Psalm 126:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A song of ascents. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.

New Living Translation
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. When the LORD brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!

English Standard Version
A Song of Ascents. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

New American Standard Bible
A Song of Ascents. When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream.

King James Bible
A Song of degrees. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A song of ascents. When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

International Standard Version
When the LORD brought back Zion's exiles, we were like dreamers.

NET Bible
A song of ascents. When the LORD restored the well-being of Zion, we thought we were dreaming.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
When Lord Jehovah reverses the captivity of Zion, we will be like those who rejoice!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[A song for going up to worship.] When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, it was as if we were dreaming.

Jubilee Bible 2000
When the LORD shall turn again the captivity of Zion, we shall be like those that dream.

King James 2000 Bible
When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

American King James Version
When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

American Standard Version
When Jehovah brought back those that returned to Zion, We were like unto them that dream.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When the lord brought back the captivity of Sion, we became like men comforted.

Darby Bible Translation
{A Song of degrees.} When Jehovah turned the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

English Revised Version
A Song of Ascents. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like unto them that dream.

Webster's Bible Translation
A Song of degrees. When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

World English Bible
When Yahweh brought back those who returned to Zion, we were like those who dream.

Young's Literal Translation
A Song of the Ascents. In Jehovah's turning back to the captivity of Zion, We have been as dreamers.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

126:1-3 It is good to observe how God's deliverances of the church are for us, that we may rejoice in them. And how ought redemption from the wrath to come, from the power of sin and of Satan, to be valued! The sinner convinced of his guilt and danger, when by looking to a crucified Saviour he receives peace to his conscience, and power to break off his sins, often can scarcely believe that the prospect which opens to him is a reality.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion; literally, when the Lord turned again the returning of Zion; i.e. "brought back those who returned from the Captivity." We were like them that dream. We could scarce credit our senses; we seemed to be in a happy "dream" (comp. Acts 12:9).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,.... Or returned the Jews from their captivity in Babylon; who are called Zion, from the city of David, built on Mount Zion, which was in Judea, and adjoined to Jerusalem, the metropolis of the kingdom; and because they were the godly who were concerned for Zion in a spiritual sense, or the church of God, and the interest of religion, whose spirits the Lord stirred up to come out of Babylon, upon the proclamation by Cyrus, when those that were more worldly and carnal stayed behind; as also because the chief mercy in returning the captives was the rebuilding the temple on Mount Zion, and the restoration of religious worship; which gave the religious captives in Babylon great concern, Psalm 137:1. This deliverance of the captives, though it was by Cyrus as an instrument, yet it was the Lord's work; which he employed him in, and stirred him up to do, and therefore is ascribed to him. And though this is expressed in the past tense, yet it may be put for the future; and be considered as a prophecy of it, and which the following word seems to confirm; and especially the prayer, Psalm 126:4; for the return of the captivity seems to require it should: and may not only literally respect the return of the captives in Babylon, but the conversion of the Jews in the latter day, and their deliverance from their present captivity; which is expressed sometimes by the Lord's bringing again Zion, and returning the captivity of the Jews, and their being turned to the Lord, Isaiah 52:8; and may be applied to spiritual and eternal redemption by Christ, of which the deliverance from Babylon was a type; and is sometimes expressed in the same language, Psalm 14:7; and the people redeemed are often signified by Zion, and are by nature captives to sin, Satan, and the law; from whence they are redeemed by Christ, whose work alone it is, Isaiah 1:27;

we were like them that dream; or "shall be" (p); that is, as persons that know not whether they are asleep or awake; and whether what they see and enjoy is in reality or only a vision, as Peter's deliverance from prison was to him, Acts 12:9; When the proclamation by Cyrus was first heard of by the Jews, and they had their liberty upon it, they could hardly tell whether it was a real thing or a vision, and could scarcely believe it for joy; it seemed too good news to be true, as the news of Joseph's being alive was to Jacob, Genesis 45:26; and so the appearance of Christ, his resurrection, and redemption by him, were to the disciples, Luke 24:11. The Targum is,

"we were like the sick that are recovered;''

which sense the word has in Job 39:4; and will be the case of the Jews, when they are converted; who will be recovered out of the sick state and condition in which they now are, and have all their diseases healed, and sins forgiven; yea, their conversion will be as life from the dead, a resurrection of them from their graves, Romans 11:15. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, render it, "as those that are comforted"; and the Syriac version, "as those that rejoice"; each of the seasons mentioned being times of comfort and joy: Joseph Kimchi interprets it of the passing away and forgetfulness of affliction and trouble at the time of redemption, like a dream that flies away upon awaking.

