Psalm 122:6
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
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(6, 7) It is impossible in English to reproduce the effect of the original in these references to the usual greetings of the East, since at the same time they contain alliterations and a play on the name of Jerusalem. There is first the challenge to the body of pilgrims to give the customary salutation, and then it is taken up in a threefold wish, varied each time. Then follows the reason of this unanimous and hearty prayer: “Ask for the peace of the city of peace; prosperity be to thy lovers, peace within thy walls, prosperity in thy palaces.”

Psalm 122:6-9. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem — In the prosperity of which both your civil and religious privileges are deeply concerned. They shall prosper that love thee — 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 — In all thy dwellings; and prosperity within thy palaces — Especially in the dwellings of thy princes and rulers, whose welfare and prosperity may be a public blessing to all the people. For my brethren and companions’ sakes — And this I desire, says David, not only, nor chiefly, for my own security and for the glory of my 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 — Which is now fixed in this city; because of the ordinances of his worship, which are here established. I will seek thy good — Thy protection, peace, and prosperity. Thus, “in these concluding verses, the psalmist declares the two motives which induced him to utter his best wishes, and to use his best endeavours for the prosperity of Jerusalem; namely, the love of his brethren, whose happiness was involved in that of their city; and the love of God, who had there fixed the residence of his glory. These motives are ever in force, and ought, surely, to operate with marvellous energy upon our hearts, to stir us up to imitate the pattern now before us, in fervent zeal and unwearied labour for the salvation of men, and the glory of our great Redeemer; both which will then be complete, when the church militant shall become the church triumphant, and the heavenly paradise shall be filled with plants taken from its terrestrial nursery.” — Horne.

122:6-9 Those who can do nothing else for the peace of Jerusalem, may pray for it. Let us consider all who seek the glory of the Redeemer, as our brethren and fellow-travellers, without regarding differences which do not affect our eternal welfare. Blessed Spirit of peace and love, who didst dwell in the soul of the holy Jesus, descend into his church, and fill those who compose it with his heavenly tempers; cause bitter contentions to cease, and make us to be of one mind. Love of the brethren and love to God, ought to stir us up to seek to be like the Lord Jesus in fervent prayer and unwearied labour, for the salvation of men, and the Divine glory.Pray for the peace of Jerusalem - The prosperity, the welfare of Jerusalem - for peace is everywhere the image of prosperity and happiness. Compare Psalm 51:18. This is the language which those who were going up to the city - to the house of the Lord - addressed to each other, expressing the joyful feelings of their hearts at their own near approach to the city. It breathes the desire that all would pray for the peace and prosperity of a city so dear to their own souls; where the worship of God was celebrated; where God himself dwelt; where justice was administered: a city of so much importance and so much influence in the land. To us now it inculcates the duty of praying for the church: its peace; its unity; its prosperity; its increase; its influence on our country and on the world at large. It is a prayer that the church may not be divided by schism or heresy; that its members may cherish for each other right feelings; that there may be no jealousies, no envyings, and no jars; that the different branches of the church may regard and treat each other with kindness, with respect, and with mutual recognition; that prosperity may attend them all.

The shall prosper that love thee - Or rather, They shall have peace that love thee; or, May they have peace that love thee. The word prosper conveys an idea which is not in the original. The Hebrew word means to be "secure," "tranquil," "at rest," spoken especially of one who enjoys quiet prosperity, Job 3:26; Job 12:6. The essential idea is that of quietness or rest; and the meaning here is, that those who love Zion will have peace; or, that the tendency of that love is to produce peace. See Romans 5:1. The prayer was for "peace;" the thought in connection with that was naturally that those who loved Zion would have peace. It is indeed true, in general, that they who love Zion, or who serve God, will "prosper" (compare the notes at 1 Timothy 4:8), but that is not the truth taught here. The idea is that they will have peace: peace with God; peace in their own consciences; peace in the prospect of death and of the future world; peace amidst the storms and tempests of life; peace in death, in the grave, and forever.

6, 7. Let peace—including prosperity, everywhere prevail. 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.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,.... This is said to the persons that solicited the psalmist to go into the house of the Lord; to the truly godly among the tribes that went thither to worship; to his brethren and companions, for whose sake he wished well to Zion; to praying souls, who should not be singular and selfish; not only pray for themselves, but for others; for all saints, and for the church of God in general; for Jerusalem, not merely literally considered; though as that was the metropolis of the nation, and many of them the psalmist addresses were inhabitants of it, it became them to seek and pray for the peace of it, their own peace being concerned in it; see Jeremiah 29:7; but for the spiritual and heavenly Jerusalem, the church of God, and for the peace of it; that Christ, the Man, the Peace, the Peacemaker, who then was not come, might come; that the members of it might enjoy spiritual peace in their son is, and might have peace one with another, and be at peace with their enemies; and enjoy the abundance of peace and prosperity, which will be in the latter day; and will lie in freedom from persecution, in a destruction of antichrist and all the the enemies of the church; in the purity of Gospel truths and ordinances, and the spread of them; in numerous conversions of Jews and Gentiles; in the unity of the Lord's people in sentiment, worship, and affection; and in a large increase of spiritual light and holiness: all which should be earnestly prayed for by the well-wishers of the cause of Christ; see Isaiah 62:6. There may be an allusion to the name of Jerusalem, which signifies "they shall see peace"; and it should be prayed for that they might. The argument enforcing this duty exhorted to follows:

