Good News Translation
A Prayer for Deliverance
126 When the Lord brought us back to Jerusalem,[a]
it was like a dream!
2 How we laughed, how we sang for joy!
Then the other nations said about us,
“The Lord did great things for them.”
3 Indeed he did great things for us;
how happy we were!
4 Lord, make us prosperous again,[b]
just as the rain brings water back to dry riverbeds.
5 Let those who wept as they planted their crops,
gather the harvest with joy!
6 Those who wept as they went out carrying the seed
will come back singing for joy,
as they bring in the harvest.
In Praise of God's Goodness[c]
127 If the Lord does not build the house,
the work of the builders is useless;
if the Lord does not protect the city,
it does no good for the sentries to stand guard.
2 It is useless to work so hard for a living,
getting up early and going to bed late.
For the Lord provides for those he loves,
while they are asleep.
3 Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a real blessing.
4 The sons a man has when he is young
are like arrows in a soldier's hand.
5 Happy is the man who has many such arrows.
He will never be defeated
when he meets his enemies in the place of judgment.
New Revised Standard Version
A Harvest of Joy
A Song of Ascents.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,[a]
we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5 May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
God’s Blessings in the Home
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.[b]
3 Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the sons of one’s youth.
5 Happy is the man who has
his quiver full of them.
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Complete Jewish Bible
126 (0) A song of ascents:
(1) When Adonai restored Tziyon’s fortunes,
we thought we were dreaming.
2 Our mouths were full of laughter,
and our tongues shouted for joy.
Among the nations it was said,
“Adonai has done great things for them!”
3 Adonai did do great things with us;
and we are overjoyed.
4 Return our people from exile, Adonai,
as streams fill vadis in the Negev.
5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with cries of joy.
6 He who goes out weeping
as he carries his sack of seed
will come home with cries of joy
as he carries his sheaves of grain.
127 (0) A song of ascents. By Shlomo:
(1) Unless Adonai builds the house,
its builders work in vain.
Unless Adonai guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
2 In vain do you get up early
and put off going to bed,
working hard to earn a living;
for he provides for his beloved,
even when they sleep.
3 Children too are a gift from Adonai;
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 The children born when one is young.
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
5 How blessed is the man
who has filled his quiver with them;
he will not have to be embarrassed
when contending with foes at the city gate.
126 1-3 It seemed like a dream, too good to be true,
when God returned Zion’s exiles.
We laughed, we sang,
we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
“God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
we are one happy people.
4-6 And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout “Yes!” at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
127 1-2 If God doesn’t build the house,
the builders only build shacks.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know he enjoys
giving rest to those he loves?
3-5 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.