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Psalm 121[a]

The Lord My Guardian

A song of ascents.

I raise my eyes toward the mountains.[b]
    From whence shall come my help?(A)
My help comes from the Lord,
    the maker of heaven and earth.(B)

He will not allow your foot to slip;(C)
    or your guardian to sleep.
Behold, the guardian of Israel
    never slumbers nor sleeps.
[c]The Lord is your guardian;
    the Lord is your shade
    at your right hand.(D)
By day the sun will not strike you,
    nor the moon by night.(E)
The Lord will guard you from all evil;
    he will guard your soul.(F)
The Lord will guard your coming and going
    both now and forever.(G)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 121 A blessing given to someone embarking on a dangerous journey whether a soldier going on a campaign or a pilgrim returning home from the Temple. People look anxiously at the wooded hills. Will God protect them on their journey (Ps 121:1)? The speaker declares that God is not confined to a place or a time (Ps 121:2), that every step is guarded (Ps 121:3–4); night and day (Ps 121:5–6) God watches over their every movement (Ps 121:7–8).
  2. 121:1 The mountains: possibly Mount Zion, the site of the Temple and hence of safety, but more probably mountains as a place of dangers, causing anxiety to the psalmist.
  3. 121:5–6 The image of shade, a symbol of protection, is apt: God as shade protects from the harmful effects that ancients believed were caused by the sun and moon.

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