New American Bible (Revised Edition)
God, the Rescuer of the People
1 A song of ascents. Of David.
Had not the Lord been with us,
let Israel say,(A)
2 Had not the Lord been with us,
when people rose against us,
3 Then they would have swallowed us alive,(B)
for their fury blazed against us.
4 Then the waters would have engulfed us,
the torrent overwhelmed us;(C)
5 then seething water would have drowned us.
6 Blessed is the Lord, who did not leave us
to be torn by their teeth.
7 We escaped with our lives like a bird
from the fowler’s snare;
the snare was broken,
and we escaped.
8 [b]Our help is in the name of the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.(D)
- Psalm 124 A thanksgiving which teaches that Israel’s very existence is owed to God who rescues them. In the first part Israel’s enemies are compared to the mythic sea dragon (Ps 124:2b–3a; cf. Jer 51:34) and Flood (Ps 124:3b–5; cf. Is 51:9–10). The Psalm heightens the malice of human enemies by linking them to the primordial enemies of God’s creation. Israel is a bird freed from the trapper’s snare (Ps 124:6–8)—freed originally from Pharaoh and now from the current danger.
- 124:8 Our help is in the name: for the idiom, see Ex 18:4.