New English Translation
A song of ascents.[b]
128 How blessed is every one of the Lord’s loyal followers,[c]
each one who keeps his commands.[d]
2 You[e] will eat what you worked so hard to grow.[f]
You will be blessed and secure.[g]
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine[h]
in the inner rooms of your house;
your children[i] will be like olive branches,
as they sit all around your table.
4 Yes indeed, the man who fears the Lord
will be blessed in this way.[j]
5 May the Lord bless you[k] from Zion,
that you might see[l] Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life,
6 and that you might see[m] your grandchildren.[n]
May Israel experience peace.[o]
- Psalm 128:1 sn Psalm 128. The psalmist observes that the godly individual has genuine happiness because the Lord rewards such a person with prosperity and numerous children.
- Psalm 128:1 sn The precise significance of this title, which appears in Pss 120-134, is unclear. Perhaps worshipers recited these psalms when they ascended the road to Jerusalem to celebrate annual religious festivals. For a discussion of their background see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 219-21.
- Psalm 128:1 tn Heb “every fearer of the Lord.”
- Psalm 128:1 tn Heb “the one who walks in his ways.”
- Psalm 128:2 tn The psalmist addresses the representative God-fearing man, as indicated by the references to “your wife” (v. 3) and “the man” (v. 4), as well as the second masculine singular pronominal and verbal forms in vv. 2-6.
- Psalm 128:2 tn Heb “the work of your hands, indeed you will eat.”
- Psalm 128:2 tn Heb “how blessed you [will be] and it will be good for you.”
- Psalm 128:3 sn The metaphor of the fruitful vine pictures the wife as fertile; she will give her husband numerous children (see the next line).
- Psalm 128:3 tn One could translate “sons” (see Ps 127:3 and the note on the word “sons” there), but here the term seems to refer more generally to children of both genders.
- Psalm 128:4 tn Heb “look, indeed thus will the man, the fearer of the Lord, be blessed.”
- Psalm 128:5 tn The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive of prayer (note the imperatives that are subordinated to this clause in vv. 5b-6a). Having described the blessings that typically come to the godly, the psalmist concludes by praying that this ideal may become reality for the representative godly man being addressed.
- Psalm 128:5 tn The imperative with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the preceding jussive.
- Psalm 128:6 tn The imperative with prefixed vav (ו) conjunctive indicates purpose/result after the jussive in v. 5a.
- Psalm 128:6 tn Heb “sons to your sons.”
- Psalm 128:6 tn Heb “peace [be] upon Israel.” The statement is understood as a prayer (see Ps 125:5).