Psalms

PSALM 122*

A Pilgrim’s Prayer for Jerusalem

1A song of ascents. Of David.

I

I rejoiced when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”a

2And now our feet are standing

within your gates, Jerusalem.

3Jerusalem, built as a city,

walled round about.*b

4There the tribes go up,

the tribes of the LORD,

As it was decreed for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the LORD.c

5There are the thrones of justice,

the thrones of the house of David.

II

6For the peace of Jerusalem pray:

“May those who love you prosper!

7May peace be within your ramparts,

prosperity within your towers.”d

8For the sake of my brothers and friends I say,

“Peace be with you.”e

9For the sake of the house of the LORD, our God,

I pray for your good.

* [Psalm 122] A song of Zion, sung by pilgrims obeying the law to visit Jerusalem three times on a journey. The singer anticipates joining the procession into the city (Ps 122:13). Jerusalem is a place of encounter, where the people praise God (Ps 122:4) and hear the divine justice mediated by the king (Ps 122:5). The very buildings bespeak God’s power (cf. Ps 48:1315). May the grace of this place transform the people’s lives (Ps 122:69)!

* [122:3] Walled round about: lit., “which is joined to it,” probably referring both to the density of the buildings and to the dense population.

a. [122:1] Ps 43:34; 84:25.

b. [122:3] Ps 48:1314.

c. [122:4] Dt 16:16.

d. [122:7] Ps 128:5.

e. [122:8] Jn 20:19ff.

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