129. Those Hating Zion Have Afflicted Me

Text Information
First Line: Those hating Zion have afflicted me
Title: Those Hating Zion Have Afflicted Me
Versifier: Marie J. Post (1985)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Topic: Temptation & Trial; Afflictions
Language: English
Copyright: Text © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Composer: Erik R. Routley (1943)
Meter: 10 10 10 10
Key: F Major
Copyright: Tune © 1977, Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Used by permission

Text Information:

Praise for God's preservation of his people, and a prayer that all who threaten them may come to nothing.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-2
st. 2 = vv. 3-5
st. 3 = vv. 6-8

Psalm 129 is another of the fifteen "Songs of Ascents" (120-134) the Israelites sang as they went up to worship at the temple in Jerusalem. This post-exilic psalm calls on Israel to praise the LORD for preserving them, in spite of the oppression they have suffered from hostile powers throughout their history (vv. 1-4; st. 1-2). Then follows a prayer that the enemies of Zion may wither before they reach maturity, like grass that springs up where there is no depth of soil and no water to sustain it (vv. 5-8; st. 2-3). In focus is the great issue of human history: whether God's people will endure or whether the forces arrayed against them will have their way in the world. While Psalms 127 and 128 are psalms of blessing, 129 is a prayer asking God to withhold his blessing on enemies (v. 8). Churches who experience persecution, who understand the saying “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Rom. 12:19; Deut. 32:35, RSV) will want to use this psalm. Marie J. Post (PHH 5) versified Psalm 129 in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal.

Liturgical Use:
Whenever the Christian church experiences or reflects on God's preserving care in the face of opposition or persecution. North American Christians may want to sing this psalm in solidarity with other Christians who suffer severely.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

Erik Routley (PHH 31) wrote CLIFF TOWN in 1943 to the text "Not Only for the Goodly Fruit-Trees Tall" by E. S. Armitage; the tune was first published in Congregational Praise (1951). CLIFF TOWN is named after the Congregational Church at Southend-on-Sea, England. It is fitted with a harmonization suited to four-part singing; the opening phrase returns at the end with a small cadential change. Keep it stately, with two broad beats per measure.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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