Introduction to Psalm 123
A Song of degrees. This psalm is not thought to be written by David, but by some other person in later times; and at a time, as is clear, when the people of God were much exposed to the scorn and contempt of men. Dr. Patrick thinks it was written by some pious person; perhaps by Isaiah, in Hezekiah's time, when Rabshakeh poured out his contempt on God, on the king and the people. Others are of opinion, it was written by one of the Babylonish captivity, when the Jews were jeered by the Babylonians, and they tauntingly asked them to sing one of the songs of Zion; and scornfully said of Jerusalem, Is this the city men call the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth? So Aben Ezra says, the psalmist speaks of a great man of the generation, which was in captivity or in a siege; and Kimchi says, that he speaks in the language of the children of the captivity; to which agrees the Syriac inscription,
"it is said in the person of Zorobabel, the prince of the captives.''
Others think it was composed in the times of Antiochus, the little horn prophesied of by Daniel, whose look was more stout than his fellows; who magnified himself against God and his people, profaned the sanctuary, and took away the daily sacrifice: and others are of opinion it was written a little before the coming of Christ, in the person of those who were waiting for it, and spiritual redemption and salvation by it; and who were scorned and derided by the proud Scribes and Pharisees.