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a Bible passage
Walk about Zion, go all around it,
count its towers,
12 and 13 Encompass Zion, etc. Here the prophet again commends the situation and beauty of Jerusalem, intimating that the city was strongly fortified and impregnable; and he does this, because in these external things the blessing of God in some respect shone forth. We must always bear in mind what he stated in a preceding verse, that “God in her palaces is known for a fortress.” In making mention here of her towers and walls, we are not to suppose that he would have the minds of the faithful to rest in these things. He rather sets them before us as a mirror in which the character of God may be seen. He therefore says, Encompass Zion that is, look upon it carefully and attentively on every side; — number her towers, and apply your mind to consider her walls; that is, estimate her palaces as they deserve, and thus it will be manifest beyond all doubt that this is a city chosen of God, seeing it far surpasses all other cities. In insisting upon these points, his whole drift is to make manifest the character with which the Lord had invested Jerusalem in making it a sacred place, in which he himself might take up his abode, and in erecting it as a dwelling-place for his people. It seems, moreover, that the prophet, in stating that the object of his exhortation was, that the beauty and magnificence of the holy city might be reported to the succeeding generation, tacitly gives us to understand, that the time would at length come when that city would be no longer seen. What need would there be for making this report if it could be seen and were always before the eyes of the world? Although, then, he has said a little before that Jerusalem is established for ever, yet he now teaches us, by way of correction, what kind of perpetuity it will be — that it will endure only till the time of the renovation of the Church. We belong to that generation to come, to whom it is said these things will be reported; for we are sharers in all the benefits which God, in the days of old, bestowed upon his ancient people. The outward splendor for which Jerusalem was admired does not, indeed, stand forth conspicuous amongst us at the present day; but since the coming of Christ into our world, the Church has been no less richly and magnificently adorned with spiritual gifts than Jerusalem, under the shadows of the Law, was in old time surrounded and fortified with strong walls and towers. I have translated the word פסגו, pasgu, exalt, referring it to the value which ought to be put upon the towers of the city because of their excellence. To explain it, as is done by some, fortify or strengthen, seems to be less suitable. If any are inclined rather to follow the interpretation of those who render it look upon or behold, I have no great objection to it.