December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD build the house, they labor in vain who build. Unless the LORD guard the city, in vain does the guard keep watch.
- It is vain for you to rise early and put off your rest at night, To eat bread earned by hard toil-- all this God gives to his beloved in sleep.
- Children too are a gift from the LORD, the fruit of the womb, a reward.
- Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth.
- 2 Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate.
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1 [Psalm 127] The psalm puts together two proverbs (Psalm 127:1-2, 3-5) on God establishing "houses" or families. The prosperity of human groups is not the work of humans but the gift of God.
2  At the gate: the reference is not to enemies besieging the walls of a city but to adversaries in litigation. Lawcourts functioned in the open area near the main city gate. The more adult sons a man had, the more forceful he would appear in disputes. Cf Proverb 31:23.
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