Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love you.…
The singer's emotion at sight of the city breaks into exhortation to his fellow-pilgrims to pray for its peace. Verse 6 contains a play on the meaning of the name of the city, which, as we now know from the Tel-el-Amarna tablets, was called "The city of peace" before the Israelitish conquest. The prayer is that the omen of the name may be fulfilled. The returning exiles were compassed about, by foes, and the name seemed rather irony than prophecy. The Church. too, has enemies to confront, and needs ever to offer this prayer. It is a true instinct which has led the Presbyterian Churches of Scotland to close the annual general assemblies with singing this part of our psalm, in the version which touches deep chords in many hearts: —
"Pray that Jerusalem may have
Peace and felicity."A similar play of words lies in the interchange of "peace" and "prosperity," which, in the Hebrew, are closely alike in sound.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.