Psalms for Climbing Psalms 120-134

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Psalms for Climbing

Psalms 120-134

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalms 120-134

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains the other words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.

Jesus said, "We will go up to Jerusalem" (Luke 18:31).

The Story of Psalms 120-134

These 15 psalms are called "Songs of Ascent" in many Bibles. "Ascent" means "going up". This translation calls it "climbing". But what are we climbing? Bible students give us 4 answers:

     ·    One line in the psalm "climbs" on the line in front of it. This means that it repeats the line. Read the start of Psalm 124 for an example.

     ·    There were 15 steps from where the women stood to where the men stood outside the *temple. The *temple was God's house in Jerusalem. As the men climbed the steps, they sang one psalm on each step. This is why most of the psalms for climbing are short.

     ·    Jerusalem was on the top of a hill called "Zion". The *Jews often went to Jerusalem to worship God at the *temple. "Worship" means "Tell God how *wonderful that he is. And tell him that you love him". The *Jews sang these psalms for climbing as they went up to Jerusalem.

     ·    Hezekiah was a king of the *Jews. He was so ill that he thought he would soon die. He prayed for a longer life. God made the clock "climb" back 10 degrees. This was about an hour. It was a sign that Hezekiah would live another 15 years. Hezekiah made a book of 15 psalms, 10 of them new, the other 5 by David and Solomon. The story is in Isaiah chapter 38.

We do not know which of these is the true answer. It may be something else! Perhaps answers 3 and 4 are the true answers.

Who wrote the psalms for climbing? Some are by David, and one or two are by Solomon. Solomon was David’s son. The other psalms for climbing may be by Hezekiah or one of his friends like Isaiah; or by Ezra or Nehemiah. Ezra and Nehemiah were leaders of the *Jews 500 years after Solomon built the *temple, or 250 years after Hezekiah was king. This was when the *Jews made the Book of Psalms. The psalms for climbing were part of this Book of Psalms.

Psalm 120

Psalm 120

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      I cried to the *LORD in my trouble
       and he answered me.

v2      *LORD, save me from lips that tell *lies.
     And save me from a false *tongue.

v3      What will he do to you
       and what else will happen to you, you false *tongue?

v4      The sharp *arrows of a soldier (will hurt you),
       like wood that is burning.

v5      It is bad for me to live in Mesech,
       with a home among the *tents of Kedar.

v6      I have lived too long with the people that hate *peace.

v7      I want *peace, but when I say this they want war.

What Psalm 120 means

The *LORD has given help to the *psalmist (verse 1), so he prays for help again (verse 2). The *psalmist wrote the psalm. Lies are words that are not true. A false *tongue tells lies. The *tongue is the part of our mouth that talks. And it tastes things. Verse 4 tells us that God will *punish (or hurt because they did wrong) some people. They are the people that live near the *psalmist. Arrows are sharp sticks that a bow shoots. Mesech and Kedar were places where bad people lived. A *tent is a small house that people make out of animal skins. People could move it easily. The *psalmist wanted to live in *peace. *Peace is when there is no war. But the people of Mesech and Kedar wanted war!

The word *LORD is a special Bible word. It is one of God’s many names. It is his *covenant name. A *covenant is when two people (or groups of people) agree. Here, God agreed to love his people and send them help. His people agreed to love and obey God. *LORD is "Yahweh" in Hebrew. Hebrew is the language that the *psalmist spoke. There is another word "*Lord". This means "master" or "someone with authority". Often it is a name for God, but not in this psalm.

Something to do

Some people want *peace. But they have to live in places where most people want war. Pray for those people.

Psalm 121

Psalm 121

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      When I look up to the hills I find no help there.

v2      My help comes from the *LORD.
     He made the *heaven and the earth.

v3      He will not let your foot *slide.
     The one that *guards you will not sleep.

v4      It is certain that he will not sleep.
     The one that *guards Israel will never sleep.

v5      The *LORD is the one that *guards you.
     The *LORD is near you to *protect you.

v6      The sun will not hurt you in the day,
       nor the moon at night.

v7      The *LORD is the one that *guards you from all danger.
     He is the one that *guards your life.

v8      The *LORD *guards you when you go out.
     And he *guards you when you come in.
     (He will do this) now and always.

