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This is the song of the pilgrims in anticipation of Jerusalem and the house of worship. It sets forth the glory of the establishment and compacted city where the tribes gather to give thanks to Jehovah. Yet through it all it is evident that the glory of city and Temple consists in the fact that they are the city and house of Jehovah. It is not a song of buildings or of material magnificence. It is rather the song of assembly, of testimony, of judgment, of peace, of prosperity. These all issue from the supreme fact of Jehovah's presence. To Him the tribes are gathered. Their testimony is of His name. The judgment, peace, and prosperity are all the outcome of Jehovah's relation to His people.
The tenses of the song have caused some bewilderment, as they seem to indicate the presence of the worshipers in the city, while yet they suggest the attitude of absence. The affirmation:
Our feet are standing within thy gates, is confidence of faith. It is the claim of citizenship, even though the citizen has not yet actually reached the city. The call has come to ascend to the house of the Lord, and with songs of praise and prayers for the city the pilgrim prepares to respond, while the hope becomes a present consciousness of the joy of assembly.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Psalms 122". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany