King David instructs his generation, and especially his son Solomon, to be sure that all one's actions be for the sake of Heaven. He also criticizes those who toil day and night in pursuit of a livelihood.
1. A song of ascents for Solomon. If the Lord does not build a house, then its builders labor upon it in vain. If the Lord will not guard a city, the vigilance of its watchman is in vain. 2. It is in vain for you, you who rise early, who sit up late, and who eat the bread of tension, for in fact He gives His loved ones sleep. 3. Behold, the heritage of the Lord is children; the fruit of the womb is a reward. 4. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of youth. 5. Fortunate is the man who has his quiver full of them; they will not find themselves shamed when they speak with enemies in public places.
This psalm extols one who enjoys the fruits of his own labor, avoiding theft and deception, even refusing gifts. It also describes behavior appropriate to the G-d-fearing.
1. A song of ascents. Fortunate is every man who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. 2. When you eat of the labor of your hands, you will be happy, and you will have goodness. 3. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine in the inner chambers of your house; your children will be like olive saplings around your table. 4. Behold, so will be blessed the man who fears the Lord. 5. May the Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the goodness of Jerusalem all the days of your life. 6. And may you see children [born] to your children; peace upon Israel.
The psalmist laments the troubles of Israel.
1. A song of ascents. Much have they persecuted me from my youth on. Let Israel declare it now- 2. "Much have they persecuted me from my youth on, [but] they have not prevailed against me.” 3. The plowmen plowed upon my back; they wished to make their furrow long. 4. But the Lord is just; He cut the cords of the lawless. 5. They will be humiliated and will be turned back, all the haters of Zion. 6. They will be as grass upon the rooftops that withers before one plucks it, 7. wherewith the reaper has never filled his hand, nor the sheaf-binder his arm; 8. and of which the passers-by never have said: "The blessing of the Lord be upon you; we bless you in the name of the Lord."
30. Their land swarmed with frogs in the rooms of their monarchs.
31. He commanded and a mixture of noxious beasts came, lice throughout all their boundary.
32. He made their rains into hail, flaming fire in their land.
44. You even turned back the sharp edge of his sword, and You did not raise him up in battle.