Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
In sharp contrast to Psalm 119, Psalm 120 is fairly brief. Augustine identifies this as a song of ascent, indicating spiritual progress (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340031, par. 1). In this Psalm there is great wisdom, yet it can also speak to spiritual infants.
Augustine sees spiritual progress as something which incites adversaries. The person who is not progressing is usually more safe from opposition (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340039, par. 2). Verse one, therefore, depicts calling on the Lord when in trouble. The Psalmist wishes to be rescued from unrighteous speech (v. 2). Augustine takes a treacherous tongue to be one of the greatest evils in the world. Though he understands Christ himself to be unassailabke, this is not the case with his followers (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340044, par. 3).
Verse three asks what remedy there is for the deceitful speech, only to move on in verse four with the anser of God's own weapons (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340052, par. 4). In sorrow, however, the Psalmist realizes he is far from the company of angels nad righteousness. Augustine sees this as a sojourn in a hostile, foreign land (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340065, par. 5). The desired place is our heavenly Jerusalem. However, as Augustine observes, the Psalmist has found himself in the place of darkness (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340077, par. 6).
Verse six speaks specifically of the Psalmist's soul wandering. Augustine observes that "the body wandereth in paces, the soul wandereth in its affections" (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340085, par. 7). The hope and goal, then, is restoration. Augustine sees the true restoration to be a move to peace and unity of doctrine, as we become one in Christ (Augustine Psalms, loc. 340094, par. 8).