Psalm 128:5
The LORD shall bless you out of Zion: and you shall see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Shall . . . shalt.—Here and in the next verse the optative is plainly required: “May Jehovah,” &c; “mayst thou see,” &c. The patriotic sentiment could not wait long for expression in such a psalm. No people ever perceived more strongly than the Jews the connection between the welfare of the state and that of the family.

Psalm 128:5-6. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion — Where the ark of the covenant was, and where the pious Israelites attended to offer their devotions. He will bless thee with those spiritual and everlasting blessings which are to be had nowhere but in Zion, and from the God who dwells in Zion, blessings which flow, not from common providence, but from special grace, and with all other mercies which thou shalt ask of God in Zion. And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem — The prosperity of that city to which thou belongest, and which is the only seat of God’s worship and special presence, and whose good, therefore, is very delightful to every pious Israelite, and upon whose peace and safety those of every citizen of it depend, as every seaman is concerned in the safety of the ship in which he sails. Thou shalt see thy children’s children — Thy family shall be built up and continued, and thou shalt have the pleasure of seeing it; and peace upon Israel — Not only upon Jerusalem, and parts adjacent, but upon all the tribes and people of Israel. Thy private comforts shall not be allayed and imbittered by public troubles, but thou shalt see the welfare of God’s church and of thy native country, which every man that fears God is no less concerned for than for the prosperity of his own family. For a good man can have little comfort in seeing his children’s children, unless, withal, he sees peace upon Israel, and have hopes of transmitting the entail of religion, pure and entire, to those that shall come after him. 128:1-6 The blessings of those who fear God. - Only those who are truly holy, are truly happy. In vain do we pretend to be of those that fear God, if we do not make conscience of keeping stedfastly to his ways. Blessed is every one that fears the Lord; whether he be high or low, rich or poor in the world. If thou fear him and walk in his ways, all shall be well with thee while thou livest, better when thou diest, best of all in eternity. By the blessing of God, the godly shall get an honest livelihood. Here is a double promise; they shall have something to do, for an idle life is a miserable, uncomfortable life, and shall have health and strength, and power of mind to do it. They shall not be forced to live upon the labours of other people. It is as much a mercy as a duty, with quietness to work and eat our own bread. They and theirs shall enjoy what they get. Such as fear the Lord and walk in his ways, are the only happy persons, whatever their station in life may be. They shall have abundant comfort in their family relations. And they shall have all the good things God has promised, and which they pray for. A good man can have little comfort in seeing his children's children, unless he sees peace upon Israel. Every true believer rejoices in the prosperity of the church. Hereafter we shall see greater things, with the everlasting peace and rest that remain for the Israel of God.The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion - Will not merely bless thee in the field and in the house, but will add blessings that seem to come more directly out of Zion, or that seem to be more directly connected with religion: shall bless thee with religious influences in thine own family; shall bless thee by permitting thee to see the growth of the church and the conversion of souls.

And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem - The prosperity, the happiness of Jerusalem: that is, the good of the church; the advancement of pure religion. The Hebrew might be rendered, "And look thou upon the good of Jerusalem" - in the imperative; and, thus rendered, it would be a command to regard, in these circumstances, the welfare of Jerusalem, or the prosperity of the church; but the language will also admit of the other construction, and the connection seems to require it. Thus understood, it is a promise that he who is referred to would be permitted to enjoy a view of the continual prosperity of religion in the world.

All the days of thy life - To the very close of life. No higher blessing could be promised to a pious man than that he should see religion always prospering; that the last view which he would have of the world should be the rapid advances of religion; that he should die in a revival of religion.

5. In temporal blessings the pious do not forget the richer blessings of God's grace, which they shall ever enjoy. Out of Zion; from the ark in Zion, and with those spiritual and everlasting blessings which are to be had no where but in Zion, and from the God who dwelleth in Zion, and with all other mercies which thou shalt ask of God in Zion.

