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Psalms 123:2

    Psalms 123:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait on the LORD our God, until that he have mercy on us.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid unto the hand of her mistress; So our eyes look unto Jehovah our God, Until he have mercy upon us.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    See! as the eyes of servants are turned to the hands of their masters, and the eyes of a servant-girl to her owner, so our eyes are waiting for the Lord our God, till he has mercy on us.

    Webster's Revision

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, As the eyes of a maid unto the hand of her mistress; So our eyes look unto Jehovah our God, Until he have mercy upon us.

    World English Bible

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look to Yahweh, our God, until he has mercy on us.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes look unto the LORD our God, until he have mercy upon us.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 123:2

    As the eyes of servants - We now wait for thy commands, feeling the utmost readiness to obey them when made known to us. The words may be understood as the language of dependence also. As slaves expect their support from their masters and mistresses, so do we ours from thee, O Lord! Or, As servants look to their masters and mistresses, to see how they do their work, that they may do it in the same way; so do we, O Lord, that we may learn of thee, and do thy work in thy own Spirit, and after thy own method. Some think that there is a reference here to the chastisement of slaves by their masters, who, during the time they are receiving it, keep their eyes fixed on the hand that is inflicting punishment upon them, professing deep sorrow, and entreating for mercy. And this sense seems to be countenanced by the following words: -

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 123:2

    Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters ... - Or, are to the hands of their masters; or, regard the hands of their masters. That is, we look to God with the same spirit of deference, dependence, and readiness to mark the will of God, which is evinced by servants in regard to their masters, and by maidens in regard to the will of a mistress. There has been some difference of view in regard to the meaning of this comparison. Some have supposed that the allusion is to the fact that servants, when in danger, look to their masters for protection; others, that they look to them for the supply of their needs; others, that when they have been guilty of an offence they look to them alone for pardon. See Rosenmuller, in loc. The true idea, however, seems to be, that they look to them with deference and respect; that they attentively mark every expression of their will; that they are ready to obey their commands on the slightest intimation of their wishes - standing in a waiting posture, with no will of their own - their own wills absorbed in the will of the master or the mistress.

    The following extracts from Oriental travelers may illustrate the idea here: Maundrell (Reise von Aleppo nach Jerusalem, s. 13), speaking of an interview with the Pasha at Tripoli, says, "The servants all stood in great numbers with the utmost respect, and in profoundest silence, and served the guests with the utmost attention and respect." Pococke remarks that in Egypt the slaves stand in the profoundest silence at the end of the table, their hands laid cross-wise over one another, and that they mark with the deepest attention the slightest movement of their master, who conveys his wishes to them through signs and winks. Savary, in his Letters from Egypt (p. 135), says, "The slaves stand with their hands laid cross-wise over their breasts, silent, at the end of the hall. "Their eyes are directed to the master," and they are attentive to the slightest indication of his will." See other illustrations in Rosenmuller, Morgenland, ii. 109, 110. It is to such a custom as this that the psalmist refers; and the idea is, that his eyes were directed to God, in his troubles, in profound silence, and with deep attention, resembling that of servants waiting in stillness on their master, and catching the slightest intimation of his will - a movement of the head or hand - or anything which would indicate his pleasure.

    Until that he have mercy upon us - We have nothing to do but wait. We have no other resource. We can do nothing if we turn away from him. Our only hope and expectation is there, and if we ever find relief, it must be there. The surest - the only - hope of relief is to wait on God; and it is the purpose of our souls to do this until we find help and deliverance. This is the attitude in which the earnest prayer in the next verse is offered.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 123:2

    123:2 Look - For supply of their wants, and for help and defence against their oppressors. Until - Until he help and save us.