|DEGREES, PSALMS OF |
Is the title prefixed to fifteen psalms, from Psalms 120 to Psalms 134 inclusive. Of this title commentators have proposed a variety of explanations. The most probable are the following: First, pilgrim songs, sung by the Israelites while going up to Jerusalem to worship; compare Psalms 122:4; but to this explanation the contents of only a few of these psalms are appropriate, as for instance, of Psalms 122:1-9. Secondly, others suppose the title to refer to a species of rhythm in these psalms; by which the sense ascends, as it were, by degrees, one member or clause frequently repeating the words with which the preceding member closes. Thus in Psalms 121:1-8,
1. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, From whence cometh my help.
2. My help cometh from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
3. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; Thy keeper will not slumber.
4. Lo, not slumber nor sleep will the keeper of Israel.
But this solution does not well apply to all these psalms.