Psalm 127:2
New International Version
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.

New Living Translation
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

English Standard Version
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Berean Study Bible
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for bread to eat—for He gives sleep to His beloved.

New American Standard Bible
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

King James Bible
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Christian Standard Bible
In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food-- yes, he gives sleep to the one he loves.

Contemporary English Version
It is useless to get up early and stay up late in order to earn a living. God takes care of his own, even while they sleep.

Good News Translation
It is useless to work so hard for a living, getting up early and going to bed late. For the LORD provides for those he loves, while they are asleep.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In vain you get up early and stay up late, working hard to have enough food-- yes, He gives sleep to the one He loves.

International Standard Version
It is useless to get up early and to stay up late, eating the food of exhausting labor— truly he gives sleep to those he loves.

NET Bible
It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.

New Heart English Bible
It is vain for you to rise up early, to stay up late, eating the bread of toil; for he gives sleep to his loved ones.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Those who will rise early and are late to sit down eating bread, in sorrows, are worthless, so he will give his beloved ones sleep.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
It is useless to work hard for the food you eat by getting up early and going to bed late. The LORD gives [food] to those he loves while they sleep.

JPS Tanakh 1917
It is vain for you that ye rise early, and sit up late, Ye that eat the bread of toil; So He giveth unto His beloved in sleep.

New American Standard 1977
It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Jubilee Bible 2000
It is vain for you to rise up early, to come home late, to eat the bread of sorrows, because he shall give his beloved sleep.

King James 2000 Bible
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.

American King James Version
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.

American Standard Version
It is vain for you to rise up early, To take rest late, To eat the bread of toil; For'so he giveth unto his beloved sleep.

Douay-Rheims Bible
It is vain for you to rise before light, rise ye after you have sitten, you that eat the bread of sorrow. When he shall give sleep to his beloved,

Darby Bible Translation
It is vain for you to rise up early, to lie down late, to eat the bread of sorrows: so to his beloved one he giveth sleep.

English Revised Version
It is vain for you that ye rise up early, and so late take rest, and eat the bread of toil: for so he giveth unto his beloved sleep.

Webster's Bible Translation
It is vain for you to rise early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

World English Bible
It is vain for you to rise up early, to stay up late, eating the bread of toil; for he gives sleep to his loved ones.

Young's Literal Translation
Vain for you who are rising early, Who delay sitting, eating the bread of griefs, So He giveth to His beloved one sleep.
Study Bible HEB ▾ 
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. 3Children are indeed a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.…
Cross References
Genesis 3:17
And to Adam He said: "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree from which I commanded you not to eat, cursed is the ground because of you; through toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

Genesis 3:19
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your bread, until you return to the ground--because out of it were you taken. For dust you are, and to dust you shall return."

Job 11:18
You will be secure, because there is hope, and you will look around and lie down in safety.

Job 11:19
You will lie down without fear, and many will court your favor.

Psalm 39:6
Surely every man goes about like a phantom; surely he bustles in vain; he heaps up riches not knowing who will haul them away.

Psalm 60:5
Save us with Your right hand; answer us, that those You love may be delivered.

Proverbs 3:24
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you rest, your sleep will be sweet.

Ecclesiastes 2:23
Indeed, all his days are filled with grief, and his task is sorrowful; even at night, his mind does not rest. This too is futile.

Ecclesiastes 5:12
The sleep of the worker is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of the rich man permits him no sleep.

Ecclesiastes 5:17
Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness, with much sorrow, sickness, and anger.

Treasury of Scripture

It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.

vain

Psalm 39:5,6 Behold, you have made my days as an handbreadth; and my age is as …

Ecclesiastes 1:14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, …

Ecclesiastes 2:1-11,20-23 I said in my heart, Go to now, I will prove you with mirth, therefore …

Ecclesiastes 4:8 There is one alone, and there is not a second; yes, he has neither …

rise up

Proverbs 31:15-18 She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, …

the bread

Genesis 3:17-19 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your …

Ecclesiastes 6:7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.

for so he

Psalm 3:5 I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for you, LORD, only …

Ecclesiastes 5:12 The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: …

Jeremiah 31:26 On this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet to me.

