Verses of Psalms 122

Psalms 122 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

The home of the author of this Psalm was in the country, at a distance from Jerusalem. He recalls the joy with which he heard the invitation of his neighbours to join the company of pilgrims (Luk 2:44) going up to one of the great Feasts ( Psa 122:1). He describes the overwhelming impression made upon his mind by the sight of the city as they halted in its gates ( Psa 122:2-3), and by the recollections of its ancient glories as the religious and civil centre of the national life ( Psa 122:4-5). With a burst of heartfelt enthusiasm he bids men pray and prays himself for its future welfare ( Psa 122:6-9).

The Psalm may best be explained thus, as the meditation of a pilgrim who, after returning to the quiet of his home, reflects upon the happy memories of his pilgrimage. This is the most natural interpretation of the past tenses in Psa 122:1-2, ‘I was glad’ … ‘Our feet were standing.’ Many commentators, however, render ‘Our feet are standing,’ and regard the Psalm as uttered at the moment when the pilgrims have reached their goal.

The Heb. text, with which agree Cod. א of the LXX, Aq. and Symm., adds of David to the title: but it is omitted by other MSS of the LXX, by the Targ., and by Jer. The addition may have been suggested by Psa 122:5; but the Psalm cannot have been written by David, for the Temple is standing, and the opening words are clearly those of one who has to travel to it from a distance; nor even in the time of the monarchy, for Psa 122:4-5 appear to look back across the Exile to a distant past. Most probably it belongs to the time of Nehemiah, when the walls had been rebuilt, and means taken to provide the city with an adequate population. Psa 122:6 ff. may perhaps be explained from Neh 11:1 ff. [81]

[81] The use of the relative שׁ ( sh) in this Psalm ( Psa 122:3-4) and in Psa 124:1-2; Psa 124:6; Psa 129:6-7; Psa 133:2-3; Psa 135:2; Psa 135:8; Psa 135:10; Psa 136:23; Psa 137:8-9; Psa 144:15; Psa 146:3; Psa 146:5, points to a late date, though “our imperfect knowledge of the history and usage of שׁ ” makes the argument an uncertain one (see Driver, Lit. of O. T. 6 p. 450): and the use of the participle and verb substantive as in Psa 122:2 (‘were standing’ = עמדות היו ), though not unknown in the earlier stages of the language, becomes common in later books, and is characteristic of Nehemiah.

Verses of Psalms 122

Consult other comments:

Psalms 122:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalms 122:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Psalms 122:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Psalms 122:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalms 122:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Psalms 122:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 122:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalms 122:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Psalms 122:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges