120 In my trouble I cried to the Lord, And He answered me. 2 Rescue my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, And from a deceitful tongue. 3 What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you, You deceitful tongue?— 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior, With the [b]burning coals of the broom tree.
5 Woe to me, for I sojourn in Meshech, and I live among the tents of Kedar [among hostile people]! 6 Too long my soul has had its dwelling With those who hate peace. 7 I am for peace, but when I speak, They are for war.
121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem]— From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber [briefly] nor sleep [soundly].
5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun will not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your life. 8 The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do] From this time forth and forever.
Psalm 120:1It is possible that the fifteen psalms (chs 120-134) known as the “Songs of Degrees or Ascents” were sung by the caravans of pilgrims going up to attend the annual feasts at Jerusalem. But it is equally possible that the title has reference to some peculiarity in connection with the music or the manner of using it.
Psalm 120:4The ancient rabbis explained that coals from a broom tree are unusual in that they continue burning on the inside even after they are extinguished on the outside. They compared this to a person who listens to slander: even if you try to persuade him otherwise and he seems to be convinced, he is still “burning” on the inside, i.e. still unconvinced.
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