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Psalm 122

Song of Praise and Prayer for Jerusalem

A Song of Ascents. Of David.


I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the L ord!”


Our feet are standing

within your gates, O Jerusalem.



Jerusalem—built as a city

that is bound firmly together.


To it the tribes go up,

the tribes of the L ord,

as was decreed for Israel,

to give thanks to the name of the L ord.


For there the thrones for judgment were set up,

the thrones of the house of David.



Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

“May they prosper who love you.


Peace be within your walls,

and security within your towers.”


For the sake of my relatives and friends

I will say, “Peace be within you.”


For the sake of the house of the L ord our God,

I will seek your good.

4. Thither the tribes ascended. David here invests Jerusalem with two titles of honor, calling it the sacred and regularly appointed place for calling upon the name of God; and next, the royal sea, to which the whole people were to have recourse for obtaining justice. All our salvation depends upon these two points; first, that Christ has been given to us to be our priest; and, secondly, that he has been established king to govern us. This God showed to his ancient people under figures. The sanctuary erected on mount Zion was intended to keep their faith fixed upon the spiritual priesthood of Christ; and in like manner, by the kingdom of David, there was presented to their view an image of the kingdom of Christ. The Psalmist, therefore, says in the first place, that the tribes or families of God shall come to Jerusalem; and then he immediately adds, that there the seat of judgment is erected, on which he and his posterity will sit. The reason why it was the will of God that there should be only one temple and one altar was, that the people might not fall away to various superstitions. David therefore here declares that this place was appointed by God’s own mouth, that all the families of God, or the twelve tribes, might there assemble from all quarters. To express more plainly how important it was, for this form of God’s worship to be preserved pure and complete, he says that it was for a testimony The noun employed comes from the verb עוד, ud, which signifies to bear witness, or to covenant. Now by the word in this place is denoted a mutual declaration or agreement between God and the people. When the tribes shall come thither, says the Prophet substantially, it will not be at random, because their fancy thus leads them, but because God by his own mouth invites them. The amount therefore is, that the holy assemblies which shall be kept at Jerusalem will not be vain and unprofitable, since God has made a covenant with his people, determining and appointing that place for his service. Whence we learn, that in judging of the true temple of God, it is necessary to take into account the doctrine taught. With respect to the time in which David lived, as God had adopted the Jewish people, and as it was his will that they should be employed in the external worship of his name, he prescribed to them a rule from which it was unlawful for them to deviate. Thus when the faithful assembled on mount Zion, it was not foolishness or inconsiderate zeal, or the impulse of their own minds, which brought them thither, as if they resembled those men whom we daily see inventing for themselves, out of their own heads, numberless kinds of divine worship; but they were led thither by the command of God, that they might worship him on mount Zion, by which word the Prophet intimates, that all other temples are unholy, and all other religions perverse and corrupt, because they do not correspond with the rule laid down in God’s word. He next subjoins the end of this contract or covenant, which was that the name of God might be praised. And, indeed, as to yield to God the glory of all good things is the end of our adoption, so it is the end of all our actions.

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