The Bible – Old Testament
A song of ascents. 1 When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, then we thought we were dreaming.
Our mouths were filled with laughter; our tongues sang for joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD had done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were!
2 Restore again our fortunes, LORD, like the dry stream beds of the Negeb.
Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy.
Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, Will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves.
1 [Psalm 126] A lament probably sung shortly after Israel’s return from exile. The people rejoice that they are in Zion (⇒ Psalm 126:1-3) but mere presence in the holy city is not enough; they must pray for the prosperity and the fertility of the land (⇒ Psalm 126:4). The last verses are probably an oracle of promise: the painful work of sowing will be crowned with life (⇒ Psalm 126:5-6).
2  Like the dry stream beds of the Negeb: the psalmist prays for rain in such abundance that the dry riverbeds will run.