Psalm 127:1
New International Version
A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

New Living Translation
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.

English Standard Version
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Berean Study Bible
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain; unless the LORD protects the city, its watchmen stand guard in vain.

New American Standard Bible
A Song of Ascents, of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

King James Bible
A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Christian Standard Bible
Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the LORD watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.

Contemporary English Version
Without the help of the LORD it is useless to build a home or to guard a city.

Good News Translation
If the LORD does not build the house, the work of the builders is useless; if the LORD does not protect the city, it does no good for the sentries to stand guard.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A Solomonic song of ascents. Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the LORD watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.

International Standard Version
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor uselessly. Unless the LORD guards the city, its security forces keep watch uselessly.

NET Bible
A song of ascents, by Solomon. If the LORD does not build a house, then those who build it work in vain. If the LORD does not guard a city, then the watchman stands guard in vain.

New Heart English Bible
[A Song of Ascents. By Solomon.] Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman guards it in vain.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If Lord Jehovah does not build the house, its builders labor uselessly, and if Lord Jehovah does not keep the city, its keepers wake up uselessly.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[A song by Solomon for going up to worship.] If the LORD does not build the house, it is useless for the builders to work on it. If the LORD does not protect a city, it is useless for the guard to stay alert.

JPS Tanakh 1917
A Song of Ascents; of Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, They labour in vain that build it; Except the LORD keep the city, The watchman waketh but in vain.

New American Standard 1977
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain that build it; unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchmen watch in vain.

King James 2000 Bible
Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain that build it: unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman wakes, but in vain.

American King James Version
Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.

American Standard Version
Except Jehovah build the house, They labor in vain that build it: Except Jehovah keep the city, The watchman waketh but in vain.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
A Song of Degrees. Except the Lord build the house, they that build labour in vain: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman watches in vain.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it.

Darby Bible Translation
{A Song of degrees. Of Solomon.} Unless Jehovah build the house, in vain do its builders labour in it; unless Jehovah keep the city, the keeper watcheth in vain:

English Revised Version
A Song of Ascents; of Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

Webster's Bible Translation
A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD shall build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD shall keep the city, the watchman waketh in vain.

World English Bible
Unless Yahweh builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless Yahweh watches over the city, the watchman guards it in vain.

Young's Literal Translation
A Song of the Ascents, by Solomon. If Jehovah doth not build the house, In vain have its builders laboured at it, If Jehovah doth not watch a city, In vain hath a watchman waked.
Study Bible
Children are a Heritage From the LORD
1A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain; unless the LORD protects the city, its watchmen stand guard in vain. 2In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for bread to eat—for He gives sleep to His beloved.…
Cross References
Leviticus 26:20
and your strength will be spent in vain. For your land will not yield its produce, and the trees of the land will not bear their fruit.

Psalm 78:69
He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth He has established forever.

Psalm 121:3
He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.

Psalm 121:4
Behold, the Protector of Israel will not slumber or sleep.

Psalm 126:6
He who goes out weeping, bearing a trail of seed, will surely return with shouts of joy, carrying sheaves of grain.

Treasury of Scripture

Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.

A Song.

Psalm 120:1
A Song of degrees. In my distress I cried unto the LORD, and he heard me.

Psalm 121:1
A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Psalm 122:1
A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.

for Solomon.

Psalm 72:1
A Psalm for Solomon. Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.

The Lord

Psalm 33:16-18
There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength…

Proverbs 16:9
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

Proverbs 21:30,31
There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD…

build

1 Chronicles 22:10,11
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever…

1 Chronicles 28:10,20
Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it

1 Chronicles 29:19
And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

they labour

1 Corinthians 15:14
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Galatians 4:11
I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

that build it.

Psalm 121:3-5
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber…

Isaiah 27:3
I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.







Lexicon
A Song
שִׁ֥יר (šîr)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 7892: A song, singing

of Ascents.
הַֽמַּֽעֲל֗וֹת (ham·ma·‘ă·lō·wṯ)
Article | Noun - feminine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4609: Elevation, the act, the condition, a climactic progression

Of Solomon.
לִשְׁלֹ֫מֹ֥ה (liš·lō·mōh)
Preposition-l | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8010: Solomon -- David's son and successor to his throne

Unless
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

the LORD
יְהוָ֤ה ׀ (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

builds
יִבְנֶ֬ה (yiḇ·neh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1129: To build

the house,
בַ֗יִת (ḇa·yiṯ)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1004: A house

its builders
בוֹנָ֣יו (ḇō·w·nāw)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1129: To build

labor
עָמְל֣וּ (‘ā·mə·lū)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person common plural
Strong's Hebrew 5998: To toil, work severely and with irksomeness

in
בּ֑וֹ (bōw)
Preposition | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew

vain;
שָׁ֤וְא ׀ (šāw)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7723: Evil, idolatry, uselessness

unless
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

the LORD
יְהוָ֥ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

protects
יִשְׁמָר־ (yiš·mār-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

the city,
עִ֝֗יר (‘îr)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5892: Excitement

its watchmen
שׁוֹמֵֽר׃ (šō·w·mêr)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8104: To hedge about, guard, to protect, attend to

stand guard
שָׁקַ֬ד (šā·qaḏ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8245: To be alert, sleepless, to be on the lookout

in vain.
שָׁ֤וְא ׀ (šāw)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7723: Evil, idolatry, uselessness
(1) House.--A house, any house, not the Temple. The thought is a general one. Even in the common labours of men, it is the Divine blessing which contributes the success. An Gottes Segen ist alles gelegen.

Waketh.--Perhaps better, watcheth. The house that has been built with such toil, the city which has been planned with such skill, may suddenly fall before the midnight attack of the robber or the enemy, in spite of the strictest police, unless God's vigilant providence preserve it.

Verse 1. - Except the Lord build the house; rather, a house; i.e. any house whatsoever. They labor in vain that build it. They will effect nothing - no house will be built. Except the Lord keep the city; rather, a city. The watchman waketh but in vain. Human watching is of no use unless accompanied by Divine watching. 127:1-5 The value of the Divine blessing. - Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing. 1. For raising a family. If God be not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless he crowns them with success. 2. For the safety of a family or a city. Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen, though they neither slumber nor sleep, wake but in vain; mischief may break out, which even early discoveries may not be able to prevent. 3. For enriching a family. Some are so eager upon the world, that they are continually full of care, which makes their comforts bitter, and their lives a burden. All this is to get money; but all in vain, except God prosper them: while those who love the Lord, using due diligence in their lawful callings, and casting all their care upon him, have needful success, without uneasiness or vexation. Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world. But we must use the proper means very diligently. Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust in him. They are a great support and defence to a family. Children who are young, may be directed aright to the mark, God's glory, and the service of their generation; but when they are gone into the world, they are arrows out of the hand, it is too late to direct them then. But these arrows in the hand too often prove arrows in the heart, a grief to godly parents. Yet, if trained according to God's word, they generally prove the best defence in declining years, remembering their obligations to their parents, and taking care of them in old age. All earthly comforts are uncertain, but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him; and those who seek the conversion of sinners, will find that their spiritual children are their joy and crown in the day of Jesus Christ.
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OT Poetry: Psalm 127:1 A Song of Ascents (Psalm Ps Psa.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Psalm 126:6
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