(p) "erimus", Musculus, Gejerus, Schmidt; so the Targum, Syr. Arab.

The Treasury of David

1 When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.

3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.

5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Psalm 126:1

"When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream" Being in trouble the gracious pilgrims remember: for their comfort times of national woe which were succeeded by remarkable deliverances. Then sorrow was gone like a dream, and the joy which followed was so great that it seemed too good to be true, and they feared that it must be the vision of an idle brain. So sudden and so overwhelming was their joy that they felt like men out of themselves, ecstatic, or in a trance. The captivity had been great, and great was the deliverance; for the great God himself had wrought it: it seemed too good to be actually true: each man said to himself, -

"Is this a dream? O if it be a dream,

Let me sleep on, and do not wake me yet."

It was not the freedom of an individual which the Lord in mercy had wrought, but of all Zion, of the whole nation; and this was reason enough for overflowing gladness. We need not instance the histories which illustrate this verse in connection with literal Israel; but it is well to remember how often it has been true to ourselves. Let us look to the prison-houses from which we have been set free. Ah, me, what captives we have been! At our first conversion what a turning again of captivity we experienced. Never shall that hour be forgotten. Joy! Joy! Joy! Since then, from multiplied troubles, from depression of spirit, from miserable backsliding, from grievous doubt, we have been emancipated, and we are not able to describe the bliss which followed each emancipation.

"When God reveal'd his gracious name

And changed our mournful state,

Our rapture seem'd a pleasing dream.

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

PSALM 126

Ps 126:1-6. To praise for God's favor to His people is added a prayer for its continued manifestation.

1-3. When the Lord, &c.—The joy of those returned from Babylon was ecstatic, and elicited the admiration even of the heathen, as illustrating God's great power and goodness.

turned again the captivity—that is, restored from it (Job 39:12; Ps 14:7; Pr 12:14). Hengstenberg translates: "When the Lord turned Himself to the turning of Zion" (see Margin), God returns to His people when they return to Him (De 30:2, 3).

Psalm 126:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Lord has Done Great Things for Us
1A Song of Ascents. When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream. 2Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."…
Cross References
Acts 12:9
Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.

Deuteronomy 30:3
then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.

Job 8:21
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.

Job 42:10
After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.

Psalm 80:3
Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Psalm 85:1
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. You, LORD, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

Isaiah 14:7
All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing.

Jeremiah 29:14
I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."

Jeremiah 30:19
From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.

Hosea 6:11
"Also for you, Judah, a harvest is appointed. "Whenever I would restore the fortunes of my people,

Zechariah 8:6
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?" declares the LORD Almighty.
Treasury of Scripture

When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

A Song of Degrees. This Psalm evidently appears to have been composed in consequence of the proclamation of Cyrus in favour of the Jews, giving them leave to return to their own land, and rebuild their city and temple.

Psalm 120:1 In my distress I cried to the LORD, and he heard me.

Psalm 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.

Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

Psalm 123:1 To you lift I up my eyes, O you that dwell in the heavens.

Psalm 124:1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;

Psalm 125:1 They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot …

turned again, etc. Heb. returned the returning of Zion

Psalm 53:6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God brings …

Psalm 85:1 Lord, you have been favorable to your land: you have brought back …

Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the …

Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his …

Jeremiah 31:8-10 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them …

Hosea 6:11 Also, O Judah, he has set an harvest for you, when I returned the …

Joel 3:1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring …

we were like

Job 9:16 If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe …

Mark 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen …

Luke 24:11,41 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not…

Acts 12:9,14-16 And he went out, and followed him; and knew not that it was true …

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