Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

Home / New Testament | Old Testament | About This Commentary | Commentators | Transcriber's Notes | Free E-Books | Contact Us

Psalm 121

          < Previous Chapter                    -----                    Next Chapter >         

Psalm cxxi. (Ltatus sum in his.)

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Canticle. Hebrew, