Psalm 123:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.

New Living Translation
We keep looking to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

English Standard Version
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.

New American Standard Bible
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us.

King James Bible
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Like a servant's eyes on his master's hand, like a servant girl's eyes on her mistress's hand, so our eyes are on the LORD our God until He shows us favor.

International Standard Version
Consider this: as the eyes of a servant focus on what his master provides, and as the eyes of a female servant focus on what her mistress provides, so our eyes focus on the LORD our God, until he has mercy on us.

NET Bible
Look, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female servant look to the hand of her mistress, so my eyes will look to the LORD, our God, until he shows us favor.

New Heart English Bible
Look, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to the LORD, our God, until he has mercy on us.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Like the eyes of Servants to their Masters and like the eyes of a Handmaiden to her Mistress, so our eyes are to you, Lord Jehovah, our God, until you have mercy upon us!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As servants depend on their masters, as a maid depends on her mistress, so we depend on the LORD our God until he has pity on us.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold, as the eyes of servants unto the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; So our eyes look unto the LORD our God, Until He be gracious unto us.

New American Standard 1977
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master,
            As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress;
            So our eyes look to the LORD our God,
            Until He shall be gracious to us.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, as the eyes of slaves look unto the hand of their masters and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until he shall have mercy upon us.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until he has mercy upon us.

American King James Version
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait on the LORD our God, until that he have mercy on us.

American Standard Version
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid unto the hand of her mistress; So our eyes look unto Jehovah our God, Until he have mercy upon us.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters, As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, as the eyes of servants [look] unto the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes [are directed] to Jehovah our God, until he be gracious unto us.

English Revised Version
Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look unto the LORD our God, until he have mercy upon us.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until he shall have mercy upon us.

World English Bible
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to Yahweh, our God, until he has mercy on us.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, as eyes of men-servants Are unto the hand of their masters, As eyes of a maid-servant Are unto the hand of her mistress, So are our eyes unto Jehovah our God, Till that He doth favour us.
Study Bible
To You I Do Lift Up My Eyes
1A Song of Ascents. To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens! 2Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God, Until He is gracious to us. 3Be gracious to us, O LORD, be gracious to us, For we are greatly filled with contempt.…
Cross References
Psalm 16:8
I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 25:15
My eyes are continually toward the LORD, For He will pluck my feet out of the net.

Psalm 141:8
For my eyes are toward You, O GOD, the Lord; In You I take refuge; do not leave me defenseless.

Proverbs 27:18
He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored.

Malachi 1:6
"'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Your name?'
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait on the LORD our God, until that he have mercy on us.

as the eyes

Joshua 9:23,27 Now therefore you are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed …

Joshua 10:6 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, …

so our eyes

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined to me, and heard my cry…

Psalm 119:82,123-125 My eyes fail for your word, saying, When will you comfort me…

Psalm 130:5,6 I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in his word do I hope…

Genesis 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaks. And he said, I will not …

Genesis 49:18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.

Lamentations 3:25,26 The LORD is good to them that wait for him, to the soul that seeks him…

Luke 18:1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always …

(2) Eyes.--As the eyes of the slave are fixed on the hand of the master or mistress, waiting for a sign or direction, so Israel waits, expectant of the hint of Divine interference to deliver from the tyrant. The picture will be so familiar to readers of Oriental stories as hardly to need actual illustration; but Savary's (Letters on Egypt, p. 135, quoted by Perowne) description exactly reproduces the intention of the poet: "The slaves stand silent at the bottom of the rooms, with their hands crossed over their breasts. With their eyes fixed upon their master, they seek to anticipate every one of his wishes." Comp. "Cave oculos a meis oculis quoquam demoveas" (Ter. Adelph. Ii. 1, 16).

