Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 122:6’

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

December 8, 2017
Jerusalem Western_wall_jerusalem_night 2

Photo shows men praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

The recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel by the United States once again brings attention to “The Holy City,” said to be the focal point of the world. In reflecting on this occurrence, Psalm 122 in the Amplified Bible comes to mind:

Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem.

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

122 I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,

Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is firmly joined together;

To which the [twelve] tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord,
[As was decreed as] an ordinance for Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.

For there the thrones of judgment were set,
the thrones of the house of David.


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you [holy city].

“May peace be within your walls
and prosperity within your palaces.”

For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of the Lord our God [which is Jerusalem],
I will seek your (the city’s) good.

This particular psalm is said to be among the Psalms of Degrees or Songs (Psalms) of Ascent. Psalms 120-134 comprise a “hymn book” from which pilgrims sang as they were ascending Mount Zion, the highest point in Jerusalem, the place of celebration of the annual feasts mandated by God for the Children of Israel.  Clift McCann writes in The New Interpreter’s Bible that these psalms are all short enough to be memorized and several contain references to everyday life, implying that these psalms reflect the experiences of everyday people traveling or arriving at Jerusalem.

Logos Bible software notes this Psalm expresses the sacred joy of the pilgrims on entering the Holy City, where praise, as the religious as well as civil metropolis, is celebrated, and for whose prosperity, as representing the Church, prayer is offered. While the entire psalm has been described as a prayer, verse 6 is a specific exhortation to pray and the inspiration for these lyrics:

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of the City of Peace.

 

Watchmen on the wall, do not tarry

But carry the message and tell all the people to pray,

To give the Lord no rest, but call on Him night and day

And pray, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of the City of Peace.

 

Watchmen on the wall, do not tarry

But carry the message and tell all the people to pray,

To give the Lord no rest but call on Him night and day

And pray, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

Watchmen on the wall, do not tarry

But carry the message and tell all the people to pray,

To stand in the gap and make up the hedge night and day,

And pray, pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

 

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Pray for the peace of the City of Peace.

The peace God desires, not only for Jerusalem but for the whole world, goes beyond the usual definition referring to “the normal non-warring condition of a nation, a group of nations or the world. . . a state of harmony among people or groups; cessation or freedom from strife or dissension.” In contrast, the Biblical definition encompasses a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being, expressed in the Hebrew expression shalom.

According to Strong’s Concordance, shalom means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” For the Christian believer, it is an inner reality, revealed as the peace of God that comes from the God of peace obtained through the Prince of Peace.  This peace which passes all understanding is not dependent upon outside conditions.

Now more than ever before, we need to heed the words of the Psalmist and “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

Esther Mui offers a lively musical rendering of Psalm 122 Song (KJV) “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem”: