Psalm 123


a song of David for the accent[i]


It is to you that I carry my gaze[ii],

to the one who dwells[iii] in heaven.

As surely the eyes of servants look to the hands of their masters,

or the eyes of a servant girl look to the hand of the Lady of the house[iv],

We will direct our eyes to the Lord our God

in anticipation of his favor[v].

Lord be gracious to us, be gracious to us

because we have had our fill of contempt

Our souls cannot bear[vi] any more mockery from the arrogant,

or contempt from the prideful.


[i] 11QPSa attributes this Psalm to David “דויד למעלות[שיר ]”

[ii] Lit. “I carry my eyes”

[iii] The construct form of ישבי is grammatically difficult and, while treated as a singular in parallel to “you” from the first part of this verse, is plural in form. It likely reflects a copyist error because the form (היושב) in 11QPSa is grammatically correct.

[iv] Lit. “her Lady,” this is most frequently translated as “her mistress” but “mistress” has become increasingly understood in English as “the other woman” in an adulterous affair which is almost completely opposite in meaning to the word used here.

[v] Lit. “Thus our eyes to the Lord our God until he will show is favor on us.” This is a continuation of the thought begun in the prior verse i.e. as a servant or a maid looks to their employer as the source of their provision, we should eagerly expect that our God will provide for us.

[vi] Lit. “our souls have been greatly filled with it.”

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