they shall prosper that love thee; that love Jerusalem, the church of God; that love Christ, her King; the saints, her citizens; her laws and ordinances; and the word of the Lord that goes out of her, and is ministered in her: which is shown by an attendance with her on them, and by their prayers for her prosperity and welfare: and such prosper in their outward affairs, as Obededom and his family were blessed for the sake of the ark he took in and took care of; and in their spiritual affairs their souls prosper, as Gaius's did, and as such do who are favoured with the discoveries of the love of God, with an application of pardoning grace and mercy; have a spiritual appetite for the word; when their graces are in lively exercise, their corruptions are subdued, spiritual light and zeal for truth are increased, inward strength is renewed, communion with God is enjoyed, and they are fruitful in every good work.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
6. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem] This is probably the right rendering; but the phrase might also be rendered Inquire for the welfare of J., greet or salute her, the customary salutation being “Is it well (lit. peace) with thee?” or “Peace be unto thee.” Cp. Jeremiah 15:5. The rendering of the LXX, “Ask now for Jerusalem the things which belong unto peace,” contains the phrase (τὰ εἰς εἰρήνην) used by our Lord as He entered Jerusalem (Luke 19:42, τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην). May not the whole Psalm have been in His mind at the moment, as Psalms 137 appears to have been (v. 44, ἐδαφιοῦσίν σε καὶ τὰ τέκνα σου ἐν σοί), suggesting a pathetic contrast between the peace which might have been her lot, and the doom of her enemies which she was blindly dragging down upon herself?

they shall prosper] Better, may they prosper (R.V. marg.).

that love thee] The reading may thy tents prosper (cf. Psalm 118:15), found in one MS, but in no Ancient Version, is at first sight attractive. But the prayer for the prosperity of those who love Jerusalem follows naturally on the invitation to them to pray for her welfare. Contrast the anathema on those who hate Zion in Psalm 129:5. The expression may have been suggested by Lamentations 1:5, “her enemies prosper.” The words for lover and enemy in Heb. differ by one letter only (אהבאיב).

6–9. The recollection of the past glories of Jerusalem leads the Psalmist to pray and bid others pray for her future welfare. A new era of hope seems to be opening before her.

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." Psalm 122:6When the poet thus calls up the picture of his country's "city of peace" before his mind, the picture of the glory which it still ever possesses, and of the greater glory which it had formerly, he spreads out his hands over it in the distance, blessing it in the kindling of his love, and calls upon all his fellow-countrymen round about and in all places: apprecamini salutem Hierosolymis. So Gesenius correctly (Thesaurus, p. 1347); for just as שׁאל לו לשׁלום signifies to inquire after any one's well-being, and to greet him with the question: השׁלום לך (Jeremiah 15:5), so שׁאל שׁלום signifies to find out any one's prosperity by asking, to gladly know and gladly see that it is well with him, and therefore to be animated by the wish that he may prosper; Syriac, שׁאל שׁלמא ד directly: to salute any one; for the interrogatory השׁלום לך and the well-wishing שׁלום לך, εἰρήνη σοί (Luke 10:5; John 20:19.), have both of them the same source and meaning. The reading אהליך, commended by Ewald, is a recollection of Job 12:6 that is violently brought in here. The loving ones are comprehended with the beloved one, the children with the mother. שׁלה forms an alliteration with שׁלום; the emphatic form ישׁליוּ occurs even in other instances out of pause (e.g., Psalm 57:2). In Psalm 122:7 the alliteration of שׁלום and שׁלוה is again taken up, and both accord with the name of Jerusalem. Ad elegantiam facit, as Venema observes, perpetua vocum ad se invicem et omnium ad nomen Hierosolymae alliteratio. Both together mark the Song of degrees as such. Happiness, cries out the poet to the holy city from afar, be within thy bulwarks, prosperity within thy palaces, i.e., without and within. חיל, ramparts, circumvallation (from חוּל, to surround, Arabic hawl, round about, equally correct whether written חיל or חל), and ארמנות as the parallel word, as in Psalm 48:14. The twofold motive of such an earnest wish for peace is love for the brethren and love for the house of God. For the sake of the brethren is he cheerfully resolved to speak peace (τὰ πρὸς ἐιρήνην αὐτῆς, Luke 19:42) concerning (דּבּר בּ, as in Psalm 87:3, Deuteronomy 6:7, lxx περὶ σοῦ; cf. דּבּר שׁלום with אל and ל, to speak peace to, Psalm 85:9; Esther 10:3) Jerusalem, for the sake of the house of Jahve will he strive after good (i.e., that which tends to her well-being) to her (like בּקּשׁ טובה ל in Nehemiah 2:10, cf. דּרשׁ שׁלום, Deuteronomy 23:6, Jeremiah 29:7). For although he is now again far from Jerusalem after the visit that is over, he still remains united in love to the holy city as being the goal of his longing, and to those who dwell there as being his brethren and friends. Jerusalem is and will remain the heart of all Israel as surely as Jahve who has His house there, is the God of all Israel.
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