded, and which " cannot be removed, but abideth for ever : " yea, the Lord himself is with them, and a Protection round about them, " from henceforth even for ever." Their dread of sin, and of apostasy, and their prayers to be kept from them, though by suffering or death, are the evidences that they shall not apostatize : for the Lord will proportion their strength to their trials, and make " all things work together for their " good ;" the malice and enmity of the wicked shall only prove a correcting rod, and not a destroying sword ; even this rod shall not " rest upon them," lest they faint under the chastisement : and not only the prayers of their brethren, but the intercession of their Saviour, secure to them the upholding power and preserving grace of God. " As for " such as turn back unto their crooked ways," they never were " upright in their hearts : " and their apostasy is the detection of their hypocrisy. Their knowledge, conviction, and profession, will but enhance their condemnation, and " the LORD shall lead them forth with evil-doers ; but " peace shall be upon " every " Israelite indeed, in whom " there is no guile." LORD, number us with them, in time and to eternity ! 9

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 125". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.