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A Song of degrees of David.

  1. Had it not been jehovah who was with us, may Israel now say;
  2. Had it not been jehovah who was with us when men rose up against us;
  3. We had long ago been swallowed up alive, because their wrath was kindled against us.
  4. Long ago the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul;
  5. Long ago had the waters gone over our soul, even the waters of the proud.
  6. Blessed be jehovah, who has not given us up a prey to their teeth!
  7. Our soul is escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowler; the snare is broken, and we are escaped!
  8. Our help is in the name of jehovah who has made heaven and earth!

The Internal Sense

To the father, for his preservation in temptations, verses 1 to 5; from the deceitful and hypocrites, verses 6 to 8.


Verses 2, 4, 5. By the waters of the proud which are here mentioned, are signified false principles favouring self-love and confirming it, also false principles of doctrine which are from man's own intelligence; by a stream is signified reasonings from those principles against truths; hence it is evident what is meant by had not jehovah been with us when men rose up against us, namely, that when man from himself with his own love and from his own intelligence rises up and endeavours to destroy the truths of the church, for the subject treated is concerning Israel, by whom is signified the church; by the waters which were overwhelming them, and by the rivers which would pass over their soul, are signified false principles and reasonings grounded in them, and hence the destruction of spiritual life, which man has by truths and by a life according to them; by waters are signified false principles, by streams reasonings grounded in them, and by overwhelming and passing over the soul is signified the destruction of spiritual life. AE 518.

Verse 6. Blessed be jehovah, who has not given us up a prey to their teeth. Blessing implies every good celestial, and spiritual, and also natural, which is signified by blessing in the internal sense; and in the external sense by blessing is signified every corporeal, and worldly, and terrestrial good, but these goods, if they be a blessing, must necessarily be from internal good, for this alone is blessing, because it is eternal and joined with all happiness, and is the very esse of all blessings. That all good belongs to those who from internal principles worship the lord, may be manifest from the order of things; for this is the order: from the lord comes all that is celestial, from the celestial is all that is spiritual, from what is spiritual is all that is natural, this is the order of the existence of all things, and hence is the order of influx; what is celestial is love to the lord and also neighbourly love; where there is no love, their connection is broken and the lord is not present, who alone flows in through what is celestial, that is, by love; where there is not a celestial principle, there cannot be given a spiritual principle, since all that is spiritual is through what is celestial from the lord; what is spiritual is faith, wherefore there can be no faith unless by charity and love from the lord; hence it follows, that they are in possession of every good, who from internal principles, that is from charity, worship the lord, but they who do not worship from charity are not in possession of any good, only such as considered in itself is nothing but of excrementious delight, as the delight of hatred and adultery. AC 1096.

By the waters which would have overwhelmed them, are signified the false principles which overflow, and as it were overwhelm the man who is in temptations; wherefore it is said, "Blessed be jehovah, who has not given us up a prey to their teeth," that is, to the hells, which by false principles destroy truths, thus the destructive false principles. AE 556.

What teeth signify in an internal sense, see Psalm iii, 7, Exposition.

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