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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 127


1 A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build. Unless the LORD guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch.


It is vain for you to rise early and put off your rest at night, To eat bread earned by hard toil -  all this God gives to his beloved in sleep.


Children too are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.


Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth.


2 Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate.



1 [Psalm 127] The psalm puts together two proverbs ( Psalm 127:1-2, 3-5) on God establishing "houses" or families. The prosperity of human groups is not the work of humans but the gift of God.

2 [5] At the gate: the reference is not to enemies besieging the walls of a city but to adversaries in litigation. Lawcourts functioned in the open area near the main city gate. The more adult sons a man had, the more forceful he would appear in disputes. Cf Proverb 31:23.

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