Psalm 121

A song for[i] the assent


I gaze towards the hills[ii]

Where does my help come from?

My help is from the Lord

The maker of heaven and earth.

The one who guards you will not let your foot slip,

He never sleeps.

He never sleeps nor slumbers,

The one who guards Israel

The Lord is your guard[iii],

The Lord is your protection at your right hand[iv].

The sun will not harm you by day,

Nor the moon at night.

The Lord will keep you from every evil,

He will guard your soul.

The Lord[v] will watch over you when you come and when you go,

From this moment until forever more.

[i] In the MT, this Psalms stands alone with the title “song for the assent (שיר למעלות)”; the other Psalms in this group all have the title “song of the assent (שיר המעלות).” This variant is not found in the DSS (11QPSa), the LXX, or the Aramaic Targums and so may not be original; however, it is far more likely that an ancient scribe would have corrected this to harmonize it with the remaining Psalms in the group than to change it in a way that makes it makes it different from the others in this group. Because this kind of textual error would be so easily identified, it is much more likely that the MT reading is original and the other texts reflect an emended text.

[ii] lit. “I carry my eyes to the hill”.

[iii] 11QPSa reads “the one who guards Israel will not sleep in the night” or “In the night the Lord is your Guard.” Flint and Ulrich prefer the latter division of the text but the text itself seems to favor the former. The text reads “ולא יישן שומר ישראל בלילה יהוה שמרכה”

Ref: 11QPSa in the DSS digital library (left column, 4th line)

[iv] 11QPSa reads “Your protection (or shade) is over your right hand”

[v] 11QPSa reads “He will watch over you”

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