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Psalm 122[a]

A Pilgrim’s Prayer for Jerusalem

A song of ascents. Of David.

I

I rejoiced when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”(A)
And now our feet are standing
    within your gates, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, built as a city,
    walled round about.[b](B)
There 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)
There are the thrones of justice,
    the thrones of the house of David.

II

For the peace of Jerusalem pray:
    “May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your ramparts,
    prosperity within your towers.”(D)
For the sake of my brothers and friends I say,
    “Peace be with you.”(E)
For the sake of the house of the Lord, our God,
    I pray for your good.

Footnotes

  1. 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 122:1–3). 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 48:13–15). May the grace of this place transform the people’s lives (Ps 122:6–9)!
  2. 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.

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