Songs of Degrees

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This is the title given to fifteen Psalms, 120-134. The word is maalah, and signifies “going up, ascent,” and is translated, “stairs, steps, going up.” These Psalms have been grouped together: four are by David, one by Solomon, and the rest are without a name. Scripture does not specify any particular occasion on which they were used. The principal thought in the title being “a going up” it has been suggested that as all males had to go up to Jerusalem three times in the year, these may be the songs they sang on their way. The return from captivity under Ezra and Nehemiah is also called “a going up,” and these Psalms may have been used on that occasion. The Syriac Version heads them “Songs of ascent from Babylon.” On a still future return to the land the Spirit of God may lead to a similar use of these Songs of Degrees. They represent Israel as in the land, but all opposition not as yet removed.