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Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke, [1831], at

Psalms Chapter 128


psa 128:0

The blessedness of the man that fears the Lord, Psa 128:1. He is blessed in his labor, Psa 128:2; in his wife and children, Psa 128:3, Psa 128:4; in the ordinances of God, Psa 128:5; and in a long life and numerous posterity, Psa 128:6.

This Psalm has no title, either in the Hebrew or any of the Versions; though the Syriac supposes it to have been spoken of Zerubbabel, prince of Judah, who was earnestly engaged in building the temple of the Lord. It seems to be a continuation of the preceding Psalm, or rather the second part of it. The man who is stated to have a numerous offspring, in the preceding Psalm, is here represented as sitting at table with his large family. A person in the mean while coming in, sees his happy state, speaks of his comforts, and predicts to him and his all possible future good. And why? Because the man and his family "fear God, and walk in his ways."

Psalms 128:2

psa 128:2

Those shalt eat the labor of thine hands - Thou shalt not be exempted from labor. Thou shalt work: But God will bless and prosper that work, and thou and thy family shall eat of it. Ye shall all live on the produce of your own labor, and the hand of violence shall not be permitted to deprive you of it. Thus,

Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee - Thou shalt have prosperity.

Psalms 128:3

psa 128:3

Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine - Thy children, in every corner and apartment of thy house, shall be the evidences of the fruitfulness of thy wife, as bunches of grapes on every bough of the vine are the proofs of its being in a healthy thriving state. Being about the house sides, or apartments, is spoken of the wife, not the vine; being around the table is spoken of the children, not of the olive-plants. It does not appear that there were any vines planted against the walls of the houses in Jerusalem, nor any olive-trees in pots or tubs in the inside of their houses; as may be found in different parts of Europe.

Psalms 128:4

psa 128:4

Thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord - A great price for a small consideration. Fear God, and thou shalt have as much domestic good as may be useful to thee.

Psalms 128:5

psa 128:5

The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion - In all thy approaches to him in his house by prayer, by sacrifice, and by offering, thou shalt have his especial blessing. Thou shalt thrive every where, and in all things.

And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem - Thou shalt see the cause of God flourish in thy lifetime, and his Church in great prosperity.

Psalms 128:6

psa 128:6

Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children - Thou shall not die till thou have seen thy family all settled in the world, and those of them who may be married blessed with children.

And peace upon Israel - This is the same conclusion as in Psa 125:1-5; and should be translated, Peace be upon Israel! May God favor his own cause, and bless all his people!

Next: Psalms Chapter 129