New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Prayer of a Pilgrim to Jerusalem
1 For the leader; “upon the gittith.” A psalm of the Korahites.
2 How lovely your dwelling,
O Lord of hosts!(A)
3 My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the Lord.(B)
My heart and flesh cry out
for the living God.
4 [b]As the sparrow finds a home
and the swallow a nest to settle her young,
My home is by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God!(C)
5 Blessed are those who dwell in your house!
They never cease to praise you.
6 Blessed the man who finds refuge in you,
in their hearts are pilgrim roads.
7 As they pass through the Baca valley,[c]
they find spring water to drink.
The early rain covers it with blessings.
8 They will go from strength to strength[d]
and see the God of gods on Zion.
11 Better one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.
Better the threshold of the house of my God
than a home in the tents of the wicked.
12 For a sun and shield is the Lord God,
bestowing all grace and glory.
The Lord withholds no good thing
from those who walk without reproach.
13 O Lord of hosts,
blessed the man who trusts in you!
- Psalm 84 Israelites celebrated three pilgrimage feasts in Jerusalem annually. The Psalm expresses the sentiments of the pilgrims eager to enjoy the divine presence.
- 84:4 The desire of a restless bird for a secure home is an image of the desire of a pilgrim for the secure house of God, cf. Ps 42:2–3, where the image for the desire of the pilgrim is the thirst of the deer for water.
- 84:7 Baca valley: Hebrew obscure; probably a valley on the way to Jerusalem.
- 84:8 Strength to strength: pass through outer and inner wall.
- 84:10 Our shield…your anointed: the king had a role in the liturgical celebration. For the king as shield, cf. Ps 89:19.