The LORD shall preserve you from all evil: he shall preserve your soul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)preserve, read keep, the persistent dwelling on this one word making one of the chief beauties of this hymn.
nor the moon by night—poetically represents the dangers of the night, over which the moon presides (Ge 1:16).John 17:12;
he shall preserve thy soul: he preserves the bodies of his people, oftentimes from diseases and disasters, and from death, till the appointed time comes; and then he preserves their dust in the grave, and raises it up at the last day; but more especially their souls, the redemption and salvation of which he undertook, and has effected; and which are preserved by him safe to his coming, kingdom, and glory.The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Cp. 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
7, 8. shall preserve] Render, with R.V., shall keep, to mark the connexion with the preceding verses.Verse 7. - The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; or, "keep thee." The same verb is used throughout. He shall preserve thy soul; or, keep thy soul. Daniel 6:11. To render "from which my help cometh" (Luther) is inadmissible. מאין is an interrogative even in Joshua 2:4, where the question is an indirect one. The poet looks up to the mountains, the mountains of his native land, the holy mountains (Psalm 133:3; Psalm 137:1; Psalm 125:2), when he longingly asks: whence will my help come? and to this question his longing desire itself returns the answer, that his help comes from no other quarter than from Jahve, the Maker of heaven and earth, from His who sits enthroned behind and upon these mountains, whose helpful power reaches to the remotest ends and corners of His creation, and with (עם) whom is help, i.e., both the willingness and the power to help, so that therefore help comes from nowhere but from (מן) Him alone. In Psalm 121:1 the poet has propounded a question, and in Psalm 121:2 replies to this question himself. In Psalm 121:3 and further the answering one goes on speaking to the questioner. The poet is himself become objective, and his Ego, calm in God, promises him comfort, by unfolding to him the joyful prospects contained in that hope in Jahve. The subjective אל expresses a negative in both cases with an emotional rejection of that which is absolutely impossible. The poet says to himself: He will, indeed, surely not abandon thy foot to the tottering (למּוט, as in Psalm 66:9, cf. Psalm 55:23), thy Keeper will surely not slumber; and then confirms the assertion that this shall not come to pass by heightening the expression in accordance with the step-like character of the Psalm: Behold the Keeper of Israel slumbereth not and sleepeth not, i.e., He does not fall into slumber from weariness, and His life is not an alternate waking and sleeping. The eyes of His providence are ever open over Israel.
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