English Standard Version
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
King James Bible
A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
American Standard Version
I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come?
I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me.
English Revised Version
A Song of Ascents. I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?
Webster's Bible Translation
A Song of degrees. I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.
Psalm 121:1 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
According to the pointing ויּענני, the poet appears to base his present petition, which from Psalm 120:2 onwards is the substance of the whole Psalm, upon the fact of a previous answering of his prayers. For the petition in Psalm 120:2 manifestly arises out of his deplorable situation, which is described in Psalm 120:5. Nevertheless there are also other instances in which ויענני might have been expected, where the pointing is ויּענני (Psalm 3:5; Jonah 2:3), so that consequently ויּענני may, without any prejudice to the pointing, be taken as a believing expression of the result (cf. the future of the consequence in Job 9:16) of the present cry for help. צרתה, according to the original signification, is a form of the definition of a state or condition, as in Psalm 3:3; Psalm 44:27; Psalm 63:8, Jonah 2:10, Hosea 8:7, and בּצּרתה לּי equals בּצּר־לּי, Psalm 18:7, is based upon the customary expression צר לּי. In Psalm 120:2 follows the petition which the poet sends up to Jahve in the certainty of being answered. רמיּה beside לשׁון, although there is no masc. רמי (cf. however the Aramaic רמּי, רמּאי), is taken as an adjective after the form טריּה, עניּה, which it is also perhaps in Micah 6:12. The parallelism would make לשׁון natural, like לשׁון מרמה in Psalm 52:6; the pointing, which nevertheless disregarded this, will therefore rest upon tradition. The apostrophe in Psalm 120:3 is addressed to the crafty tongue. לשׁון is certainly feminine as a rule; but whilst the tongue as such is feminine, the לשׁון רמיה of the address, as in Psalm 52:6, refers to him who has such a kind of tongue (cf. Hitzig on Proverbs 12:27), and thereby the לך is justified; whereas the rendering, "what does it bring to thee, and what does it profit thee?" or, "of what use to thee and what advancement to thee is the crafty tongue?" is indeed possible so far as concerns the syntax (Ges. 147, e), but is unlikely as being ambiguous and confusing in expression. It is also to be inferred from the correspondence between מה־יּתּן לך וּמה־יּסיף לך and the formula of an oath כּה יעשׂה־לּך אלהים לכה יוסיף, 1 Samuel 3:17; 1 Samuel 20:13; 1 Samuel 25:22; 2 Samuel 3:35; Ruth 1:17, that God is to be thought of as the subject of יתן and יסיף: "what will," or rather, in accordance with the otherwise precative use of the formula and with the petition that here precedes: "what shall He (is He to) give to thee (נתן as in Hosea 9:14), and what shall He add to thee, thou crafty tongue?" The reciprocal relation of Psalm 120:4 to מה־יתן, and of. Psalm 120:4 with the superadding עם to מה־יסיף, shows that Psalm 120:4 is not now a characterizing of the tongue that continues the apostrophe to it, as Ewald supposes. Consequently Psalm 120:4 gives the answer to Psalm 120:3 with the twofold punishment which Jahve will cause the false tongue to feel. The question which the poet, sure of the answering of his cry for help, puts to the false tongue is designed to let the person addressed hear by a flight of sarcasm what he has to expect. The evil tongue is a sharp sword (Psalm 57:5), a pointed arrow (Jeremiah 9:7), and it is like a fire kindled of hell (James 3:6). The punishment, too, corresponds to this its nature and conduct (Psalm 64:4). The "mighty one" (lxx δυνατός) is God Himself, as it is observed in B. Erachin 15b with a reference to Isaiah 42:13 : "There is none mighty by the Holy One, blessed is He." He requites the evil tongue like with like. Arrows and coals (Psalm 140:11) appear also in other instances among His means of punishment. It, which shot piercing arrows, is pierced by the sharpened arrows of an irresistibly mighty One; it, which set its neighbour in a fever of anguish, must endure the lasting, sure, and torturingly consuming heat of broom-coals. The lxx renders it in a general sense, σὺν τοῖς ἄνθραξι τοῖς ἐρημικοῖς; Aquila, following Jewish tradition, ἀρκευθίναις; but רתם, Arabic ratam, ratem, is the broom-shrub (e.g., uncommonly frequent in the Belkâ).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
title. A Song.
I will, etc. or, Shall I lift up my eyes to the hills? whence should my help come?
2 Chronicles 20:12
O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."
In the LORD I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, "Flee like a bird to your mountain,
On the holy mount stands the city he founded;
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.