What Psalm 121 means

If you travelled from home to Jerusalem, you would go through dangerous places. You would need someone to *protect you and guard you. "*Protect you" and "guard you" mean the same. They mean "stop someone hurting you". There was no help from the hills, (verse 1). Instead, there was danger from the people that lived there! But there was someone to give help: the *LORD! Read the note in Psalm 120 about what "the *LORD" means.

The *LORD will *protect you and guard you, (verse 5). He never sleeps, so he never stops guarding you, (verses 3-4). He will not let your foot slide, so that you do not fall over. Your feet slide when the ground is wet. They also slide when it has ice or oil on it. The *LORD *guards you from dangers that you do not know about, (verse 7). He *guards you as you go out and on your way home, (verse 8). He is always there to give you help!

Something to do

In the psalm, "you" means the people that went up (climbed up) to Jerusalem. But God’s promise is still true! He will give you help, and *protect you. Read the psalm, and change "you" or "your" to "me" or "my". Believe it … then God will *protect you also!

Psalm 122

Psalm 122

     (This is) a song for climbing by David.

v1      It made me very happy when they said to me,
     "We will go into the house of the *LORD".

v2      (Now) our feet are standing inside your gates, Jerusalem!

v3      Jerusalem is a city with buildings that fit near together.

v4      The *tribes go up there, the *tribes of the *LORD.
     They go there to thank the *LORD. All Israel will see it.

v5      The *thrones of the house of David are there.
     Also, they sit there to *judge the people.

v6      Pray for the *peace of Jerusalem.
     (Pray that) the people that love (Jerusalem) will be safe.

v7      "I pray that there will be *peace inside your walls.
     And I pray that it will be safe inside your big houses".

v8      Because of my brothers and friends I will pray,
     "I want *peace inside you."

v9      Because of the house of the *LORD our God,
     I will hope for good things for you.

What Psalm 122 means

"The house of the *LORD", (verse 1), was a *tent when David was alive. A *tent is a small house that people made from animal skins. Later, they built a stone *temple or house. They kept the ark in it. Read about the ark in Psalm 132 in this set of psalms. Read the notes in Psalm 120 for what "the *LORD" means.

"*Tribes" are very large families. There were 12 *tribes of Israel. "Thrones" are special seats that kings and leaders sit on. "They", in verse 5, means the people that David told to *judge the people with problems. "*Judge" means "decide who is right and who is wrong". In Hebrew, the language that the *Jews spoke, "*peace" means "no war". But it meant more than this. It also meant that you had good health. And it meant that you were rich.

Something to do

Pray that Jerusalem will have *peace.

Psalm 123

Psalm 123

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      I lift up my eyes to you (God).
     You are sitting in *heaven.

v2      Our eyes look to the *LORD our God:
       ·    like men who are servants look to the hands of their masters;
       ·    like a woman who is a servant looks to the hand of her *mistress.
     (*LORD), have *mercy on us.

v3      Have *mercy on us, *LORD, have *mercy on us.
     We have had more than enough *contempt.

v4      We have had more than enough *contempt
     from the *proud people that are *oppressing us.

What Psalm 123 means

Verse 1: *Heaven is the home of God. We do not know where it is. The Hebrew word also means "the skies".

Verse 2: The notes on Psalm 120 explain the word "*LORD". The *psalmist (the person that wrote the psalm) has had enough of people saying things that are not kind. He looks to God for help. He looks to God like a servant looked to the hand of his master or her mistress. A master or mistress would use their hand to tell a servant what to do. That is why he said this. A master or mistress was someone with authority.

Verses 2 – 3: "Have *mercy" is an important Christian *prayer. You say a *prayer when you speak to God. To ask God to "have *mercy" means to ask him not to *punish (hurt) you when you have done something wrong. Instead, you ask him to be kind and to *forgive you. The notes on Psalm 130 explain the word "*forgive".

Verses 3 – 4: Sometimes people think and say things that are not kind about you. We call that "*contempt". "*Proud people" think that they are more important than they are. When powerful people make poor people work for little or no money we call this "oppression". The powerful people are oppressing the poor people.

Something to do

Jesus taught people to say "The *Lord’s *Prayer". It starts, "Our Father, you are in *heaven". Is it like the start of this psalm?

