"Except The Lord Build The House"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 110

Context: The poet, illustrating his belief that it is useless for man to work unless God is with him, states that it is vain to build a house or to keep watch over a city without the Lord. It is futile to labor anxiously from early morning to late at night; the loving Father eases tensions and gives rest:

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Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

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