PSALM ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
Outline
  1. Call for Deliverance from International Deceit (vv.1,2)
  2. Call for Judgment upon the Perpetrator (vv.3,4)
  3. Lament of Captivity among Those who Hate Peace (vv.5-7)
TITLE A Song of Ascents ( ryvi [n.m.s., shir, song] tAl[]M;h; [n.f.p. hl'[]m; ma-alah, what comes up; ascent]).

INTRODUCTION

  1. This is the first of fifteen Songs of Ascent (Pss.120-134).
  2. These psalms were evidently used by worshipers on their way up to the Temple to celebrate the annual feasts.
  3. Not every song was necessarily composed for this purpose.
 
Call for Deliverance (vv.1,2)

VERSE 1 In my trouble I cried to the LORD ( ht'r'C'B; [prep.w/n.f.s., tsarah, distress] yLi [prep.w/1.c.s.sf. "my"] ytiar'q' [Qal.pf.1.c.s., qara, call] hw"hy>-la, [prep. + pr.n.]),

And He answered me ( `ynInE[]Y:w: [conj.w/Qal.impf.3.m.s., anah, answer] ).

VERSE 2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips ( hl'yCih; [Hiphil.imper. Lcn natsal, snatch away] yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/2.m.s.sf., nephesh, soul] hw"hy> [pr.n.] rq,v,-tp;F.mi [prep.w/n.f.s., shaphah, lip, + n.m.s., sheqer, falsehood]),

From a deceitful tongue ( !AvL'mi [prep.w/n.f.s., lashon, tongue] `hY"mir> [n.f.s., remiyyah, deceit; v.3, Ps.52:4; 102:2; Mic.6:12]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 1,2

  1. Psalm 120 is classified as a communal lament, versus an individual lament.
  2. The collective "I" (vv.1,5,7) and "my"/"me" (vv.1,2,5,6,) points to positive Israel during the Tribulation.
  3. The background is clearly dealing with dispersed Israel, as v.5 makes obvious.
  4. "In my trouble" refers to the "time of Jacobís distress/trouble" (same noun), or the Tribulation (Jer.30:7).
  5. "I cried to the LORD" refers to positive Jews everywhere who call upon the Lord at that time.
  6. "And He answered me" refers to the favorable response God gives to the positive remnant who pray for deliverance both within and outside the State of Israel.
  7. The lament of the balance of the psalm (vv.2-7) is turned to blessing for believing Israel when Christ judges her enemies and restores Israel to her rightful place.
  8. Verse 2 specifies what it is that Jews with doctrine and understanding pray for relief from.
  9. The most natural reading of v.1 points to a past event (prophetic perfect and imperfect of the verbs "cried" and "answered", respectively), and v.2 recalls (prophetically) the outcome of the prayer.
  10. Israel is the object of an international smear campaign that denies her her unique and special destiny among the nations.
  11. While this is nothing new, it takes on special significance in the last days.
  12. Enlightened Jews of the Tribulation will ask God to "deliver" them "from lying lips"/ "from a deceitful tongue" (v.2).
  13. The reference seems to be quite specific based on the literal interpretation of v.4.
  14. Verse 4 presents the nature of the judgment that will come against the "deceitful tongue" of vv.2,3.
  15. The United States, according to Bible prophecy, has a totally corrupt foreign policy going into the Tribulation (Rev.18:3,9,24).
  16. U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East continues to put pressure upon Israel, making her more vulnerable to the hostile nations which surround her.
  17. She has suffered much due to Americaís political duplicity.
  18. Since the founding of the Jewish State, Western governments have held a secret bias against the Jews.
  19. There has been a shameful history of racism, greed, and secret betrayal that is difficult for many to accept (see "The Secret War Against the Jews", by John Loftus and Mark Aarons, Milah Press).
  20. Israel is considered the main obstacle to peace in the region.
  21. The U.S. (U.S. Dept. of State) and the UN are at the forefront of the undermining of Israelís security in the Middle East.
  22. In the prophesies dealing with the U.S., there is strong indication that Americaís judgment is due in part to her treatment of Israel (Jer.50:11,15,28; 51:7,35,49).
  23. The Western media consistently casts the State of Israel in an unfavorable light.
  24. The cry for deliverance from the "deceitful tongue" has a historical parallel in the Samaritans, who by their slanders interrupted the work on the second Temple (Ezra.4-6).
  25. The prophetic focus has the U.S. as the culprit until almost the middle of the Tribulation.
 
Call for Judgment (vv.3,4)

VERSE 3 What shall be given to you, and what more shall be done to you (!TeYI-hm; [interrog. + Qal.impf.3.m.s., nathan, give] ^l. [prep.w/2.m.s.sf.] @ysiYO-hm;W [conj.w/interrog. + Hiphil impf.3.m.s. @s;y" yasaph; 1) to add, increase, do again; 1a) {Qal} to add, increase, do again; 1b) {Niphal}; 1b1) to join, join oneself to; 1b2) to be joined, be added to; 1c) {Hiphil}; 1c1) to cause to add, increase; 1c2) to do more, do again] %l' [prep.w/2.m.s.sf.]),

You deceitful tongue ( `hY"mir> [n.f.s., remiyyah, deceit] !Avl' [n.f.s., lashon, tongue])?

