Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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Psalm 125

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Psalm cxxv. (In convertendo.)

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Sion. It cannot be doubted but this regards the captives of Babylon: but still David might compose it, as he was a prophet; and herein the redemption of mankind may also be described. (Berthier) --- The captives pray for the return of the rest of their brethren. (Calmet) --- Comforted. Hebrew, "dreaming." (Calmet) --- They could hardly believe their own eyes, like St. Peter, Acts xii. 9. This extraordinary joy is felt by devout souls, when freed from sin. (Worthington) --- The Greek cities which the Romans declared free, could scarcely believe that they had understood the herald. Majus gaudium fuit, &c. (Livy xxxiii.) --- Thus were the Jews affected. (Calmet) (Psalm xiii. 2.) --- Chaldean, "we were like convalescents," which comes nearer to the sense of the Septuagint. (Berthier)

Ver. 2. Shall. Or "did;" (Calmet) though the future is here well employed. (Berthier) --- The prophet uses both tenses, shewing the certainty of the event. (Worthington) --- It would require some time before the Gentiles would become sufficiently acquainted with the concerns of the Jews. (Berthier) --- As soon as they did, they expressed their admiration, while the former were careful not to imitate the conduct of those who murmured at leaving Egypt. (St. Chrysostom)

Ver. 4. South. As the Egyptians hope for the overflowing of the Nile; (Hammond) or as the south wind melts the snow, so as to make the Jordan overflow its banks. (Theodoret) --- The return of our brethren will be as agreeable to us as water to a thirsty soil. (Chaldean) (Muis) --- Make them come quickly, and in great numbers, Isaias lx. 3., and lxvi. 12. (Calmet) --- Esdras brought back some, and Nehemias others, from Babylon. (Berthier) --- The ten tribes returned from Assyria later, and by degrees, (Calmet, Diss.) if at all. Those who arrived first at Jerusalem pray for the rest. (Berthier) --- The prophet foreseeing this event, desireth its perfect and speedy accomplishment, (Worthington) though it were scarcely to be expected, no more than (Haydock) a copious torrent in the south. (Worthington)

Ver. 5. Joy. This was the case of the martyrs, &c., (Luke vi. 21., and John xvi. 20.) as well as of the captives, Jeremias xxxi. 9., Isaias lxvi. 10., and Baruch v. 6. (Calmet) --- Tribulation commonly attends the virtuous in this life. Their reward is reserved for the next. (St. Augustine) (Worthington) --- Sowing, we know not whether we shall ever reap. (Haydock) --- This is a sort of proverb, which is applied to the captives. (Berthier)

Ver. 6. They. Hebrew, "he," which must be taken distributively for all. (Berthier)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The people of God rejoice at their delivery from captivity.

1 A gradual canticle.

When the lord brought back the captivity of Sion, we became like men comforted.

2 Then was our mouth filled with gladness; and our tongue with joy.

Then shall they say among the Gentiles: The Lord hath done great things for them.

3 The Lord hath done great things for us: we are become joyful.

4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as a stream in the south.

5 They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy.

6 Going they went and wept, casting their seeds.

7 But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves.