Psalm 129

29 Apr

This is the quintessential song of oppression and persistence. Genuine faith rises to meet every challenge; against such faith persecution starves and withers. Given the context here, it would seem the threat is not some neighboring enemy, but internal enemies. … Read More »

Psalm 128

22 Apr

This is another Psalm of Ascension that wasn’t composed specifically for pilgrimage. Rather, it is didactic in nature and presents the pilgrim’s goal of Jerusalem as the capstone of blessings. God’s favor on Jerusalem was the foundation of national welfare, … Read More »

Psalm 127

15 Apr

Translations vary on whether Solomon wrote this himself of took it into his collection of wisdom literature. Either way, it reflects the kind of broad moral insight he had. We can be sure this wasn’t written for the annual pilgrimage. … Read More »

Psalm 125

1 Apr

A song of security, scholars suggest this was not originally meant as a pilgrimage psalm. However, it fits the theme well enough referring to the geography around the City of Jerusalem. One can hardly approach the city without climbing over … Read More »

Psalm 124

25 Mar

This is ascribed specifically to David. We should take notice how very much this is like a responsive song, heavy with Hebrew parallelism. We have this basic confession: Were it not for Jehovah’s favor, there would be no Israel. Think … Read More »

Psalm 123

18 Mar

While very short, this Psalm of Ascents is far more intense than any English translation can convey. It echoes of someone in deep distress from oppression, implying a persecution for one’s faith in Jehovah. The first word in the Hebrew … Read More »

Psalm 121

4 Mar

No petition here, this is a responsive hymn celebrating the protection of Jehovah. Palestine is a hilly land, and any route toward Zion meant looking at ridges and mountains until you saw the Temple itself, visible from quite a distance … Read More »

Psalm 120

25 Feb

We begin here a collection of 15 psalms, each referred to as a Song of Ascents. That term refers to any pilgrimage to the one and only high place for Israel, Zion. This brings the image of puring oneself, refreshing … Read More »