Then upas our mouth filled with laughter - The same effect as was produced on the poor liberated Grecians mentioned above.
Then said they among the heathen - The liberty now granted was brought about in so extraordinary a way, that the very heathens saw that the hand of the great Jehovah must have been in it.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter - Then were we happy; completely happy. See Job 8:21.
And our tongue with singing - We expressed our joy in songs - the natural expression of joy. Young converts - those “turned” from sin to God - sing. Their feelings find expression in the songs of Zion. This is natural; this is proper; this will occur when sinners are converted. An assemblage of young converts is always a happy assemblage; a place where there is a “revival” of religion is always a happy place - full of songs and singing.
Then said they among the heathen - The nations; the people among whom they dwelt.
The Lord hath done great things for them - In causing their return to their own land; in ordering the arrangements for it; in bringing their captivity to an end; in securing such interposition from the civil rulers as to facilitate their return. This would indicate that the surrounding people had not an unfriendly feeling toward them, but that they pitied them in exile, and were disposed to acknowledge the hand of God in what was done. Their deliverance, in the circumstances, was such as evidently to have been the work of God. This will agree well with the account of the return of the exiles from Babylon, and with all that had been done for them by Cyrus. Compare Ezra 1:1-4.
“When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion,
We were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing:
Then said they among the heathen,
The Lord hath done great things for them.
The Lord hath done great things for us;
Whereof we are glad.” PK 559.1
Psalm 126:1-3. PK 559
“The chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised”—these were the goodly remnant, about fifty thousand strong, from among the Jews in the lands of exile, who determined to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity offered them “to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.” Their friends did not permit them to go empty-handed. “All they that were about them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, and with beasts, and with precious things.” And to these and many other voluntary offerings were added “the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of Jerusalem; ... even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, ... five thousand and four hundred” in number, for use in the temple that was to be rebuilt. Ezra 1:5-11. PK 559.2Read in context »