Psalm 124

Psalm 124

     (This is) a song for climbing by David.

v1      If the *LORD was not fighting for us – now Israel say it –

v2 - v5      if the *LORD was not fighting for us when men attacked:
     ·    they would have eaten us alive because they were so angry,
     ·    waters would have rushed over us
            and a deep river would be over our heads,
     ·    the angry waters would have gone over our heads and drowned us.

v6      We will say good things to the *LORD.
     He did not let them eat us.

v7      We are free and still alive, like a bird that got out of a *trap.
     The *trap became broken and we are free.

v8      The name of the person that sent us help is the *LORD.
     He made *heaven and earth.

What Psalm 124 means

Some Bible students think that David wrote this psalm when he was fighting the Philistines. The Philistines lived west of David’s people, Israel. David thought that the Philistines would win, but they did not. God gave David and his people help. Later, Hezekiah and Nehemiah may have used this psalm. God gave them all help to beat their enemies.

A *trap is something to catch an animal or bird in. David felt that Israel was in a *trap. But God made them free! Their enemies wanted to eat Israel, but God did not let them. This means that they wanted to kill them. But God did not let them. It is a word-picture. Another word-picture is the river. If God had not sent help, the river would have drowned Israel. The enemy was not a river. But the river was a picture of what the enemy could do.

This is how the *Jews said the psalm. A man at the front said the beginning of verse 1. He then said, "Now Israel say it". And they repeated what he said, and then the rest of the psalm.

Something to do

In verse 6 is "say good things to". Most people translate this "*bless". "*Bless" also means "do good things to". Look at the Psalms for Climbing, and find other places where we could use the word "*bless".

Psalms 125, 126 and 127

Psalm 125

     (This is) a psalm for climbing.

v1      People that *trust in the *LORD are like the mountain called Zion.
     Nothing will move it; it will always be there.

v2      Jerusalem has mountains all round it.
     Also, the *LORD is all round his people, now and always.

v3      *Wicked (people) will not always rule over the land.
     (That is, the land) that (the *LORD) gave to *righteous people.
     If they did, the *righteous people might start doing bad things themselves.

v4      Do good things, *LORD, to good people.
     (Good people) are *upright in their *hearts.

v5      But *LORD, take away those people
       that start doing bad things themselves.
     Take them away with the *wicked (people).
     Let Israel be *at peace!

Psalm 126

     (This is) a psalm for climbing.

v1      An army was attacking Zion.
     When the *LORD turned them away,
     we were like people that were dreaming!

v2      Then we laughed a lot.
     And we shouted because we were so happy!
     And (people in) other countries said (to each other),
     "The *LORD has done something *wonderful for them!"

v3      The *LORD has done something *wonderful for us
     and we are very, very happy.

v4      The *LORD will give back again what we have lost.
     It will be like water coming into a dry place where there is a lot of sand.

v5      People that are crying will go out and plant seeds.
     (Later) they will sing as they pick the fruits.

v6      Someone will go out crying, but with a basket of seeds.
     He will come home laughing, with a lot of food.

Psalm 127

     (This is) a psalm for climbing by Solomon.

v1      If the *LORD does not build the house,
       the workers cannot do anything.
     There are men who watch (for danger).
     But if the *LORD does not *guard the city, they will be *useless.

v2      If you work all day for food, from early morning to late at night,
       you will get nothing.
     It is God who gives sleep. He gives it to the people that he loves.

v3      Children are something that God gives.
     The fruit of your body is a gift (from him).

v4      The sons of a young man are like *arrows in the hand of a soldier.

v5      The man with many of them will be very happy.
     He will not be ashamed when he meets his enemies in the city gates.

What Psalms 125, 126 and 127 mean

These three psalms fit together well. Psalm 125 tells us that *wicked (or very bad) people were trying to rule Israel. The *psalmist (the person who wrote the psalm) believed that God would not let this happen. God was all round his people, as the mountains were all round Jerusalem. Jerusalem was on a mountain called Zion. The *psalmist prays that God will not wait too long. If he did, good people might start doing bad things. "To *trust" someone means "to believe that they will give you help". "*LORD" is a special name for God. The notes in Psalm 120 explain it.

