English Standard Version
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.
King James Bible
A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
American Standard Version
Except Jehovah build the house, They labor in vain that build it: Except Jehovah keep the city, The watchman waketh but in vain.
Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.
English Revised Version
A Song of Ascents; of Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
Webster's Bible Translation
A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD shall build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD shall keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain.
Psalm 127:1 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
When passages like Isaiah 1:9; Genesis 47:25, or others where והיינו is perf. consec., are appealed to in order to prove that היינוּ כּחלמים may signify erimus quasi somniantes, they are instances that are different in point of syntax. Any other rendering than that of the lxx is here impossible, viz.: Ἐν τῷ ἐπιστρέψαι κύριον τὴν αἰχμαλωσίαν Σιὼν ἐγενήθημεν ὡς παρακεκλημένοι (כּנחמים? - Jerome correctly, quasi somniantes). It is, however, just as erroneous when Jerome goes on to render: tunc implebitur risu os nostrum; for it is true the future after אז has a future signification in passages where the context relates to matters of future history, as in Psalm 96:12; Zephaniah 3:9, but it always has the signification of the imperfect after the key-note of the historical past has once been struck, Exodus 15:1; Joshua 8:30; Joshua 10:12; 1 Kings 11:7; 1 Kings 16:21; 2 Kings 15:16; Job 38:21; it is therefore, tunc implebatur. It is the exiles at home again upon the soil of their fatherland who here cast back a glance into the happy time when their destiny suddenly took another turn, by the God of Israel disposing the heart of the conqueror of Babylon to set them at liberty, and to send them to their native land in an honourable manner. שׁיבת is not equivalent to שׁבית, nor is there any necessity to read it thus (Olshausen, Bצttcher, and Hupfeld). שׁיבה (from שׁוּב, like בּיאה, קימה) signifies the return, and then those returning; it is, certainly, an innovation of this very late poet. When Jahve brought home the homeward-bound ones of Zion - the poet means to say - we were as dreamers. Does he mean by this that the long seventy years' term of affliction lay behind us like a vanished dream (Joseph Kimchi), or that the redemption that broke upon us so suddenly seemed to us at first not to be a reality but a beautiful dream? The tenor of the language favours the latter: as those not really passing through such circumstances, but only dreaming. Then - the poet goes on to say - our mouth was filled with laughter (Job 8:21) and our tongue with a shout of joy, inasmuch, namely, as the impression of the good fortune which contrasted so strongly with our trouble hitherto, compelled us to open our mouth wide in order that our joy might break forth in a full stream, and our jubilant mood impelled our tongue to utter shouts of joy, which knew no limit because of the inexhaustible matter of our rejoicing. And how awe-inspiring was Israel's position at that time among the peoples! and what astonishment the marvellous change of Israel's lot produced upon them! Even the heathen confessed that it was Jahve's work, and that He had done great things for them (Joel 2:20., 1 Samuel 12:24) - the glorious predictions of Isaiah, as in Psalm 45:14; Psalm 52:10, and elsewhere, were being fulfilled. The church on its part seals that confession coming from the mouth of the heathen. This it is that made them so joyful, that God had acknowledged them by such a mighty deed.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
for Solomon. or, of Solomon
that build it. Heb. that are builders of it in it
And your strength shall be spent in vain, for your land shall not yield its increase, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit.
He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
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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.