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Adam Clarke Commentary

Psalms 128


The blessedness of the man that fears the Lord, Psalms 128:1 . He is blessed in his labor, Psalms 128:2 ; in his wife and children, Psalms 128:3 , Psalms 128:4 ; in the ordinances of God, Psalms 128:5 ; and in a long life and numerous posterity, Psalms 128:6 .This Psalm has no title, either in the Hebrew or any of the Versions; though the Syriac supposes it to have been spoken of Zerubbabel, prince of Judah, who was earnestly engaged in building the temple of the Lord. It seems to be a continuation of the preceding Psalm, or rather the second part of it. The man who is stated to have a numerous offspring, in the preceding Psalm, is here represented as sitting at table with his large family. A person in the mean while coming in, sees his happy state, speaks of his comforts, and predicts to him and his all possible future good. And why? Because the man and his family "fear God, and walk in his ways."

Verse 2

Those shalt eat the labor of thine hands - Thou shalt not be exempted from labor. Thou shalt work: But God will bless and prosper that work, and thou and thy family shall eat of it. Ye shall all live on the produce of your own labor, and the hand of violence shall not be permitted to deprive you of it. Thus,Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee - Thou shalt have prosperity.

Verse 3

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine - Thy children, in every corner and apartment of thy house, shall be the evidences of the fruitfulness of thy wife, as bunches of grapes on every bough of the vine are the proofs of its being in a healthy thriving state. Being about the house sides, or apartments, is spoken of the wife, not the vine; being around the table is spoken of the children, not of the olive-plants. It does not appear that there were any vines planted against the walls of the houses in Jerusalem, nor any olive-trees in pots or tubs in the inside of their houses; as may be found in different parts of Europe.

Verse 4

Thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord - A great price for a small consideration. Fear God, and thou shalt have as much domestic good as may be useful to thee.

Verse 5

The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion - In all thy approaches to him in his house by prayer, by sacrifice, and by offering, thou shalt have his especial blessing. Thou shalt thrive every where, and in all things.And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem - Thou shalt see the cause of God flourish in thy lifetime, and his Church in great prosperity.

Verse 6

Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children - Thou shall not die till thou have seen thy family all settled in the world, and those of them who may be married blessed with children.And peace upon Israel - This is the same conclusion as in Psalms 125:1 -5; and should be translated, Peace be upon Israel! May God favor his own cause, and bless all his people!

Psalms 128

  1 A Song of degrees. Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
  2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
  3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
  4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
  5 The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.
  6 Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

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