Psalm 127

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Obi Wan Kenobi
I'm in the process of working through Psalm 127. Verse 3 can be translated as either "children are a heritage from the LORD," or "a heritage for the LORD." The language bears either translation faithfully, just as it can in the title (of/from Solomon or for Solomon). The title had little bearing on how I might preach this, but in this case the impact is more substantial in regard to meaning and application.

Can anyone give me some further insight into which translation is preferable? Why? Other insights as I work through these three verses (3-5, I preached on 1-2 yesterday).



Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I won't be dogmatic, but I think that the whole Psalm is speaking to the the things God gives, and to say the children are for him is to go against the grain or general slant of the whole Psalm.

Things God gives:
building (strength, stability, endurance) -- keep/protection
provision (food, clothing, shelter) -- sleep/peace
children/fruit of the womb -- inheritance/future, reward

Perhaps you could include, as an aside (?) the fact that taking the words another way yields a satisfactory sense, conceptually, i.e. that the children are not simply from him, but also for him; a lasting inheritance would include seeing the children in heaven, and surely this is a great desire of parents. Not to mention a fulfillment of Abraham's covenant. But, I do think this is more inferential than the standard rendering. A much clearer way of saying "for" or "to" the Lord would have been the use of a lamed-prefix. :2cents:

Presbyterian Deacon

Puritan Board Graduate
In Spurgeon's Treasury of David, I found this:

The Hebrew seems to imply that children are an heritage belonging to the Lord, and not an heritage given by the Lord, as most English readers appear to take it. The Targum likewise bears this out.
--H. T. Armfield


Obi Wan Kenobi
Thanks for your thoughts. Spurgeon is always a good source on the psalms. His research on Selah is still one of the best resources available.

Anyone else, please pile on.


Obi Wan Kenobi
In the Treasury of David Spurgeon references a sermon.

"The Reward of Well doing Sure." Sermon by Henry Melvill, in "The Pulpit," 1856.

Does anybody know how this can be accessed? I've done a simple search, but all I get are references to the Treasury.
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