Psalm 123:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are directed to Jehovah our God, until he be gracious unto us.

World English Bible
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to Yahweh, our God, until he has mercy on us.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, as eyes of men-servants Are unto the hand of their masters, As eyes of a maid-servant Are unto the hand of her mistress, So are our eyes unto Jehovah our God, Till that He doth favour us.

Psalm 123:2 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters ... - Or, are to the hands of their masters; or, regard the hands of their masters. That is, we look to God with the same spirit of deference, dependence, and readiness to mark the will of God, which is evinced by servants in regard to their masters, and by maidens in regard to the will of a mistress. There has been some difference of view in regard to the meaning of this comparison. Some have supposed that the allusion is to the fact that servants, when in danger, look to their masters for protection; others, that they look to them for the supply of their needs; others, that when they have been guilty of an offence they look to them alone for pardon. See Rosenmuller, in loc. The true idea, however, seems to be, that they look to them with deference and respect; that they attentively mark every expression of their will; that they are ready to obey their commands on the slightest intimation of their wishes - standing in a waiting posture, with no will of their own - their own wills absorbed in the will of the master or the mistress.

The following extracts from Oriental travelers may illustrate the idea here: Maundrell (Reise von Aleppo nach Jerusalem, s. 13), speaking of an interview with the Pasha at Tripoli, says, "The servants all stood in great numbers with the utmost respect, and in profoundest silence, and served the guests with the utmost attention and respect." Pococke remarks that in Egypt the slaves stand in the profoundest silence at the end of the table, their hands laid cross-wise over one another, and that they mark with the deepest attention the slightest movement of their master, who conveys his wishes to them through signs and winks. Savary, in his Letters from Egypt (p. 135), says, "The slaves stand with their hands laid cross-wise over their breasts, silent, at the end of the hall. "Their eyes are directed to the master," and they are attentive to the slightest indication of his will." See other illustrations in Rosenmuller, Morgenland, ii. 109, 110. It is to such a custom as this that the psalmist refers; and the idea is, that his eyes were directed to God, in his troubles, in profound silence, and with deep attention, resembling that of servants waiting in stillness on their master, and catching the slightest intimation of his will - a movement of the head or hand - or anything which would indicate his pleasure.

Until that he have mercy upon us - We have nothing to do but wait. We have no other resource. We can do nothing if we turn away from him. Our only hope and expectation is there, and if we ever find relief, it must be there. The surest - the only - hope of relief is to wait on God; and it is the purpose of our souls to do this until we find help and deliverance. This is the attitude in which the earnest prayer in the next verse is offered.

Psalm 123:2 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Psalms
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
Psalm 16:8
I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 25:15
My eyes are continually toward the LORD, For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

Psalm 141:8
For my eyes are toward You, O GOD, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

Proverbs 27:18
He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored.

Malachi 1:6
"'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Your name?'

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