See, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Children.—With the true patriarchal feeling of the blessing of a numerous offspring, the poet here directly alludes to Genesis 30:2. “Heritage of Jehovah” is, of course, “heritage from Jehovah,” i.e., a promise granted by Him, just as Israel itself was a possession He made for Himself.Psalm 127:3. Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord — They come not from the power of mere nature, but from God’s blessing, even as an inheritance is not the fruit of a man’s own labour, but the gift of God. He can, in a moment, blast the most fruitful stock, or he can make the barren woman keep house, and become a joyful mother of children. The psalmist mentions children here, because all the forementioned toil and labour are, in a great measure, and most commonly, undertaken for their sakes; and because they are the chief of all those blessings to which he refers. And the fruit of the womb is his reward — Not a reward of debt, merited by good men, but a reward of grace, as the apostle expresses himself, Romans 4:4, which God gives them graciously, as Jacob acknowledges of his children, Genesis 35:5. God indeed frequently gives children, and other outward comforts, to ungodly men, but this is in the way of his common providence; whereas he gives them to his people as peculiar favours, and in the way of promise and covenant.
And the fruit of the womb is his reward - Or rather, "a reward;" that is, they are of the nature of a reward for a life of devotion to God; they are among the blessings which God promises, and are evidences of his favor. Our translation by inserting the words "is his" obscures the sense, as if the meaning were that they belong to God as his "reward" for what he does for us. The reverse of this is the true idea - that they are a blessing with which he rewards or favors his people. Of course, this is not universally true, but the promise is a general one, in accordance with the usual promises in the Bible in regard to the result of piety. Children are to be reckoned among the divine favors bestowed on us, and for their lives, their health, their virtues, and the happiness derived from them, we are, as in other things, dependent on him - as in building a house, in guarding a city, or in the rest and comfort derived from toil.Children; which he mentions here, partly because they are the chief of all these blessings, and partly because all the forementioned toil and labour is in a great measure and most commonly undertaken for their sakes.
Are an heritage of the Lord; they come not from the power of nature, and from a man’s conversation with his wife, or with a multitude of wives or concubines, which Solomon had, but only from God’s blessing; even as an inheritance is not the fruit of a man’s own labour, but the gift of his father, or rather the gift of God, both enabling and inclining his father to give it to him.
His reward; not a reward of debt merited by good men, but a reward of grace, of which we read Romans 4:4, which God gives them graciously, as Jacob acknowledgeth of his children, Genesis 33:5. And although God give children and other outward comforts to ungodly men in the way of common providence, yet he gives them only to his people as favours, and in the way of promise and covenant.
and the fruit of the womb is his reward; "fruit" (y) is the same with "children" in the preceding clause; see Luke 1:42; a reward he gives to good men, not of debt, but of grace; the Targum,
"a reward of good works:''
so regenerate persons are a reward to Christ, of his sufferings and death, Isaiah 53:10.Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. Lo, sons axe an inheritance from Jehovah;
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
As He bestowed upon Israel the possession of Canaan (Exodus 15:17; Deuteronomy 4:21), not as an hereditary right, but of His own free-will, in accordance with His promise, so of His free gift and grace does He bestow the blessing of numerous children. The P.B.V. well expresses the sense, “Lo, children and the fruit of the womb are an heritage and gift that cometh of the Lord.” If the thought of recompence is included at all in ‘reward,’ it is, in accordance with the spirit of Psalm 127:1-2, as a recompence for the fear of God (cp. 128) that children are given, not, as the Targum glosses, introducing the later Jewish doctrine of merit, as a reward for good works.
the fruit of the womb] A more general expression including daughters. Cp. Psalm 132:11; Genesis 30:2; Deuteronomy 7:13.
3–5. All blessings are God’s gift, but especially the blessing of a numerous family. In dilating upon its advantages the Psalmist passes away from the primary theme of the Psalm.Verse 3. - Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord. The teaching is enforced by an example. The prosperity, alike of states and of individuals, depends on nothing so much as on an abundant progeny of children. But children are manifestly the free gift of God. And the fruit of the womb is his reward. One of the ways in which he rewards his faithful ones (see Deuteronomy 28:10:11). Isaiah 1:9; Genesis 47:25, or others where והיינו is perf. consec., are appealed to in order to prove that היינוּ כּחלמים may signify erimus quasi somniantes, they are instances that are different in point of syntax. Any other rendering than that of the lxx is here impossible, viz.: Ἐν τῷ ἐπιστρέψαι κύριον τὴν αἰχμαλωσίαν Σιὼν ἐγενήθημεν ὡς παρακεκλημένοι (כּנחמים? - Jerome correctly, quasi somniantes). It is, however, just as erroneous when Jerome goes on to render: tunc implebitur risu os nostrum; for it is true the future after אז has a future signification in passages where the context relates to matters of future history, as in Psalm 96:12; Zephaniah 3:9, but it always has the signification of the imperfect after the key-note of the historical past has once been struck, Exodus 15:1; Joshua 8:30; Joshua 10:12; 1 Kings 11:7; 1 Kings 16:21; 2 Kings 15:16; Job 38:21; it is therefore, tunc implebatur. It is the exiles at home again upon the soil of their fatherland who here cast back a glance into the happy time when their destiny suddenly took another turn, by the God of Israel disposing the heart of the conqueror of Babylon to set them at liberty, and to send them to their native land in an honourable manner. שׁיבת is not equivalent to שׁבית, nor is there any necessity to read it thus (Olshausen, Bצttcher, and Hupfeld). שׁיבה (from שׁוּב, like בּיאה, קימה) signifies the return, and then those returning; it is, certainly, an innovation of this very late poet. When Jahve brought home the homeward-bound ones of Zion - the poet means to say - we were as dreamers. Does he mean by this that the long seventy years' term of affliction lay behind us like a vanished dream (Joseph Kimchi), or that the redemption that broke upon us so suddenly seemed to us at first not to be a reality but a beautiful dream? The tenor of the language favours the latter: as those not really passing through such circumstances, but only dreaming. Then - the poet goes on to say - our mouth was filled with laughter (Job 8:21) and our tongue with a shout of joy, inasmuch, namely, as the impression of the good fortune which contrasted so strongly with our trouble hitherto, compelled us to open our mouth wide in order that our joy might break forth in a full stream, and our jubilant mood impelled our tongue to utter shouts of joy, which knew no limit because of the inexhaustible matter of our rejoicing. And how awe-inspiring was Israel's position at that time among the peoples! and what astonishment the marvellous change of Israel's lot produced upon them! Even the heathen confessed that it was Jahve's work, and that He had done great things for them (Joel 2:20., 1 Samuel 12:24) - the glorious predictions of Isaiah, as in Psalm 45:14; Psalm 52:10, and elsewhere, were being fulfilled. The church on its part seals that confession coming from the mouth of the heathen. This it is that made them so joyful, that God had acknowledged them by such a mighty deed.
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