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Psalm 120[a]

A song of ascents.[b]

120 In my distress I cried out
to the Lord and he answered me.
I said,[c] “O Lord, rescue me[d]
from those who lie with their lips[e]
and those who deceive with their tongues.[f]

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  1. Psalm 120:1 sn Psalm 120. The genre and structure of this psalm are uncertain. It begins like a thanksgiving psalm, with a brief notice that God has heard the psalmist’s prayer for help and has intervened. But v. 2 is a petition for help, followed by a taunt directed toward enemies (vv. 3-4) and a lament (vv. 5-7). Perhaps vv. 2-7 recall the psalmist’s prayer when he cried out to the Lord.
  2. Psalm 120:1 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.
  3. Psalm 120:2 tn The words “I said” are supplied in the translation for clarification. See the introductory note for this psalm.
  4. Psalm 120:2 tn Or “my life.”
  5. Psalm 120:2 tn Heb “from a lip of falsehood.”
  6. Psalm 120:2 tn Heb “from a tongue of deception.”