Song of Ascent: Tenth Step

Sign pointing the way. Outside the Old City Jerusalem. Photo by Wil Robinson, 1988

A Song of Ascent. Psalm 129.

1 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth”— let Israel now say—
2 “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me.
3 The plowers plowed upon my back; they made long their furrows.”
4 The LORD is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.
5 May all who hate Zion be put to shame and turned backward!
6 Let them be like the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up,
7 with which the reaper does not fill his hand nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
8 nor do those who pass by say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We bless you in the name of the LORD!”

“There is nothing in [this Psalm] which would forbid us to suppose that it was composed on the return from the Babylonian exile, but there is nothing to fix it definitely to that event. Why it was made one of the “Songs of Degrees” is equally unknown. It merely refers to the fact that Israel had often been roughly and severely treated; and it contains a prayer that those who were the enemies of Zion might be punished in a proper manner.”
Barnes’s Notes

Despite Rev. Barnes’s statement regarding not knowing why this Psalm is included among the Psalms of Ascent, it has been included. Therefore, G-D sees it as fitting, and fitting for the tenth step in the Levites ascent. They’ve climbed two thirds of the way from the lower section of the Court, the Court of the Gentiles. They are leaving behind the worldly, ascending toward the divine. Yet they also have in their minds where they’ve been and how it has been the L-RD Who has enabled every step.

L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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