VERSE 4 Sharp arrows of the warrior ( ~ynIWnv. [Qal.pass.pt.m.p. !nv shanan, sharpen] yCexi [n.c.p. #xe chets, arrow] rABgI [adj.m.s., gibor, strong; "warrior"]),

With the burning coals of the broom tree ( ~[i [prep.] ylex]G: [n.m.p., tl,x,G: gacheleth, burning] `~ymit'r> [n.m.p. ~t,ro rothem, broom plant: 1Kgs.19:4,5; Job.30:4; Ps.120:4; Mic.1:13]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 3,4

  1. In these verses, the psalmist moves to supply the answer as to how God is going to deliver Israel from the lies and deceit of the enemy.
  2. Verse 3 is a rhetorical question, with the answer being supplied in v.4.
  3. The question is in two parts.
  4. "What shall be given to you" turns our attention to the just deserts of the perpetrator of misinformation and treachery.
  5. "What more shall be done to you" indicates that Israel has suffered real harm under American perfidy, but that America will suffer far more potent shafts/arrows.
  6. The "what more" is described in fuller detail in the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Revelation).
  7. Verse 4 supplies a figurative snapshot of the judgment that will befall America after the Rapture.
  8. "Sharp arrows" correspond to thermonuclear warheads, as seen also in Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51 (50:9,14; 51:11).
  9. As in those chapters, so here the arrows are associated with fire and total destruction.
  10. These are fiery "arrows", as indicated by v.4a.
  11. Godís judgment will burn like "coals of the broom tree", which burns long and hot.
  12. The "warrior" is the Son of God, who brings this unprecedented judgment upon the U.S. (prophetic Babylon) by bringing all-out nuclear war to the cities and environs of this country (cp. Jer.50:3,9,18,25,31,34,40,45; 51:1,10-14,20-26,36,45-48,52,55-58).
 
Lament of Captivity (vv.5-7)

VERSE 5 Woe is me, for I sojourn in Meshech ( yli-hy"Aa [interj. + prep.w/1c.s.sf.] yTir>g:-yKi [conj. + Qal.pf.1.c.s. rwG gur, sojourn, be a stranger in] %v,m, [pr.n., Meshek = "drawing out"; 1) son of Japheth, grandson of Noah, and progenitor of peoples to the north of Israel; 1a) descendants of Mesech, often mentioned in connection with Tubal, Magog, and other northern nations including the Moschi, a people on the borders of Colchis and Armenia]),

For I dwell among the tents of Kedar ( yTin>k;v' [Qal.pf.1.c.s. !kv shakhan, dwell] yleh\a'-~[I [prep. + n.m.p.cstr., ohel, tent] `rd'qe [pr.n., Kedar = "dark"; 1) a son of Ishmael; 2) the descendants of Kedar]).

VERSE 6 Too long has my soul had its dwelling ( tB;r; [adj.f.s., rabath, great; "too long"] yvip.n: [n.f.s.w/1.c.s.sf., nephesh] HL'-hn"k.v' [Qal.pf.3.f.s., shakan, dwell, + prep.w/3.f.s.sf.])

With those who hate peace ( ~[I prep.] anEAf [Qal.pt.m.s., shane, hate] `~Alv' [n.m.s., shalom]).

VERSE 7 I am for peace, but when I speak ( ~Alv'-ynIa] [pro.1.c.s. + n.m.s., peace] ykiw> [conj.w/conj.; "but when"] rBed;a] [Piel.impf.1.c.s., dabhar, speak]),

They are for war ( hM'he [pro.3.m.p., they] `hm'x'l.Mil; [prep.w/n.f.s. hm'x'l.mi milechamah, war]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 5-7

  1. The setting of the song shifts and we are given a glimpse of Jews languishing in captivity.
  2. The anti-Semitism they face on a daily basis is lamented, hence the words "Woe is me".
  3. In v.5 two very different places of Israelís exile ("I sojourn"/"I dwell") are in view.
  4. Meshech was a grandson of Noah and the son of Japheth (Gen.10:2).
  5. Meshech is associated with Gog and Tubal in the prophecy of Russiaís invasion of Israel in the early second half of the Tribulation (Ezek.38:2,3; 39:1; cp. Ezek.32:26).
  6. The geographical area is in the vicinity of the Black Sea.
  7. The best guess (for Meshech) is Armenia in western Asia (Mount Ararat lies within it).
  8. Their kinsmen (Armenians) are the Russians who live across the border.
  9. In modern times the area has been divided up among Russia, Turkey, and Iran.
  10. An Armenian Jewish community has long persisted there.
  11. Kedar ("dark") was a son of Ishmael, son of Abraham.
  12. Kedar was a powerful and rich Arabian tribe (cf. Isa.21:13-17; cp. 42:11; 60:7; Ezek.27:21).
  13. The area is east and south of Israel.
  14. Since the seventh century AD these peoples have held to the Moslem faith, which is very much at odds with the promises to Israel.
  15. Jews living in Moslem societies suffer all manner of oppression.
  16. "Too long has my soul had its dwelling with those who hate peace" is a recognition on the part of believing Jews that they have unnecessarily been away from their homeland (v.6).
  17. Israelís time out of the land is the consequence of their unbelief in the land and their unwillingness to turn to God in truth over the many centuries of their exile.
  18. Wherever the Jews have landed, they have experienced the hostility of their Gentile neighbors (with exceptions).
  19. Certainly among these remote (Meshech) and implacable peoples (Kedar), Jews have experienced racial animosity (anti-Semitism).
  20. "Those who hate peace" are those who are anti-Semitic.
  21. "I am for peace" indicates the desire, especially on the part of converted Jews, to get along with their neighbors during the Tribulation.
  22. Believing Jews act as ambassadors of good will, but largely to no avail (v.7).
  23. A great percentage of Gentiles will not treat their Jewish neighbors with compassion and understanding because they are negative and join the international wave of Jew baiting and hating.
  24. "They are for war" states the implacable and unreasonable mentality of the peoples of the Tribulation.
  25. Anti-Semitism is a satanic ploy that is always just beneath the surface.
 

 

END: PSALM CHAPTER ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
JACK M. BALLINGER
OCTOBER, 1997
 

© Copyright 1998, Maranatha Church Inc.