"*Righteous" and "upright in their *hearts" mean the same. "*Righteous" means "very, very good". Only God is really *righteous, but he calls his people *righteous too. This is because he is near to them. "At peace", in verse 5, means "not at war".

Psalm 126 tells us that God has done something. He has sent away the armies that were round Zion. But these armies have destroyed the food that was growing in the fields. People were happy because the enemy had gone. But they were sad because there was nothing growing in the fields. But the *psalmist believed that if they planted seeds, then food would grow.

Psalm 127 tells people to remember that it was God who saved their city. God had given them everything that was of value to them: *safety, food, children and *peace. "Guard" means "stop people attacking". "Useless" means "of no use". "Arrows" are sticks with sharp points that men shot from bows.

Something to do

Pray that God will guard you and the people that you love.

Psalm 128

Psalm 128

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      Everyone that is *in awe of the *LORD will be very happy.
     They will *walk in his ways.

v2      You will eat the things that your hands have worked for.
     You are very sure that you will. You will be happy!
     Good things will happen to you!

v3      Your wife in your house will be like a *vine that grows much fruit.
     Your sons round your table will be like branches of an *olive tree.

v4      The *LORD does good things to the man that is *in awe of him.
     This is how he does it. Make a note of that.

v5      The *LORD of Zion will do good things to you.
     Then you will see that Jerusalem is a good place
       for as long as you are alive.

v6      You will see your grandsons and there will be *peace in Israel.

What Psalm 128 means

"In awe" means "a bit afraid of someone that you love". People are "in awe" of God because he is so great. They love him. But they know that he is very powerful. "*LORD" is a special name for God. The notes in Psalm 120 explain it. "Walk in his ways" is a *Jewish way to say "obey his rules".

In verse 3, both word-pictures mean that you will have many children. You will if you "walk in his ways"! A vine is a tree that grows *grapes. An *olive tree grows a fruit called the *olive. An *olive tree has many branches. "Does good things to you" in verse 4 is "*blesses you" in many Bible translations. This is a good example of the word "*bless". It means "have many children". It can also mean that your animals will have many young animals. And your plants will have many fruits on them. If you obey God, good things will happen to you! Good things will come from your work (verse 2) and will happen to your family (verse 3) and to Jerusalem (verse 5).

The *Jews believed that God lived in Jerusalem. God is "the *LORD of Zion", (verse 5). Zion is the hill in the middle of Jerusalem. For Christians, Jerusalem is a like a picture of the Church.

Something to do

Study Psalm 119 in this set of psalms.

Psalm 129

Psalm 129

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      My enemies have often hurt me since I was a child.
     Israel can now say this.

v2      They have often hurt me since I was a child,
     but they have not beaten me.

v3      They ploughed on my back
     like a farmer ploughing long *furrows.

v4      The *LORD is *righteous.
     He has cut me free from my enemies.

v5      Everybody that hates Zion will be ashamed.
     So they will turn away.

v6      They will become like a green plant on a roof.
     It dies before it starts to grow!

v7      A gardener cannot fill his hand (with it)
       or a farmer (fill) his pocket.

v8      People that go past will not say,
       "We want the *LORD to be kind to you!"
     (They will not say)
       “We want good things to happen to you in the name of the *LORD!”

What Psalm 129 means

The psalm starts with one person talking, but it goes on like Psalm 124 went on. "Since I was a child" means all the story of Israel. Enemies had tried to beat Israel, but God had always given help to Israel. A furrow is a line in the earth. A farmer makes it when he ploughs the ground. Here, furrows are a picture of the marks on someone when you hit them with a stick. "*LORD" is a special name for God. The notes in Psalm 120 explain it. "*Righteous" means "very, very good". Only God is really *righteous.

Something to do

You may have a *New Testament. If so, read the story of the man that planted seeds. It is in Matthew 13:1-9; Mark 4:1-13 and Luke 8:4-10. Does it make you think of any part of Psalm 129?

Psalm 130

Psalm 130

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      *LORD, I am crying to you because I am in great (trouble).

v2      *Lord, listen to my voice.
     Turn your ears to hear what I am saying to you.

v3      *LORD, if you make a note of *sins, who will stand?

v4      But you *forgive (people) so that they are *in awe of you.

v5      I will wait for the *LORD.
     I will wait for him and *hope in his word.

v6      I want the *Lord more than people want the morning to come,
     more than people want the morning.

v7      Israel, hope in the *LORD,
     because with the *LORD there is kind love and a lot of *redeeming.

v8      He will *redeem Israel from all his *sins.

