“Restore our fortunes!
Like the watercourses in the Negeb!
May those who sow in tears
Reap with shouts of joy!
May those who go out weeping,
Bearing the seed for sowing,
Come home with shouts of joy,
Carrying their sheaves.”
This short psalm ends with a cry or prayer for the restoration of Israel. They wanted their fortunes restored. They wanted to be like the arid land of the Negeb south of Israel with just enough water. They would sow in tears but reap in joy. They would go out weeping with their seeds. However, they would come home with shouts of joy with their wheat harvest sheaves full.
A song of ascents
“When Yahweh restored the fortunes of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter.
Our tongue was filled with shouts of joy.
Then it was said among the nations.
‘Yahweh has done great things for them.’
Yahweh has done great things for us.
Psalm 126 is another of these short pilgrimage songs or psalms of ascent. Once again, it is a short prayer for deliverance at the time of the return from captivity. When the Israelites under Ezra were restored to Jerusalem and Mount Zion, it was like a dream come true. Their mouths and tongues were filled with laughter and joy. Then the various countries said that Yahweh had done great things for them. The Israelites realized that Yahweh had done great things for them so that they rejoiced.