The need for mercy (Ps 123:3-123:4)

“Have mercy upon us!


Have mercy upon us!

We have had more than enough of contempt.

Our soul has more than its fill

Of the scorn of those

Who are at ease.

Our soul has more than its fill

Of the contempt of the proud.”

This short 4 verse psalm comes to an end with a cry for mercy to Yahweh. They have had enough of contempt and scorn from those who are proud and have an easy life. Their souls are full of disdain from these proud and easy going people. There is the repeated cry to have mercy on them.

The servant prayer (Ps 123:1-123:2)

A song of ascents

“To you I lift up my eyes.

O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

As the eyes of servants

Look to the hand of their master,

As the eyes of a maid

Look to the hand of her mistress,

So our eyes look to Yahweh our God,

Until he has mercy upon us.”

Psalm 123 is another very short psalm, or song, sung on the ascending way to Jerusalem in a pilgrimage. However, the tone is more somber as there is a cry for help against enemies. Both the male and female servants look to Yahweh to help them. They lift up their eyes to the heavens, like servants looking to the hands of their masters. Their eyes cry for mercy towards Yahweh, their God.

Jerusalem (Ps 122:3-122:5)

“Jerusalem is built as a city.

It is bound firmly together.

The tribes go up to it.

These are the tribes of Yahweh,

As was decreed for Israel.

They were to give thanks

To the name of Yahweh.

There the thrones for judgment were set up.

These are the thrones of the house of David.”

Now we have a full blown eulogy to Jerusalem, a well built city. All the tribes of Israel, those who believed in Yahweh, had a decree to give thanks to the name of Yahweh in Jerusalem. This is the place where the thrones of judgment were, the kings of the house of David. This psalm does not seem to be from David, but about David.