Verse 1. - I was glad when they said unto us, Let us go into the house of the Lord (comp. Psalm 5:7; Psalm 28:2; Psalm 138:2).
Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
Verse 2. - Our feet shall stand; rather, stand, or are standing. The pilgrim-band has entered the city, and is on its way to God's house. Within thy gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem has its "walls" (ver. 7) and its "gates" set up, which suits the time of David, not that of Ezra or Zerubbabel.
Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
Verse 3. - Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together; rather, Jerusalem that art builded. The primary reference is probably to the compact shape and look of the ancient city, which, as Josephus says, was "one and entire," with no straggling suburbs, shut in on the north by a wall, and on the three other sides both by walls and by deep, rocky valleys. But the material "compactness" was perhaps taken to symbolize the close internal union of the inhabitants one with another, whereby they were all knit together into one Church and people.
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
Verse 4. - Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord. This points to a time before the dispersion of "the tribes," which rendered such regular "going up" impossible. Unto the testimony of Israel; rather, as a testimony unto Israel - a witness to the whole nation that all Israelites had covenant privileges at Jerusalem. To give thanks unto the Name of the Lord. The three great feasts whereto Israel was bound to "go up" were all of them seasons of thanksgiving.
For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Verse 5. - For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Jerusalem was the civil, no less than the religious, center. There David judged controversies, and Absalom when he usurped the throne, and Solomon when David associated him. But the plural may be "a plural of dignity."
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Verse 6. - Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Let all true Israelites "pray for the peace of Jerusalem," i.e. for her tranquility and for her prosperity. They shall prosper that love thee. A covert threat, as well as a promise. "Such as love Jerusalem, and pray for her peace, shall prosper; such as do not love her shall lack prosperity."
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
Verse 7. - Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. The prayer, which he would have others offer, the psalmist now offers himself. The prayer embraces, first, the whole community; then, especially those who have the direction and government of it.
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
Verse 8. - For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. The inhabitants of Jerusalem are the writer's "brethren and companions." He is not a mere pilgrim on a visit to the holy city.
Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
Verse 9. - Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good. The tabernacle set up by David in Jerusalem is called "the house of the Lord" in Psalm 5:7; Psalm 27:4; Psalm 52:8; and Psalm 55:14. God "dwelt there," as he dwelt in the tabernacle of Moses in the wilderness (Exodus 40:34, 35) and in the temple of Solomon subsequently (2 Chronicles 5:13, 14). The good of Jerusalem was to be sought for two reasons:
(1) because God's people were there; and
(2) because God's house was there (see Calvin, ad loc.).