The *LORD Sent Help

Psalm 124

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 124

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.

The notes explain some of the words with a *star by them. A word list at the end explains all the words that have a *star by them.

The translated Bible text has yet to go through Advanced Checking.


Peter was afraid. The water began to cover him. He said, "*Lord, save me." And immediately, Jesus put out his hand and lifted Peter up (from the water). Jesus said to him, "You do not believe that I can help you very much!" (Matthew 14:30,31) (*Lord is a name for Jesus, it means "master".)

Psalm 124

  (This is) a song for climbing by David.

v1   If the *LORD was not fighting for us – now Israel say it –

v2 - v5   if the *LORD was not fighting for us when men attacked:
  ·   they would have eaten us alive because they were so angry,
  ·   waters would have rushed over us and a deep river would be over our heads,
  ·   the angry waters would have gone over our heads and drowned us.

v6   We will say good things to the *LORD.
  He did not let them eat us.

v7   We are free and still alive, like a bird that got out of a *trap.
  The *trap became broken and we are free.

v8   The name of the person that sent us help is the *LORD.
  He made *heaven and earth.

The Story of Psalm 124

Some Bible students think that David wrote this psalm when he was fighting the Philistines. The Philistines lived west of David’s people, Israel. David thought that the Philistines would win, but they did not. God gave David and his people help. Later, Hezekiah and Nehemiah may have used this psalm. God gave them all help to beat their enemies. The psalm says that if God had not given his people help, the enemy would have destroyed them.

What Psalm 124 means

Verse 1: *LORD is the *covenant name of God. The notes in Psalm 120 explain what this means.

Verses 2 - 5: "Eaten us alive" is like a picture that means "destroyed us". The waters, deep river and angry waters are all like pictures of the enemy.

Verse 6: Again, "eat us" means "destroy us".

Verse 7: A *trap is something to catch an animal or bird in. David felt that Israel was in a *trap. But God made them free! Their enemies wanted to eat (destroy) Israel. This means that they wanted to kill the people of Israel. But God did not let them do it. It is a word-picture. Another word-picture is the river in verses 2 - 5. If God had not sent help, the river would have drowned Israel. The enemy was not a river. But the river was like a picture of what the enemy could do.

This is how the *Jews said the psalm: A man at the front said the beginning of verse 1. He then said, "Now Israel say it". And they repeated what he said, and then the rest of the psalm.

Something to do

1.  In verse 6, it says "say good things to". Most people translate this "bless". "Bless" also means "do good things to". Look at the Psalms for Climbing, (Psalms 120-134), and find other places where we could use the word "bless".

2.  Read the story of Peter in Matthew 14:22-33.

Word List

covenant ~ two people have agreed what each should do (here, God and his people). Look in Psalm 120 about the covenant.

heaven ~ the home of God. It can also mean the sky.

Hebrew ~ the language that the Jews spoke; they wrote the Psalms in Hebrew.

Jew ~ a person who is born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.

Lord ~ master. In the *New Testament it usually means Jesus; in the *Old Testament it usually means God.

LORD ~ the covenant name of God. A covenant is when two people agree to do something.

New Testament ~ the last part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after the life of Jesus. It is about the things that Jesus did and taught. It is also about what Christians believe and do.

Old Testament ~ the first part of the Bible, which the writers wrote before the life of Jesus.

trap ~ something that people use to catch a bird or an animal.


© 1997-2004, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words).

January 2004

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