December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 A song of ascents. Of David. I Had not the LORD been with us, let Israel say,
- Had not the LORD been with us, when people rose against us,
- They would have swallowed us alive, for their fury blazed against us.
- The waters would have engulfed us, the torrent overwhelmed us;
- seething waters would have drowned us.
- Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us to be torn by their fangs.
- We escaped with our lives like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare was broken and we escaped.
- 2 Our help is the name of the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth.
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1 [Psalm 124] A thanksgiving which teaches that Israel's very existence is owed to God who rescues them. In the first part Israel's enemies are compared to the mythic sea dragon (Psalm 124:2b-3a; cf Jeremiah 51:34) and Flood (Psalm 124:3b-5; cf Isaiah 51:9-10). The psalm heightens the malice of human enemies by linking them to the primordial enemies of God's creation. Israel is a bird freed from the trapper's snare (Psalm 124:6-8)--freed originally from Pharaoh and now from the current danger.
2  Our help is the name: for the idiom, see Exodus 18:4.
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