Psalm 127 is one of two psalms attributed to Solomon (the other is Psalm 72) and resembles a proverb. It offers wisdom for building a stable home and godly family in which the Lord is glorified and His kingdom is furthered on earth. As one of the Songs of Ascent, this psalm would remind families as they traveled on their pilgrimages to Jerusalem to depend on God for every need and thank Him for every blessing. One of those blessings is God’s gift of children: “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3, CEV).
Many Bible translations use the word “heritage” instead of “blessing” and “reward” in place of “gift.” For example, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him” (NIV), and “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (ESV). In the original language, the Hebrew word translated as “heritage” or “blessing” (nachalah) means “inheritance.” Solomon affirms the ancient Near East belief that children are God’s gracious gift imparted to parents.
In Old Testament times, a large family with many sons and daughters was a sign of the Lord’s blessing and expression of divine favor (Genesis 33:5; Deuteronomy 7:13–14; Joshua 24:3). In Genesis 1:28, God commanded His people to “be fruitful and multiply.” After the flood, God told Noah, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). As God’s covenant people, the ancient Hebrews appreciated the importance of procreation. The Lord told Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you . . . and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2–3). Israel’s physical, emotional, and economic strength and security were expressed through large families (Psalm 113:9).
Children are a source of great joy and pleasure (Proverbs 23:24). At the same time, when they disobey and rebel, they can cause much heartache and grief for their parents. No one can deny that children are an enormous responsibility, but they are also one of life’s greatest assets. Raising children requires a huge investment of time, resources, and love, but the resulting rewards are immeasurable. Jesus acknowledged, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Instead of seeing children as a burden or liability, believers are to accept them as a legacy and gift from God (see Exodus 23:25–26).
Solomon continues: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court” (Psalm 127:4–5). These lines portray a father as a warrior and his children as arrows in his quiver. A soldier with his “quiver full” was fully armed and ready for battle. In families that are established on a godly foundation, children are a vital weapon against the forces of evil in the world. Children, like arrows, can be sent out into the world to advance the cause of God’s kingdom.
The Lord commanded the Israelites to teach their children His ways (Deuteronomy 6:6–7; 11:19), and that responsibility remains with Christian parents today (see Ephesians 6:4). Fortunately, the Bible offers much wisdom and instruction for raising godly children. The end goal is to produce wise children who will honor and glorify God and serve Him throughout their lives (Proverbs 22:6).
Children are also a blessing from the Lord because they provide future protection and security to their families. In ancient Israel, a household with many sons offered safety and defense—more children equaled less vulnerability. Parents who have children when they are young are blessed because those children will grow up in time to provide support and financial stability for their parents later in life. Grown children safeguard the family inheritance from those who might try to take legal or financial advantage of elderly parents. They also carry on the family heritage to future generations.
Moreover, children are a blessing from the Lord in that they demonstrate many character qualities that God wants His kingdom servants to cultivate (Matthew 18:3–4; 19:14; Mark 10:14–15; Luke 18:16–17; 22:26 1 Peter 2:2).
Solomon’s statement that children are a blessing from the Lord does not mean God has not blessed childless couples or that children are the only sign of His favor. It simply means that children are to be received as an expression of God’s goodness and grace and not as a curse or an inconvenience. When God chooses to bless us with children, He intends to bring great joy, pleasure, security, protection, and reward to our home and family through them.