What Psalm 130 means

This is one of the "repentance psalms". "Repentance" means telling God that you are sorry for your *sins. And you will try not to do them again. You do "*sins" when you "break God’s rules". The other "repentance psalms" are Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102 and 143. Christians often use them at the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 40 days before *Easter.

In verses 1 and 2 are the words *LORD and *Lord. They are not the same in the Hebrew Bible. The *Jews wrote the psalms in the Hebrew language. "*LORD" is a name for God that his people use. The notes in Psalm 120 explain it. It is Yahweh in Hebrew. "*Lord" means "master" or "someone with authority". It is Adonai in Hebrew.

Four important words in this psalm are:

     ·    *forgive: this does not only mean that God excuses us. He also put our *sins on to Jesus when Jesus died at Calvary.

     ·    redeem: this means to "buy back". When Jesus died at Calvary, he bought us back (or redeemed us) from *Satan. *Satan is God’s enemy. He is not as powerful or strong as God is. *Satan is not a god.

     ·    stand: this means that when God *forgives us, we can stand in front of him. He will not *punish (hurt) us because of our *sins.

     ·    in awe: this means "a bit afraid of someone that you love". We are "in awe" of God because he is so great and powerful. But he does not frighten us, because we know that he loves us.

Verse 1 says, "I am in great trouble". A better translation is "I am in a deep place". This deep place is like a hole in the ground. The *psalmist (the person that wrote the psalm) could not get out of the hole. The hole was not really a hole, but it was the trouble all round him. Our *sins mean great trouble for us. We should tell God that we are sorry. And we should ask him to *forgive us.

Something to do

Ask God to *forgive you. Then you will be sure that you will stand with all God’s people in *heaven. *Heaven is the home of God.

Psalm 131

Psalm 131

     (This is) a song for climbing by David.

v1      *LORD, my *heart is not *proud, neither are my eyes (*proud).
     I do not try to do things that are too important for me.
     I do not try to do things that are too hard for me.

v2      Really, I have made myself *calm and I have become quiet.
     I am like a young child with its mother.
     Yes, I am like a young child with its mother.

v3      Israel, put your hope in the *LORD, now and always.

What Psalm 131 means

King David had many enemies. He was a strong soldier. He was a powerful man and had many servants. But he did not think that he was better or more important than other people. This psalm tells us that. His *heart was not *proud. That means that he did not think in a *proud way. "*Proud" means "to think that I am more important than I really am". David was quiet and calm. "Calm" means "not feeling angry". He was like a young child with its mother.

"*LORD" is a special name for God. The notes in Psalm 120 explain it. Some Bible students think that David did not write verse 3. Someone else wrote it, so that everybody could use the psalm.

Something to do

Read through the psalms for climbing. Make a list of all the names for God that you can find. Remember: Jesus is God, so names for God are also names for Jesus!

Psalm 132

Psalm 132

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      *LORD, remember David and all his troubles.

v2      He promised the *LORD.
     He made this special promise to the *Mighty One of Jacob.

v3      "I will not go into my house or get into my bed.

v4      I will not shut my eyes or go to sleep
     until I find a place for the *LORD.

v5      It will be a place where the *Mighty One of Jacob will live".

v6      We heard that it was at Ephratah.
     And we found it in the fields of Jaar.

v7      We will go into the place where he lives.
     And we will *worship at his feet.

v8      Get up, *LORD. And go into the place where you can rest.
     Go in yourself, with the *ark.
     The *ark shows that you are strong.

v9      (I pray that) all your *priests will be *righteous
     and all your *saints will shout.
     They will shout because they are so happy.

v10    Remember your servant David
     and do not turn away the face of your *messiah.

v11    The *LORD promised David what would happen.
     He will not turn from it.
     "I will put the fruit of your body on your *throne.

v12    Your children should obey my rules.
     And they should do what I will teach them.
     Then their children will always sit on your *throne".

v13    The *LORD chose Zion.
     He wants it for a place to live in.

v14    "This is where I will always rest. This is what I want.
     So I will live here", he said.

v15    "I will do a lot of good things for her.
     I will give food to the poor people in her.

v16   All her *priests will be safe and her *saints will shout aloud.
     They will shout because they are so happy.

v17    There I will make David very strong.
     The light of my *messiah will never go out.

v18    His enemies will be ashamed.
     But his *crown will shine and be bright!”

