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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 121


1 A song of ascents. 2 I raise my eyes toward the mountains. From where will my help come?


My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.


God will not allow your foot to slip; your guardian does not sleep.


Truly, the guardian of Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.


3 The LORD is your guardian; the LORD is your shade at your righthand.


By day the sun cannot harm you, nor the moon by night.


The LORD will guard you from all evil, will always guard your life.


The LORD will guard your coming and going both now and forever.



1 [Psalm 121] A blessing given to someone embarking on a dangerous journey whether a soldier going on a campaign or a pilgrim returning home from the temple. People look anxiously at the wooded hills. Will God protect them on their journey ( Psalm 121:1)? The speaker declares that God is not confined to a place or a time ( Psalm 121:2), that every step is guarded (3-4); night and day ( Psalm 121:5-6) God watches over their every movement ( Psalm 121:7-8).

2 [1] The mountains: possibly Mount Zion, the site of the temple and hence of safety, but more probably mountains as a place of dangers, causing anxiety to the psalmist.

3 [5-6] The image of shade, a symbol of protection, is apt: God as shade protects from the harmful effects that ancients believed were caused by the sun and moon.

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