Song of Ascent: First Step

Narrow Ascent. Israel 1986 Photo by Wil Robinson

A Song of Ascents. Psalm 120

1In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
2Deliver me, O LORD,
from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.

3What shall be given to you,
and what more shall be done to you,
you deceitful tongue?
4A warrior’s sharp arrows,
with glowing coals of the broom tree!

5Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech,
that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6Too long have I had my dwelling
among those who hate peace.
7I am for peace,
but when I speak, they are for war!

Psalm 120 is the first of fifteen psalms that all begin in a similar manner: A Song of Ascents. It is generally accepted among Jewish sages that these songs were sung by the Levites while ascending the steps separating the two sections of the courtyard outside the Temple. At each step one Psalm was sung, in order, until the last step and the last Psalm was sung.

The first verse sums up this song as a cry in distress and an answer. The trial that is causing this distress, according to Barnes’s Notes, is “caused by the tongue – slander.”

L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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