Psalm 128

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Scroll of the Psalms
Miniature illustrating Psalm 128, Blessing on the Faithful, in The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry, Condé Museum, ms.65, f.56r. An old man seated on a throne, surrounded by his eight faithful.

Psalm 128 is the 128th psalm of the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament. It is one of fifteen psalms which begins with the words "A song of ascents" (Shir Hama'alot). It contains only six verses, and discusses the blessed state of those who follow Yahweh.[1] Its opening words in the King James Version are "Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways".[2] In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 127 in a slightly different numbering system.

Written anonymously, it likely dates to the post-exilic period (that is, after about 539 BCE).[3]

The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary describes Zechariah 8:1-8 as a "virtual commentary on this psalm".[4]

The psalm ends with a prayer for peace upon Israel. This is best taken as a "detached clause", like the concluding clause of Psalm 125, according to the Pulpit Commentary.[5]



In traditional Jewish practice, this psalm is recited following Mincha between Sukkot and Shabbat Hagadol.[6]It is also recited prior to Aleinu during Motzei Shabbat Maariv,[7] and among the prayers of the Bedtime Shema.[8] Its second verse is found in Pirkei Avot Chapter 4, no. 1[9] and Chapter 6, no. 4.[10]


Traditionally, since the Middle Ages, this psalm has been recited within the Office of none from Tuesday until Saturday, according to the Rule of St. Benedict (530).[11]

In the liturgy of the current Mass, Psalm 128 is used on the feast of the Holy Family, the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time of the year A and the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time of the year B. It is also the traditional psalm for wedding masses (missa pro votiva sponso and sponsa).


This psalm was used by Michel-Richard Delalande in 1698 to compose a grand motet which was played in the royal chapel of Versailles to celebrate the offices.


  1. ^ Psalm 128:1-6
  2. ^ Psalm 128:1
  3. ^ James D. G. Dunn (19 November 2003). Eerdmans Commentary on the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 427. ISBN 978-0-8028-3711-0.
  4. ^ Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on Psalm 128, accessed 23 September 2018
  5. ^ Pulpit Commentary on Psalm 128, accessed 23 September 2018
  6. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 530
  7. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 608
  8. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 294
  9. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 565
  10. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur page 583
  11. ^ Prosper Guéranger, Règle de saint Benoît, (Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, réimpression 2007) p46.

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