Cards on the table. The Psalms are not really my thing. Even in poetry, I prefer narrative to lyric. So while I’m looking at this group of Psalms,
I won’t rely entirely on my own conclusions. I’ll separate out my own observations (in this first post) from what I find in commentaries and add
in the later posts..
“To thee I lift up my eyes, O thou who art enthroned in the heavens” (v1)
Here “lifting up the eyes” is obviously the act of looking for help from the protector.
That is part of my argument for interpreting “I lift up my eyes to the hills” (Psalm 121) in the same way.
“As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress…” (v2)
And how do these servants look? Is it in fear?
No, the point is that their master and mistress feed them, so they look to their hands in hope, looking to find food.
That is confirmed by the conclusion of the sentence;
“So our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he have mercy upon us”.
Then we begin to realise how intensely the people desire mercy and help from the only one who can protect them;
“For we have had more than enough of contempt… the scorn of those who are at ease, the contempt of the proud” (vv3-4).
They are living in a state of humiliation, which can only be explained on the supposition that the people have gone through the Babylonian experience,
the destruction of the kingdom and the exile.
The phrase “those who are at ease” confirms that point. It is an echo from the opening chapter of Zechariah, which comes from the Persian period.
The four horsemen have just reported that “all the earth remains at rest”. Then the angel of the Lord expresses his indignation because this
“rest” comes at the expense of Jerusalem and Judah, who are not at rest. “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion, and I am very angry
with the nations that are at ease” (v15).
The reconstruction of the Temple began in Zechariah’s time.
I believe this kind of language points out this psalm, and probably all the “psalms of ascent”, as composed for use in the newly rebuilt second
edit on 24-9-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)