Psalm 125:2
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from now on even for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) As the mountains.—In the first verse, the stability of the faithful is compared to that of Mount Zion; here their security to that of the city girt by its hills. (On the geographical reference, see Dean Stanley, S. and P., pp. 174, 175.) Robinson’s description is—“The sacred city lies upon the broad and high mountain range, which is shut in by the two valleys, Jehoshaphat and Hinnom. All the surrounding hills are higher: in the east, the Mount of Olives; on the south, the so-called Hill of Evil Counsel, which ascends from the valley of Hinnom; on the west, the ground rises gently to the border of the great wadi, as described above; while on the north the bend of a ridge which adjoins the Mount of Olives limits the view to the distance of about a mile and a half.” In Zechariah 2:4-5, the protecting care of Jehovah is likened to a wall round the city, instead of to the rampart of mountains, as here.

Psalm 125:2. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem — Defending it, not only from stormy winds and tempests, the force of which these mountains broke, but from the assaults of its enemies. And such a defence is God’s providence to his people. His protection is round about them on every side, and is constant and persevering, from henceforth, says the psalmist, even for ever. Mountains may moulder and come to naught, and the rocks be removed out of their place, (Job 14:18,) but God’s covenant with his people, with those who persevere in faith, love, and obedience, cannot be broken, nor his care of them cease, Isaiah 54:10.125:1-3 All those minds shall be truly stayed, that are stayed on God. They shall be as Mount Zion, firm as it is; a mountain supported by providence, much more as a holy mountain supported by promise. They cannot be removed from confidence in God. They abide for ever in that grace which is the earnest of their everlasting continuance in glory. Committing themselves to God, they shall be safe from their enemies. Even mountains may moulder and come to nothing, and rocks be removed, but God's covenant with his people cannot be broken, nor his care of them cease. Their troubles shall last no longer than their strength will bear them up under them. The rod of the wicked may come, may fall upon the righteous, upon their persons, their estates, their liberties, their families names, on any thing that falls to their lot; only it cannot reach their souls. And though it may come upon their lot, it shall not rest thereon. The Lord will make all work together for their good. The wicked shall only prove a correcting rod, not a destroying sword; even this rod shall not remain upon them, lest they distrust the promise, thinking God has cast them off.As the mountains are round about Jerusalem - Hebrew, "Jerusalem - the mountains are round about her." Jerusalem, except on the north, is encompassed with hills or mountains, so that although the city was built on hills - Zion, Moriah, Bezethah, Acra - it was itself surrounded by hills higher than any of these, and was, in a certain sense, in a valley. See the notes at Matthew 2:1. Compare the notes at Psalm 48:1-14.

So the Lord is round about his people ... - As Jerusalem is thus protected by the hills around, so the people of God are protected by Yahweh. He surrounds the church; he is exalted far above the church; he guards the approaches to the church; he can defend it from all its foes. Under his protection it is safe. Jerusalem, as surrounded by hills and mountains, has thus become an emblem of the church at all times; its security was an emblem of the security of all who trust in the Lord.

PSALM 125

Ps 125:1-5. God honors the confidence of His people, by protection and deliverance, and leaves hypocrites to the doom of the wicked.

1, 2. Mount Zion—as an emblem of permanence, and locality of Jerusalem as one of security, represent the firm and protected condition of God's people (compare Ps 46:5), supported not only by Providence, but by covenant promise. Even the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but God's kindness shall not depart, nor His covenant of peace be removed (Isa 54:10).

They that trust—are "His people," (Ps 125:2).

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem; by which it was defended both from stormy winds and from the assaults of its enemies. As the mountains are round about Jerusalem,.... There was Mount Zion on the side of the north, and the mount of Olives on the east, and other mountains on the other sides of it; so that it was encompassed with them, and was naturally as well as artificially fortified. Tacitus (k) describes Jerusalem as inaccessible, walls and mountains, rocks and towers, surrounding it: and the poet Coerilus (l) makes mention of a people that spoke the Phoenician language, by whom he plainly means the Jews, ' , "that inhabited the mountains of Solyma"; which are spoken of by Homer (m), from whence, according to Tacitus (n), Jerusalem had its name: yet, as Kimchi observes, this did not hinder the enemy from taking it; wherefore the Lord is a greater security to his people;

so the Lord is round about his people, from henceforth even for ever; he encompasses them with his favour and lovingkindness as a shield; he encircles them in the arms of everlasting love; he guards them by his providence all around, and keeps a wakeful and watchful eye over them, that nothing hurts them: he keeps them, as in a garrison, by his almighty power: these are the walls that are around them, yea, he himself is a wall of fire about them, and the glory in the midst of them, Zechariah 2:5; and so he continues; he never leaves his people, nor forsakes them, but is their God and guide even unto death. The Targum is,

"the Word of the Lord is round about his people;''

Christ, the essential Word of God.

