127:0Psalm 127 tells people to remember that it was God who saved their city from enemies. God had given them everything that was valuable to them: safety, houses, food, children and peace. It was God who let them work hard to build houses. It was God who let them do the other things in the psalm.
Every Good Thing comes from God
This is a psalm for climbing by Solomon.
1 If the LORD does not build the house, the workers cannot do anything.
There are men who watch for danger.
But if the LORD does not guard the city, they will be useless.
127:1Verse 1: ‘LORD’ is a special word for God. It is his covenant name. A covenant is when people agree to do something. God agreed to send help to his people. His people agreed to love and obey God. This verse means that, although men work to build a house, God lets them do it. ‘Guard’ means ‘make safe.’ Perhaps ‘the house’ here is the house of God in Jerusalem; and perhaps ‘the city’ is Jerusalem. The psalm is ‘a psalm for climbing by Solomon.’ Perhaps Solomon wrote it when he built the temple (God's house) in Jerusalem. People went to pray to God in the temple.
2 If you work all day for food, from early morning to late at night,
you will get nothing.
It is God who gives sleep. He gives it to the people that he loves.
127:2Verse 2: The beginning of the verse means ‘you will get nothing if God does not make it grow.’ ‘Sleep’ here means ‘sleep and be safe.’
3 Children are something that God gives.
The fruit of your body is a gift from him.
4 The sons of a young man are like arrows in the hand of a soldier.
5 The man with many of them will be very happy.
He will not be ashamed when he meets his enemies in the city gates.
127:5Verses 4-5: An arrow is a sharp stick that a bow can shoot. A soldier with many arrows is happy; so is a man with many children. They will give him help to fight his enemies.