Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain that build it: unless the LORD keeps the city, the watchman wakes, but in vain.
Read Chapter 127
Augustine of Hippo
1. Among all the Songs entitled the Song of degrees, this Psalm hath a further addition in the title, that it is "Solomon's." For thus it is entitled, "A Song of degrees of Solomon. It hath therefore aroused our attention, and caused us to enquire the reason of this addition, "of Solomon." For it is needless to repeat explanations of the other words, Song of degrees. ...Solomon was in his time David's son, a great man, through whom many holy precepts and healthful admonitions and divine mysteries have been wrought by the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. Solomon himself was a lover of women, and was rejected by God: and this lust was so great a snare unto him, that he was induced by women even to sacrifice to idols, as Scripture witnesseth concerning him. But if, by his fall what was delivered through him were blotted out, it would be judged that he had himself delivered these precepts, and not that they were delivered through him. The mercy of God, therefore, and His Spirit, excellently ...
2. But that which is the house of God is also a city. For the house of God is the people of God; for the house of God is the temple of God. ...This is Jerusalem: she hath guards: as she hath builders, labouring at her building up, so also hath she guards. To this guardianship these words of the Apostle relate: "I fear, lest by any means your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ." He was guarding the Church. He kept watch, to the utmost of his power, over those over whom he was set. The Bishops also do this. For a higher place was for this reason given the Bishops, that they might be themselves the superintendents and as it were the guardians of the people. For the Greek word Episcopus, and the vernacular Superintendent, are the same; for the Bishop superintends, in that he looks over. As a higher place is assigned to the vinedresser in the charge of the vineyard, so also to the Bishops a more exalted station is alloted. And a perilous account is rendered of ...
Of. Or "for "Solomon. This word is not in the Septuagint. (Berthier)
Some suppose that David put the psalm into his hands, to teach him that all depends on God. (Muis)
He was to undertake various important works during his reign, (Haydock) particularly the temple, at the dedication of which this might be sung. (Worthington)
The chiefs of the captives might also appropriate it to their use, (Berthier) when they were rebuilding the temple, 2 Esdras iv., and vi. (Calmet)
It seems to refer to the times of the Messias. (Berthier)
House, or temple, and grant children, Exodus i. 21., and Genesis xxx. 2. Without God's assistance, all your endeavours to rebuild the temple and city will prove fruitless.
It. Nehemias had ordered the citizens to watch the attempts of Sanaballat. (Calmet)
But still depended more on Providence than on his own industry. (Haydock)
David, Solomon, Esdras, may have held this language. (Berthier)
Yet inactivity is not encouraged. We must labour, and still expect...