Devotional Readings

Psalm 120 – Can we relate to David?

Psalm 120King James Version (KJV)

In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and he heard me.

Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.

What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?

Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.

Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!

My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.

I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

King James Version (KJV)

Public Domain

Old John Gill writes..

Psalms 120:5

Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech,…. Meshech was a son of Japheth, Gen 10:2; whose posterity are thought by some to be the Muscovites (z) and Scythians, a barbarous sort of people: Mesech is frequently mentioned with Tubal and his brother, and with Gog and Magog, Eze 38:2; the Targum here calls them Asiatics. Rather the Cappadocians, according to Josephus (a); and Strabo (b) makes mention of a city of theirs, called Mazaca: and the rather, since they are mentioned with the Kedarenes, or Arabian Scenites, and were nearer to the land of Judea than the former;

that I dwell in the tents of Kedar; Kedar was a son of Ishmael, Gen 25:13; whose posterity were Arabians, as the Targum here renders it; and Suidas (c) says, they dwelt not far from Babylon, when he wrote; they lived a pastoral life, and dwelt in tents: Pliny (d) makes mention of Arabs, called Cedrei; and also of Scenite Arabs, from the tents they dwelt in, which they could remove from place to place for the sake of pasturage. And among these David dwelt, when in the wilderness of Paran, 1Sa 25:1; though some think David never dwelt among any of those people, but among such who were like unto them for ignorance, idolatry, and barbarity. Some render the words, “woe is me, that I sojourn so long, dwelling as in the tents of Kedar” (e); as when he was among the Philistines and Moabites; nay, even he may compare his own people to those, many of whom it was as disagreeable dwelling with as with these: 

and we find Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, speaking of them in their times in like manner, and making the same complaints, Isa 6:5

And very grieving and distressing it is to good men to have their abode among wicked men; as well as it is infectious and dangerous: to hear their profane and blasphemous talk, to see their wicked and filthy actions, and to observe their abominable conversation, is very vexatious, and gives great uneasiness, as it did to righteous Lot, 2Pe 2:7. The first clause is rendered by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, “woe is me, that my sojourning is prolonged”; to which the next words agree, Psa 120:6.

(z) Davide de Pomis, Lexic. fol. 86. 1. 3. (a) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 6. (b) Geograph. l. 12. p. 370. Rufi Fest. Breviar. Vid Suidam in voce τιβεριος. (c) In voce κηδαρ. (d) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 11. (e) Weemse’s of the Ceremonial Law, c. 3. p. 8.

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