Psalm 129:2
Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
129:1-4 The enemies of God's people have very barbarously endeavoured to wear out the saints of the Most High. But the church has been always graciously delivered. Christ has built his church upon a rock. And the Lord has many ways of disabling wicked men from doing the mischief they design against his church. The Lord is righteous in not suffering Israel to be ruined; he has promised to preserve a people to himself.Many a time ... - This repetition is designed to fix the thoughts on the fact, and to impress it on the mind. The mind dwells on the fact as important in its bearing on the present occasion or emergency. The idea is, that it is no new thing to be thus afflicted. It has often occurred. It is a matter of long and almost constant experience. Our enemies have often attempted to destroy us, but in vain. What we experience now we have often experienced, and when thus tried we have been as often delivered, and have nothing now therefore to fear. We are not to regard it as a strange thing that we are now afflicted; and we are not to be discouraged or disheartened as if our enemies could overcome us, for they have often tried it in vain. He who has protected us heretofore can protect us still. He who defended us before can defend us now, and the past furnishes an assurance that be will defend us if it is best that we should be protected. It does much to support us in affliction if we can recall to mind the consolations which we had in former trials, and can avail ourselves of the result of past experience in supporting us now.

Yet they have not prevailed against me - They have never been able to overcome us. We were safe then in the divine hands; we shall be safe in the same hands now.

2. prevailed—literally, "been able," that is, to accomplish their purpose against me (Ps 13:4). No text from Poole on this verse. Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth,.... This is repeated for the confirmation of it, to excite attention to it, and to express the vehement affection of the speaker;

yet they have not prevailed against me; the Egyptians could not prevail against literal Israel; the more they were afflicted, the more they grew and multiplied; in the times of the Judges, one after another were raised up as deliverers of them; neither the Assyrians, Chaldeans, nor Romans, nor any other, have been able to cut them off from being a nation; they continue to this day: the enemies of the church of Christ, even the gates of hell, have not been able to prevail against it, being built upon a rock, so as to extirpate and destroy it, neither by open and cruel persecutors, nor by secret and fraudulent heretics; nor could the enemies of the Messiah prevail against him, for though they brought him to the dust of death, they could not hold him in it; and they themselves, through his death, were conquered by him, as sin, Satan, the world, and death itself; nor can the enemies of the saints prevail against them, God being on their side, Christ making them more than conquerors, the Spirit in them being greater than he that is in the world.

Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. yet they have not prevailed against me] Cp. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.Verse 2. - Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth. The repetition emphasizes the fact of Israel's long and bitter suffering. Yet they have not prevailed against me. Israel has not been given as a prey to the heathen's teeth (Psalm 124:6). She is still a nation, unsubdued; she holds her own; the struggle is not ended. The כּי in Psalm 128:2 signifies neither "for" (Aquila, κόπον τῶν ταρσῶν σου ὅτι φάγεσαι), nor "when" (Symmachus, κόπον χειρῶν σου ἐωθίων); it is the directly affirmative כּי, which is sometimes thus placed after other words in a clause (Psalm 118:10-12, Genesis 18:20; Genesis 41:32). The proof in favour of this asseverating כּי is the very usual כּי עתּה in the apodoses of hypothetical protases, or even כּי־אז in Job 11:15, or also only כּי in Isaiah 7:9, 1 Samuel 14:39; "surely then;" the transition from the confirmative to the affirmative signification is evident from Psalm 128:4 of the Psalm before us. To support one's self by one's own labour is a duty which even a Paul did not wish to avoid (Acts 20:34), and so it is a great good fortune (טוב לך as in Psalm 119:71) to eat the produce of the labour of one's own hands (lxx , τοὺς καρποὺς τῶν πόνων, or according to an original reading, τοὺς πὸνους τῶν καρπῶν);

(Note: The fact that the τῶν καρπῶν of the lxx here, as in Proverbs 31:20, is intended to refer to the hands is noted by Theodoret and also by Didymus (in Rosenmuller): καρποὺς φησὶνῦν ὡς ἀπὸ μέρους τὰς χεῖρας (i.e., per synecdochen partis pro toto), τουτέστι τῶν πρακτικῶν σου δυνάμεων φάγεσαι τοὺς πόνους.)

For he who can make himself useful to others and still is also independent of them, he eats the bread of blessing which God gives, which is sweeter than the bread of charity which men give. In close connection with this is the prosperity of a house that is at peace and contented within itself, of an amiable and tranquil and hopeful (rich in hope) family life. "Thy wife (אשׁתּך, found only here, for אשׁתּך) is as a fruit-producing vine." פּריּה for פּרה, from פּרה equals פּרי, with the Jod of the root retained, like בוכיּה, Lamentations 1:16. The figure of the vine is admirably suited to the wife, who is a shoot or sprig of the husband, and stands in need of the man's support as the vine needs a stick or the wall of a house (pergula). בּירכּתי ביתך does not belong to the figure, as Kimchi is of opinion, who thinks of a vine starting out of the room and climbing up in the open air outside. What is meant is the angle, corner, or nook (ירכּתי, in relation to things and artificial, equivalent to the natural ירכי), i.e., the background, the privacy of the house, where the housewife, who is not to be seen much out of doors, leads a quiet life, entirely devoted to the happiness of her husband and her family. The children springing from such a nobel vine, planted around the family table, are like olive shoots or cuttings; cf. in Euripides, Medea, 1098: τέκνων ἐν οἴκοις γλυκερὸν βλάστημα, and Herc. Fur. 839: καλλίπαις στέφανος. thus fresh as young layered small olive-trees and thus promising are they.

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