(k) Hist. l. 5. c. 11. (l) Apud Euseb. Praerar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 9. (m) Odyss. 5. v. 283. (n) Ut supra. (Hist. l. 5. c. 11.)

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. “All around Jerusalem are higher hills: on the east, the Mount of Olives; on the south, the Hill of Evil Counsel, so called, rising directly from the Vale of Hinnom; on the west the ground rises gently … while on the north, a bend of the ridge connected with the Mount of Olives bounds the prospect at the distance of more than a mile.” Robinson, Biblical Researches, 1. 259. This girdle of mountains is an ever-present symbol to the dweller in Jerusalem of Jehovah’s guardianship of His people. Cp. Zechariah 2:5, “I will be unto her a wall of fire round about.”Verse 2. - As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people. This is the true cause of his people's stability, which is like that of his holy mountain. The ubiquitous God stands round about his people, and protects them on every side. The mountains that am "round about Jerusalem" are, on the east, the Mount of Olives; on the south, the Hill of Evil Counsel; on the west, the ridge beyond the valley of Jehoshaphat; and on the north, the high ground about Scopas. All these are higher than the platform upon which the city is built. From henceforth even forever. Always round about his true people, though he may have to forsake those who have first forsaken him. It is commonly rendered, "If it had not been Jahve who was for us." But, notwithstanding the subject that is placed first (cf. Genesis 23:13), the שׁ belongs to the לוּלי; since in the Aramaizing Hebrew (cf. on the other hand Genesis 31:42) לוּלי שׁ (cf. Arab. lawlâ an) signifies nisi (prop. nisi quod), as in the Aramaic (דּ) שׁ (לואי) לוי, o si (prop. o si quod). The אזי, peculiar to this Psalm in the Old Testament, instead of אז follows the model of the dialectic אדין, Arab. iḏan, Syr. hāden (הידין, הדין). In order to begin the apodosis of לוּלי (לוּלא) emphatically the older language makes use of the confirmatory כּי, Genesis 31:42; Genesis 43:10; here we have אזי (well rendered by the lxx ἄρα), as in Psalm 119:92. The Lamed of היה לנו is raphe in both instances, according to the rule discussed above, p. 373. When men (אדם) rose up against Israel and their anger was kindled against them, they who were feeble in themselves over against the hostile world would have been swallowed up alive if they had not had Jahve for them, if they had not had Him on their side. This "swallowing up alive" is said elsewhere of Hades, which suddenly and forcibly snatches away its victims, Psalm 55:16; Proverbs 1:12; here, however, as Psalm 124:6 shows, it is said of the enemies, who are represented as wild beasts. In Psalm 124:4 the hostile power which rolls over them is likened to an overflowing stream, as in Isaiah 8:7., the Assyrian. נחלה, a stream or river, is Milel; it is first of all accusative: towards the stream (Numbers 34:5); then, however, it is also used as a nominative, like לילה, המּותה, and the like (cf. common Greek ἡ νύχθα, ἡ νεόντητα); so that תה- is related to ת- ( ה-) as נה-, מו- to ן- and ם- (Bttcher, 615). These latest Psalms are fond of such embellishments by means of adorned forms and Aramaic or Aramaizing words. זידונים is a word which is indeed not unhebraic in its formation, but is more indigenous to Chaldee; it is the Targum word for זדים in Psalm 86:14; Psalm 119:51, Psalm 119:78 (also in Psalm 54:5 for זרים), although according to Levy the MSS do not present זידונין but זידנין. In the passage before us the Targum renders: the king who is like to the proud waters (למוי זידוניּא) of the sea (Antiochus Epiphanes? - a Scholium explains οἱ ὑπερήφανοι). With reference to עבר before a plural subject, vid., Ges. 147.
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