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Bible Commentaries

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

Psalms 126

Verses 1-6

Psalms 126:1-6

V. 1- 3. This psalm is generally thought to have been composed, when the Jews were restored to their own land after the Babylonish captivity. Their restoration was effected in so sudden and extraordinary a manner, and was so delightful to them, that it seemed more like a pleasant dream than a reality.

(Notes, Psalms 14:7. Psalms 106:47-48. Ezra 1:1-6; Ezra 3:12-13. Job 42:10-17; Job 5:10. Is. 29: 7, 8. Jeremiah 31:8-14.) Even the heathen noted the hand of God in their deliverance, and allowed that he had done great things for them ; in which sentiment the people thankfully concurred.

(Marg. Ref. Notes, Exodus 15:14-16. Numbers 23:23. Joshua 2:8-11; Joshua 9:8-11. 1 Kings 8:41-43. 2 Kings 19:14-19, v. 19. Nehemiah 6:15-16. Zechariah 8:20-23.) The whole event was typical of the spiritual redemption of the church, and of every believer, from the bondage of sin and Satan : and the peace, and joy, and thanksgiving, which even now are the consequences of it ; and of the unspeakable joy and exultation, and praise, which shall attend the completion of it in eternal glory ; (Note, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; v: 10 :) and the word of God predicts a deliverance of the new testa-

ment church from her long-continued captivity, which will occasion still greater surprise and exultation. (Is. 40: 1, 2; 43: 14- 21. Revelation 11:15-18; Revelation 18:19:) Like them that dream. (1) Note, Acts 12:5-11; Acts 5:9.

V. 4. The torrent and the brooks, in the southern deserts, run off and dry up, in the summer- months : but after the periodical rains they return again, and the channels are filled for the refreshment of the thirsty traveller. Thus the Jews, who were settled in their own country, prayed that their brethren might be brought back in much larger numbers, to replenish the land, which had lain so many years desolate. (Note, Job 6:15-23.)

V. 5, 6. The poor husbandman, who perhaps wants his seed-corn to feed his family ; and cannot part with it, and witness their hunger, without tears ; and, who with great labour and anxiety sows his good seed ; will in due time rejoice in reaping and conveying home a plenteous harvest. So the tears, with which the poor captives at Babylon had accompanied their repentance and prayers ; the grief with which on their return they beheld, and attempted to repair, the desolations of their city and temple ; and all the hard- ships, which they endured in that pious attempt ; would surely issue in joy and praise. (Notes, Ezra 1:5-6; Ezra 3:12-13.) " In going forth he shall go forth, and with weeping, " carrying the precious seed : coming he shall come again, " with shouting, carrying his sheaves." (Note, Genesis 47:23-26. Is 16: 8-11.) The same is applicable to all the sorrows of the true Christian. (Notes, Is. 12: 1- 3. Jeremiah 31:8-14. Matthew 5:4. John 16:16-22. 2 Corinthians 7:8-11. 2 Timothy 2:3-7.)


The hand of God should be acknowledged in all our mercies, whoever be the instrument of them : and if unexpected deliverance from outward captivity be so highly valued, and so greatly rejoiced in ; how ought we to value redemption from the wrath to come, and from the power of sin and Satan ! The poor trembling sinner, being deeply convinced of his guilt and danger, having long sought and waited, perhaps with discouragement, for peace and liberty; when, by looking to a crucified Saviour, he is freed from his burden, and receives peace to his conscience, and power to break off his sins ; reviews the misery which he has escaped, the price and method of his rescue, and the prospect which opens to him, and can often scarcely believe his happiness a reality. The phantoms of a dream, or the sportive illusions of the waking imagination, could never present to his mind any thing so welcome, as he now by faith perceives, and by grace experiences. Thus " is his " mouth filled with laughter, and his tongue with singing : " and if his future conduct correspond to this happy beginning, even the ungodly will be constrained to own, that " the LORD hath done great things for him." With what exultation then will the redeemed sinner rejoin, " The LORD hath done great things for me, whereof I am " glad ! " Yet still he has to struggle with many temptations, corruptions, and afflictions : he will seek, and not in vain, for renewed and more complete deliverance ; he will often on earth renew his songs of grateful praise : but when at last, redeemed from death, he shall stand complete before the throne of glory, he will present his perfect praises with unalloyed rejoicing. We should not then be reluctant to " sow in tears," while we remain in this world of sorrow. When we mourn for our sins, or sympathize with the afflicted, or suffer for Christ’s sake, or endure chastisements, we are " sowing in tears to reap in joy." (Notes, Hebrews 12:4-13. 1 Peter 1:6-9. Revelation 7:13-17.) But let us be sure that we are sowing good seed, thus to be watered with our tears ; exercising repentance, faith, love, and patience, continuing instant in prayer, and in the use of every means of grace ; and being unwearied in every good work, though we should meet with ingratitude and discouragement from all quarters : then we shall " doubtless come again with joy, bringing our sheaves " with us ; " for none of our labours, sorrows, or prayers will be lost ; and if others are not profited by them, they will return into our own bosom, and augment our gracious and eternal reward. But, whether we rejoice in present comforts, or solace ourselves under sorrows, in hope of this glorious event, let us not forget our brethren in tribulation : but let us pray for the support of every suffering saint ; and for the deliverance of the church from oppression, from the defilement of heresy and iniquity, and from the debilitating effect of division. (Notes, Psalms 122:6-9. P. O.) Let sinners also recollect, how dreadful their case will be, if they have all their little joy in this mourning world, and nothing hereafter but weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth : and let us all remember that " God is .not " mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Note, Galatians 6:6-10.)

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Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 126". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.