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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Psalms

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Ps. 129 :

This psalm has two parts: vv. 1–4 tell of the psalmist's past persecution by enemies, and his deliverance by God, and vv. 5–8 are an imprecation against “all who hate Zion” (v. 5 ). It is uncertain how the two parts fit together; perhaps the psalmist's past salvation gives power to this imprecation.

1–2 :

The enemies are referred to by the pronoun they; not until v. 4 does the wicked appear. As usual, the referents are vague, allowing the psalm to apply to a wide variety of situations.

1 :

See 124.1 ; this v. may also be translated “May Israel now declare [or, ‘sing‘] the song that begins with the words ‘Since my youth they have often assailed me.‘‐”

3 :

A unique and graphic biblical metaphor, sharing the agricultural world of the previous psalm and several other Songs of Ascents.

4 :

A new metaphor is introduced with cords; such mixing of metaphors is common in biblical poetry (see 124.3–7 n. ).

5 :

Zion is disproportionately mentioned in the Songs of Ascents ( 125.1; 126.1; 128.5; 129.5; 132.13; 133.3; 134.3 ).

6–7 :

The image, again taken from the agricultural world (see v. 3 ), is of the insubstantial grass that grows on roofs that are covered with a small coating of soil.

8 :

This is a continuation of the image of the preceding v., since blessings were part of the reaping process (see Ruth 2.4, cited by Radak). It is uncertain whether The blessing of the Lord be upon you. We bless you by the name of the Lord is a single blessing, or a blessing and its response, as in Ruth 2.4 : “He greeted the reapers, ‘The LORD be with you!' And they responded, ‘The LORD bless you!‘‐” Like Pss. 128 and 134 , this Song of Ascents also ends with a blessing.

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