What Psalm 132 means

Verses 1 – 5: These verses tell us that David wanted to bring the ark of God into Jerusalem. The ark was a special box that was very important to the *Jews. After a war with the Philistines, who lived near the *Jews, they left the ark in a place called "Kiriath-Jearim". David had a lot of trouble when he brought it into Jerusalem. He also wanted to build a house to put it in. But God would not let him. "The *Mighty One of Jacob" is another name for God. "*LORD" is a special name for God that his people use. The notes in Psalm 120 explain it.

Verses 6 – 10 tell us that the *Jews found "it" (the ark) in the country round Kiriath-Jearim (or Jaar). It was in a place called Ephratah. After they brought the ark into Jerusalem, they said the words in verses 7-10. "The place where you can rest" is the house of God. "Rest" means "not work" and "*priests and *saints" are servants of God. Christians believe that the *Messiah was Jesus. But here it means the King of Israel. "Worship God" means "tell God that you love him".

Verses 11 - 18 tell us about God’s promises. Many Christians believe that they happened when Jesus came to the earth. "*Messiah" is the Hebrew word for "Christ". The *Jews spoke the Hebrew language and wrote the psalms in Hebrew. "*Messiah" means "anointed", or "oil poured on". Look at the notes on Psalm 133 in this set of psalms. In verse 11, "the fruit of your body" means "your children". The "*throne" in verse 12 is a special chair that a king sits on. His "crown" in verse 18 is the "special hat that he wears". The light of the *messiah will never go out because Jesus will always be the Light of the World.

We do not know who wrote this psalm. Maybe it was Solomon when he built God’s house (called the *temple) in Jerusalem. Or maybe Ezra or Nehemiah wrote it when they built the *temple again about 450 years later. Perhaps someone whose name we do not know wrote it!

Something to do

Count God’s promises in psalm 132:11-18.

Psalm 133

Psalm 133

     (This is) a song for climbing by David.

v1      See how good it is.
     And see what pleasure it brings when brothers stay together.

v2      It is as a sweet *oil poured on the head.
     It goes down on to the beard, as it did on to Aaron’s beard.
     It then poured down over his clothes.

v3      It is like the *dew on the mountain called Hermon.
     It (also) pours down on to the mountains of Zion.
     The *LORD has said that it is a *good place to be.
     There is always life there.

What Psalm 133 means

In verse 1, brothers "stay together" means that brothers "do not fight". Verse 2 tells us that it is like sweet oil. This is not motor oil, but oil from a fruit called the *olive. We still use it to cook things in.

Aaron was Moses’ brother. He was the first chief (most important) *priest of the *Jews. A *priest is a special servant of God. They do something special to a chief *priest at the start of his work. They "anoint" him. This means that they put *olive oil on his head. It runs down his face on to his beard. Then it goes on to his clothes. A better translation of "clothes" is "collar". That is the part of our clothes round our necks. The oil makes everything smell nice. It is a picture of brothers not fighting. It is good, or "smells nice".

Verse 3 gives another picture. Dew is water that comes on to the ground at night. It comes down on mountains like Hermon and Zion. Hermon is in the north of the country where the *Jews lived. Zion is the mountain in Jerusalem where the *Jews built God’s house. Zion is a good place to be, because it is where God "*blesses" people (or does good things for them). For Christians, Zion is like a picture of the Church.

Something to do

Pray that brothers will live together and not fight. This means brothers in a family, brothers in a country and brothers in the world. All men are like brothers because God made them all.

Psalm 134

Psalm 134

     (This is) a song for climbing.

v1      Come, all you servants of the *LORD that stand in his house at night.
     And say good things to the *LORD.

v2      Lift up your hands to where he lives.
     And say good things to him.

v3      Say good things to the *LORD in Zion.
     He made the *heaven and the earth.