Ezekiel 34:25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the …

Acts 12:5,6 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing …







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

you
לָכֶ֨ם ׀ (lā·ḵem)
Preposition | second person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew

rise
ק֡וּם (qūm)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 6965: To arise, stand up, stand

early
מַשְׁכִּ֪ימֵי (maš·kî·mê)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 7925: To load up, to start early in the morning

and stay up
שֶׁ֗בֶת (še·ḇeṯ)
Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 3427: To sit down, to dwell, to remain, to settle, to marry

late,
מְאַֽחֲרֵי־ (mə·’a·ḥă·rê-)
Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 309: To loiter, to procrastinate

toiling
הָעֲצָבִ֑ים (hā·‘ă·ṣā·ḇîm)
Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6089: An earthen vessel, toil, a pang

for bread
לֶ֣חֶם (le·ḥem)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3899: Food, bread, grain

to eat—
אֹ֭כְלֵי (’ō·ḵə·lê)
Verb - Qal - Participle - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 398: To eat

for
כֵּ֤ן (kên)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3651: So -- thus

He gives
יִתֵּ֖ן (yit·tên)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5414: To give, put, set

sleep
שֵׁנָֽא׃ (šê·nā)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8142: Sleep

to His beloved.
לִֽידִיד֣וֹ (lî·ḏî·ḏōw)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3039: Beloved
(2) It . . . sleep.--This verse, of the literal rendering of which there is no question, has met with many different interpretations. About the first clause there is no difference. Early rising, to pursue the business of the day, is vain without the Divine blessing on the labour. The next two clauses admit two different interpretations. Some connect the sitting down with the meal: "delaying to sit down and eat the bread of cares" (or sorrow), i.e., so immersed in business as to allow hardly time for meals. But it seems far more natural to take the Hebrew in its more extended sense of resting, and so explain, nearly as the Authorised Version:--

"It is in vain to rise early;

To delay the hour of rest,

To eat the bread that has been won by toil;

At His pleasure He giveth to His beloved (in) sleep."

As to the last clause, it seems right, from its use in Genesis 1, "it was so," to give so the sense "at His pleasure," this being also indicated by the general drift of the psalm. The word "sleep" may be either the direct object, as in the LXX. and Vulg., or the accusative used adverbially, "in sleep," "while they sleep." That the latter suits the context best there can be no question. The whole intention of the psalm is to assert the truth which the Book of Proverbs sums up in one sentence (Proverbs 10:22): "The blessing of Jehovah maketh rich, and toil can add nothing thereto," the truth which was so impressively taught in the Sermon on the Mount, by the contrast of man's restless ambition with the unconscious dependence on the Divine bounty of birds and flowers. To say that what others toil for from morning till night in vain, God gives to His beloved without all this anxiety and exertion, while they sleep, puts this truth forcibly, and with that disregard of apparent paradox which was natural to a Hebrew, and which appears so prominently in our Saviour's treatment of the subject. Labour is decried as unnecessary neither here nor in the Sermon on the Mount, but "carking care" is dismissed as unworthy those who, from past experience, ought to trust the goodness of the great Provider. The Greek proverb, "The net catches while the fisher sleeps," and the German, "God bestows His gifts during the night," bring common expressions to confirm this voice of inspiration, which was, in almost so many words, recalled in our Lord's parable (Mark 4:27). But old association pleads for the equally true and equally beautiful rendering which makes sleep the gift of God. If there is one thing which seems to come more direct from Heaven's bounty than another, that in its character is more benign, in its effects more akin to the nature of God, it is the blessing of sleep. In all times men have rendered thanks to Heaven for this boon. The ancients not only spoke of sleep as "most grateful of known gifts," but made itself a god. The psalmist unconsciously, but most truly, teaches us the further lesson that it is not only a Divine blessing, but a proof of Divine love:

"Of all the thoughts of God that are

Borne inward unto souls afar,

Across the psalmist's music deep,

Now tell me if that any is

For gift or grace surpassing this--

He giveth His beloved sleep."

MRS. BROWNING.

Verse 2. - It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late (comp. Isaiah 5:11); i.e. to be "careful and troubled" about your work in the world, whatever it is. To eat the bread of sorrows. To feed, as it were, on sorrow - and trouble and care - to make your lives a burden to yourselves through your carefulness. For so he giveth his beloved sleep; rather, surely he giveth to his beloved in sleep; i.e. in their sleep. The teaching is similar to that of Exodus 14:14; Isaiah 30:7, 15; Matthew 6:25-34. God gives to men that which he knows they have need of, if they have only the faith to "sit still" and "wait." 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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