7 We are like a bird escaped from the fowler’s trap; the trap broke and we escaped.
naf-SHAY-nu k’-tzi-POR nim-l’-TAH mi-PAKH yo-k’-SHEEM ha-PAKH nish-BAR va-a-NAKH-nu nim-LAT-nu
ז נַפְשֵׁנוּ כְּצִפּוֹר נִמְלְטָה מִפַּח יוֹקְשִׁים הַפַּח נִשְׁבָּר וַאֲנַחְנוּ נִמְלָטְנוּ׃
124:7 We are like a bird escaped from the fowler’s trap
In Psalm 124, the psalmist thanks God for saving him from imminent destruction: “Were it not for Hashem, who was on our side when men assailed us” (verse 2). The metaphor of a bird escaping a trap is interesting in light of an archaeological discovery called the Jerusalem Prism, housed today in the Israel Museum. It contains the annals of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. In it, he makes reference to the conquest of northern Israel and the exile of its inhabitants, and describes his conquest of many of the cities in the southern kingdom of Yehuda. When depicting the siege of Yerushalayim in the time of Chizkiyahu, he says that he confined Chizkiyahu “as a caged bird,” employing language similar to this verse. Ultimately, though, a miracle took place and the Assyrian army mysteriously died, allowing King Chizkiyahu and Yerushalayim to be freed from the Assyrian snare (II Kings 18-19).