Matthew Poole's Commentary
A Song of degrees. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens.THE ARGUMENT
This Psalm contains a description of the great agony and distress of God’s people, and of their carriage under it.
The godly profess their patient trusting and confidence in God, Psalm 123:1,2; and withal earnestly pray to be delivered from the contempt of the proud, Psalm 123:3,4.
Unto thee only, because all other persons either cannot or will not help me.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.Look unto the hand of their masters; either,
1. For supply of their wants, which comes from their masters’ hand; or,
2. For pity, the hand being the instrument whereby masters commonly correct their servants, and looking to the hand may express the posture of one supplicating for mercy; or rather,
3. For help and defence against their oppressors. For servants were unable to defend themselves, and were not allowed to wear defensive weapons, but expected and had protection kern their masters in case of injury. For this phrase of having one’s eyes towards another, both in this and other sacred books, constantly notes expectation and desire of help from them, as Psalm 25:15 69:3 Isaiah 17:7 Ezekiel 23:27, and oft elsewhere. And the phrase of God’s having mercy upon another, doth most commonly signify that act or effect of his mercy in helping and delivering him.
Until that he have mercy upon us; until he graciously help and save us.
Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.With opprobrious words and injuries.
Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.With the scornful and contemptuous carriage of thine and our enemies, who live in great ease and glory, whilst we, thy people, are overwhelmed with manifold calamities.