Verse 2. - Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters. Watch, i.e., for the slightest sign that he may give of his will. Such signs were usually given by some movement of the "hand." And as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress. Masters were waited on by male slaves; their wives by handmaids - both equally anxious to do their will, and therefore equally watchful of all the signs that indicated it. So our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us. We wait for the least sign that he is about to help and deliver us. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters; and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress,.... To direct them in their work and business, to point out unto them what they shall do; which is often done by a motion of the hand of the master or mistress, or rap of their fingers without speaking (e), which the servant observes: or to help and assist them against their enemies, and protect them from them; servants unarmed, and molested in their masters' service, have no other to flee to for protection but them; so Aben Ezra: or to receive food and sustenance from them, as servants and maidens do, from their masters and mistresses, in whose service they are; see Proverbs 31:15; so Kimchi and Arama; the latter observes, that they have their food in a way of mercy, and not justice; contrary to what the apostle says, Colossians 4:1; or in order to receive their wages from them; see Job 7:2;

so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God; look unto him for direction in his service. Saints are servants, not of sin, nor of Satan, nor of men, but of the Lord; and not on the foot of creation only, but of redemption, and are made so by the grace of God; and they are willing to work, and are desirous to know what they should do; they inquire of God; they wait upon him, in his word and ordinances, for direction; and, being informed, do it with all their might, and follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes or directs them: and they look unto him for strength to assist them therein, being conscious of their own weakness; they apply to him, and wait upon him for strength, and do all they do in his name and strength; they look unto him for protection from all their enemies, which are many and mighty, and are stronger than they; and for food, both temporal and spiritual, and for all the necessaries and comforts both of a corporeal and spiritual life; and likewise for the recompence of reward, the reward of the inheritance, which is of grace, and not of debt. Joseph Kimchi thinks that the allusion is to servants, that look to the hand of their masters that correct and chastise them, and bear it patiently; and look to the hand that smites, till it shall have done, and mercy is shown them. And thus the saints look to the chastising hand of God, and humble themselves under it, and patiently endure it, till the Lord shall please to remove it from them; and this agrees with what follows:

until that he have mercy upon us; God is gracious and merciful; and he has his set time to have mercy on his people: and it becomes them to continue praying to him, and waiting on him, until he is pleased to show it to them; men should pray always, and not faint; they will find mercy in due time, Luke 18:1.

(e) Vid. Pignorium de Servis, p. 136. "Digiti crepantis signa novit eunuchus", Martial. l. 2. 82. 2. Deference, submission, and trust, are all expressed by the figure. In the East, servants in attending on their masters are almost wholly directed by signs, which require the closest observance of the hands of the latter. The servants of God should look (1) to His directing hand, to appoint them their work; (2) to His supplying hand (Ps 104:28), to give them their portion in due season; (3) to His protecting hand, to right them when wronged; (4) to His correcting hand (Isa 9:13; 1Pe 5:6; compare Ge 16:6); (5) to His rewarding hand.123:1-4 Confidence in God under contempt. - Our Lord Jesus has taught us to look unto God in prayer as our Father in heaven. In every prayer a good man lifts up his soul to God; especially when in trouble. We desire mercy from him; we hope he will show us mercy, and we will continue waiting on him till it come. The eyes of a servant are to his master's directing hand, expecting that he will appoint him his work. And also to his supplying hand. Servants look to their master or their mistress for their portion of meat in due season. And to God we must look for daily bread, for grace sufficient; from him we must receive it thankfully. Where can we look for help but to our Master? And, further, to his protecting hand. If the servant is wronged and injured in his work, who should right him, but his master? And to his correcting hand. Whither should sinners turn but to him that smote them? They humble themselves under God's mighty hand. And lastly, to his rewarding hand. Hypocrites look to the world's hand, thence they have their reward; but true Christians look to God as their Master and their Rewarder. God's people find little mercy with men; but this is their comfort, that with the Lord there is mercy. Scorning and contempt have been, are, and are likely to be, the lot of God's people in this world. It is hard to bear; but the servants of God should not complain if they are treated as his beloved Son was. Let us then, when ready to faint under trials, look unto Jesus, and by faith and prayer cast ourselves upon the mercy of God.
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