The good of Jerusalem; the prosperity of that city to which thou belongest, and which is the only seat of God’s special presence, and of his worship, whose felicity therefore is very delightful to every good man, and upon whose peace the peace and safety of every member of it depends, as every seaman is concerned in the safety of the ship in which he is. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion,.... The church of God, where he dwells, out of which he shines, even the Word of the Lord, as the Targum in the king's Bible; and where he commands his blessings of grace to descend on his people, even life for evermore, Psalm 133:3. Here he blesses them with his word and ordinances, which are the goodness and fatness of his house, and with his presence in them; so that the man that fears God is blessed, not only in his person, and in his family, but in the house of God; see Psalm 118:26;

and thou shall see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life; the goodness of God in Jerusalem, which is another name for the church of God; the beauty of the Lord in his house and ordinances; his power and his glory in the sanctuary: or should see the church of God in prosperous circumstances all his days; true religion flourish, the power of godliness in the professors of it; the word and ordinances blessed to the edification of saints, and many sinners converted and gathered in. This may be applied to Christ, Isaiah 53:11.

The LORD shall {d} bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of {e} Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

(d) Because of the spiritual blessing which God has made to his Church, these temporal things will be granted.

(e) For unless God blessed his Church publicly, this private blessing was nothing.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. The Lord shall bless thee] It is possible to render thus, and to take the imperatives in the next two lines (lit. and see thou) as equivalent to emphatic futures (cp. Genesis 12:2): but it is preferable to render, Jehovah bless thee … that thou mayest see the welfare of Jerusalem … yea, see thy sons’ sons. See Driver, Tenses, § 65.

out of Zion] Where He sits enthroned as King. Cp. Psalm 134:3; Psalm 114:7; Psalm 20:2.Verse 5. - The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion. To the Israelite all blessings came out of Zion, which he regarded as God's earthly dwelling-place. And thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. The "good of Jerusalem" seems to mean here the "good fortune," or "prosperity," of Jerusalem. To see this would add still further to the blessedness of God's faithful servant. With הנּה it goes on to refer to a specially striking example in support of the maxim that everything depends upon God's blessing. פּרי הבּטן (Genesis 30:2; Deuteronomy 7:13) beside בּנים also admits of the including of daughters. It is with בּנים (recalling Genesis 30:18) just as with נהלת. Just as the latter in this passage denotes an inheritance not according to hereditary right, but in accordance with the free-will of the giver, so the former denotes not a reward that is paid out as in duty bound, but a recompense that is bestowed according to one's free judgment, and in fact looked for in accordance with a promise given, but cannot by any means be demanded. Sons are a blessed gift from above. They are - especially when they are the offspring of a youthful marriage (opp. בּן־זקנים, Genesis 37:3; Genesis 44:20), and accordingly themselves strong and hearty (Genesis 49:3), and at the time that the father is growing old are in the bloom of their years - like arrows in the hand of a warrior. This is a comparison which the circumstances of his time made natural to the poet, in which the sword was carried side by side with the trowel, and the work of national restoration had to be defended step by step against open enemies, envious neighbours, and false brethren. It was not sufficient then to have arrows in the quiver; one was obligated to have them not merely at hand, but in the hand (בּיד), in order to be able to discharge them and defend one's self. What a treasure, in such a time when it was needful to be constantly ready for fighting, defensive or offensive, was that which youthful sons afforded to the elderly father and weaker members of the family! Happy is the man - the poet exclaims - who has his quiver, i.e., his house, full of such arrows, in order to be able to deal out to the enemies as many arrows as may be needed. The father and such a host of sons surrounding him (this is the complex notion of the subject) form a phalanx not to be broken through. If they have to speak with enemies in the gate - i.e., candidly to upbraid them with their wrong, or to ward off their unjust accusation - they shall not be ashamed, i.e., not be overawed, disheartened, or disarmed. Gesenius in his Thesaurus, as Ibn-Jachja has already done, takes דּבּר here in the signification "to destroy;" but in Genesis 34:13 this Piel signifies to deal behind one's back (deceitfully), and in 2 Chronicles 22:10 to get rid of by assassination. This shade of the notion, which proceeds from Arab. dbr, pone esse (vid., Psalm 18:48; Psalm 28:2), does not suit the passage before us, and the expression לא־יבשׁוּ is favourable to the idea of the gate as being the forum, which arises from taking ידברו in its ordinary signification. Unjust judges, malicious accusers, and false witnesses retire shy and faint-hearted before a family so capable of defending itself. We read the opposite of this in Job 5:4 of sons upon whom the curse of their fathers rests.
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