Psalm 121:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?

King James Bible
A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Darby Bible Translation
{A Song of degrees.} I lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: whence shall my help come?

World English Bible
I will lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?

Young's Literal Translation
A Song of the Ascents. I lift up mine eyes unto the hills, Whence doth my help come?

Psalm 121:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

I will lift up mine eyes - Margin, "Shall I lift up mine eyes to the hills? Whence should my help come?" The expression would properly denote a condition where there was danger; when no help or aid was visible; and when the eyes were turned to the quarter from which help might be expected to come. What the danger was cannot now be ascertained.

Unto the hills - Hebrew, the mountains. To the quarter from where I look for assistance. This (as has been shown in the Introduction) may refer

(1) to the mountains from where one in danger expected help; or

(2) to heaven, considered as high, and as the abode of God; or

(3) to the hills on which Jerusalem was built, as the place where God dwelt, and from where aid was expected.

The third of these is the most probable. The first would be applicable to a state of war only, and the second is forced and unnatural. Adopting the third interpretation, the language is natural, and makes it proper to be used at all times, since it indicates a proper looking to God as he manifests himself to people, particularly in the church.

From whence cometh my help - A more literal rendering would be, "Whence cometh my help?" This accords best with the usage of the Hebrew word, and agrees well with the connection. It indicates a troubled and anxious state of mind - a mind that asks, Where shall I look for help? The answer is found in the following verse.

Psalm 121:1 Parallel Commentaries

The Saint Prays to be Directed by a Different Way. Intellectual visions.
1. I now resume the story of my life. I was in great pain and distress; and many prayers, as I said, [1] were made on my behalf, that our Lord would lead me by another and a safer way; for this, they told me, was so suspicious. The truth is, that though I was praying to God for this, and wished I had a desire for another way, yet, when I saw the progress I was making, I was unable really to desire a change,--though I always prayed for it,--excepting on those occasions when I was extremely cast
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
2 Chronicles 20:12
"O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You."

Psalm 11:1
For the choir director. A Psalm of David. In the LORD I take refuge; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain;

Psalm 87:1
A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A Song. His foundation is in the holy mountains.

Psalm 123:1
A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!

Isaiah 40:26
Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.

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