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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 129


A song of ascents. 1 Much have they oppressed me from my youth, now let Israel say.


Much have they oppressed me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed.


Upon my back the plowers plowed, as they traced their long furrows.


2 But the just LORD cut me free from the ropes of the yoke of the wicked.


May they be scattered in disgrace, all who hate Zion.


3 May they be like grass on the rooftops withered in early growth,


Never to fill the reaper's hands, nor the arms of the binders of sheaves,


4 With none passing by to call out: "The blessing of the LORD be upon you! We bless you in the name of the LORD!"



1 [Psalm 129] A psalm giving thanks for God's many rescues of Israel over the long course of their history ( Psalm 129:1-4); the people pray that their oppressors never know the joy of harvest ( Psalm 129:5-8).

2 [4] The ropes of the yoke of the wicked: usually understood as the rope for yoking animals to the plow. If it is severed, the plowing (cf Psalm 129:3) comes to a halt.

3 [6] Like grass on the rooftops: after the spring rains, grass would sprout from the coat of mud with which the flat roofs of simple houses were covered, but when the dry summer began there was no moisture in the thin roof-covering to sustain the grass.

4 The blessing of the LORD be upon you: harvesters greeted one another with such blessings. Cf Ruth 2:4.

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