What Psalm 134 means

We often translate "say good things" as "*bless". When God *blesses us it means that he does good things to us. When we *bless God, as in this psalm, we say good things to God. The psalm uses one of God’s other names, *LORD. The notes in Psalm 120 explain the word *LORD.

The house of the *LORD was the *temple at Jerusalem. Zion is another name for Jerusalem. For Christians, "his house" means everywhere that we meet with God’s people. In verse 2, "to where he lives" means "to his home in *heaven". But "*heaven" in verse 3 means ‘all the stars and the sky’.

Something to do

Sometimes, when you pray, lift up your hands to the *LORD. Many Christians do this.

Word List

angel ~ *spirit that lives in *heaven with God.

anointed ~ with (*olive) oil poured on.

ark ~ a box with things important to the Jews in it.

arrows ~ pointed sticks shot by a bow.

at peace ~ not at war.

bless ~ say good things, or do good things, to someone.

calm ~ quiet, without a strong wind blowing.

contempt ~ thinking that someone is bad.

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

crown ~ a special hat that a king wears.

dew ~ water that comes on the ground in the night; it is not rain.

Easter ~ Christians remember when Jesus died and became alive again at Easter.

forgive ~ take away the results of *sin. (But look in the notes on Psalm 85:2.)

furrows ~ lines in the earth after a farmer has ploughed it.

good place ~ See What Psalm 133 means.

grapes ~ the fruit of a plant called the vine. People use them to make drink that has alcohol in it. The drink is wine.

guard ~ stop someone hurting someone else.

heart ~ part of the body. *Jews believed that you thought in your heart.

heaven ~ the home of God.

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

hope ~ what you want to happen.

in awe ~ a bit afraid of someone that you love.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything to do with a *Jew.

judge ~ a judge says who is right and who is wrong; or, to say who is right and who is wrong.

lies ~ words that are not true.

LORD ~ the *covenant name for God (in a *covenant you agree with someone).

mercy ~ being kind when you do not have to be kind.

messiah ~ in the Old Testament, the *anointed king. In the New Testament, Jesus. The word messiah is *Hebrew for *anointed.

Mighty One of Jacob ~ another name for God.

mistress ~ a woman with authority.

New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after the life of Jesus. It is about the things that Jesus did and taught. It is also about what Christians believe and do.

oil ~ not motor oil, but from a fruit called the olive.

olive ~ a fruit.

oppress ~ make poor people work for little or no money.

peace ~ when people are not fighting; when there is no war and everybody is happy.

prayer ~ you say a prayer when you speak to God.

priest ~ a servant of God in his *temple.

protect ~ stop people hurting and destroying (someone or something).

proud people ~ proud people think that they are good and clever. But they may not be.

psalmist ~ the person that wrote a psalm (or psalms).

punish ~ hurt someone because they have not obeyed the rules.

redeem ~ buy back from the enemy.

righteous ~ very good (only God is really righteous). God says that the people who love and obey him are righteous. Sometimes we say they are "the righteous", meaning "righteous people". Look after Psalm 5 in Book 1 of the Psalms of David for more about the word "righteous".

safety ~ when we are in a safe place.

saints ~ people that have received God’s love; his people.

Satan ~ the leader of the bad *spirits. He is also called the Devil and Lucifer.

sin ~ not to obey God; or what you do when you do not obey God.

slide ~ your feet slide when the ground is wet; they slide when it has ice or oil on it.

spirits ~ they are alive, but we cannot see them. Good spirits are usually called *angels. Bad spirits do not live in *heaven now, but in the air round us. *Satan is their leader. They are also called evil spirits, or demons.

temple ~ a place where people meet to worship God.

tent ~ a home or building made from animal skins.

throne ~ a special seat that a king sits on.

tongue ~ the part of our mouth that we talk with.

trap ~ thing that you catch animals or birds in.

tribe ~ a large group of people from the same family.

trust ~ believe that someone (usually God in the psalms) will be kind to you.

upright in their hearts ~ *righteous.

useless ~ of no use.

vines~ plants that grow *grapes (to make *wine).

walk in his ways ~ a *Jewish way to say "obey his rules".

wicked ~ very, very bad.

wine ~ a drink with alcohol in it. People make it from *grapes.

wonderful ~ great and surprising.

worship ~ you tell someone that they are very great. And you tell them that you love them.

© 1999-2002, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

December 2002

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