Song of Ascent: Eighth Step

The Western Wall, above which once stood The Temple. Photo by WIl Robinson, 1986

A Song of Ascent. Of Solomon. Psalm 127

1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake 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 to his beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.


“A number of commentators explain this Psalm as a poem David composed upon being informed that his son Shelomo (Solomon), rather than he, would be given the privilege of building the Bet Ha’mikdash [The Temple. In rabbinical literature the temple is Beit HaMikdash, “The Sanctified House”, and only the Temple in Jerusalem is referred to by this name.].” Daily Tehillim Commentary.

Except the Lord build the house — That is, assist and bless those that build it, whether an artificial house, such as the temple, or the royal palace, or any of those numerous structures which Solomon raised; or rather, a natural or civil house, a family or kingdom; they labour in vain that build it — They will never succeed well in their attempts, bring it to perfection, or have any comfort in it. The success of all our undertakings depends so entirely upon God’s blessing, that it is in vain to attempt any thing without it: in vain is it to build houses and cities, or to endeavour (sic. British spelling) to uphold families, or establish states, unless he prosper the design: and the care of the watchman, of the soldier, or magistrate, is to no purpose, unless the divine providence be likewise the guard.” Benson Commentary


L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .


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