Psalm 120:7
(7) I am for peace.--For the pregnant, "I peace," see Note, Psalm 109:3. Both pronouns, I and they, are emphatic. No doubt these verses are intended to indicate the nature of the malicious speeches mentioned in Psalm 120:2-3. We imagine Israel in peculiarly difficult political relations under the Persians, possibly very soon after the Return, trying to keep in favour and peace with the ruling powers, but continually drawn into trouble by the jealousy and bitterness of other subject tribes. (See Introduction.)

Verse 7. - I am for peace; literally, I am peace; but the meaning is as given in the Authorized Version. But when I speak (i.e. when I speak to them of peace), they are for war; i.e. they are utterly averse to peace, and are bent on continual hostility. The general history bears out this statement. There is only one apparent exception. When the Jews returned from the Captivity and began to build the temple, the Samaritans offered to join with them (Ezra 4:2). But the Samaritan offer was, perhaps, insincere. At any rate, when it was refused, they became the most bitter opponents of the Jews.

120:5-7 It is very grievous to a good man, to be cast into, and kept in the company of the wicked, from whom he hopes to be for ever separated. See here the character of a good man; he is for living peaceably with all men. And let us follow David as he prefigured Christ; in our distress let us cry unto the Lord, and he will hear us. Let us follow after peace and holiness, striving to overcome evil with good.I am for peace,.... Am wholly peace; a man of peace, as Aben Ezra; of a peaceable disposition, devoted to peace; love it, seek and pursue it, as every good man does, who is called to it, and in whose heart it rules: such follow peace with all men, and the things which make for it; and, as much as in them lies, endeavour to live peaceably with all;

but when I speak, they are for war; make a motion for peace, and propose the terms of it, they declare against it, and for war: or when he spoke of the things of God, and of his experience of them, of the word of God, and of the truths of it, and of what he believed, Psalm 116:10; and especially when he gave good counsel and advice to them, and reproved them for their sins, they could not bear it; but hated him for it, and proclaimed war against him; and could not behave peaceably to him in any degree, but became his avowed, sworn, and implacable enemies. The Targum is,

"when I prayed;''

either prayed to God, that they did not like; or prayed for peace with them, that they would not grant; but became more imbittered against him.

Psalm 120:6
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