Matthew Poole's Commentary
A Song of degrees of David. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.THE ARGUMENT
This Psalm seems to have been written by David for the use of the people when they came up to Jerusalem to the solemn feasts.
David professeth his joy when he went into the house of the Lord, Psalm 122:1-5; prayeth for the welfare, prosperity, and peace of it, Psalm 122:6-9.
Let us go; exhorting one another to it, as Deu 33:19. Or, We will go. The sense is, It delighteth me much to hear that the people, who had so long lived in the neglect or contempt of God’s worship, were now ready and forward in it.
Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.Our feet shall stand; thither we shall come, and there we shall make our abode during the times of solemn worship.
Within thy gates, O Jerusalem; in that city where the ark is now fixed. We shall wander no more from place to place, as the ark was removed.
Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:Partly in its buildings, which are not dispersed, as they are in villages, nor divided into two cities, as it was before, but united and enlarged, 1 Chronicles 11:7,8; and principally in its government and religion, which was distinct and opposite, before David took the fort of Zion from the Jebusites.
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.The tribes; not some few pious people of each tribe, as in Saul’s time and under the judges, but whole tribes; nor only one or two of the tribes, as it was during the late civil wars, but all the twelve tribes.
The tribes of the Lord; whom God hath chosen to be his people, and whom he hath invited and required to resort thither.
Unto the testimony of Israel; unto the ark, which is oft called the testimony, as Exodus 16:34 Leviticus 16:13 24:3 Num 17:, 1, and more fully the ark of the testimony, as Exodus 26:33,34, and elsewhere; because of the tables of the covenant laid up in it, which are called God’s testimony, and the tables of the testimony, as Exodus 25:16 31:18, &c. And this may well be called the testimony of or to Israel, because it was given by God to them and for their good. Or, by or according to the testimony of Israel, i.e. God’s command given to Israel, which may be alleged here as the reason which moved them to this journey.
To give thanks unto the name of the Lord; to worship God; this one eminent part and action thereof being put for all the rest.
For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.This is added as another reason inviting and obliging them to go up to Jerusalem, and as another commendation of this city.
Thrones of judgment; the supreme courts of justice for ecclesiastical, and especially for civil affairs, as the next clause explains it.
The thrones of the house of David; the royal throne allotted by God to David and to his posterity for ever, and the inferior seats of justice established by and under his authority. See 2 Chronicles 19:8-10.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; in whose prosperity both your civil and your religious privileges are deeply concerned. They shall prosper; or, let them prosper; the future being taken imperatively, as is very frequent. The Lord grant them prosperity and all happiness.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.Within thy walls; in all thy dwellings.
Within thy palaces; especially in the court and the dwellings of the princes and rulers, whose welfare is a public blessing to all the people.
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.And this I desire not only nor chiefly for my own security, and for the glory of mine empire, but for the sake of all my fellow citizens, and of all the Israelites, whom, though my subjects, I must own for my brethren and companions in the chief privileges and blessings enjoyed at Jerusalem.
Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.The house of the Lord our God; which is now fixed in this city.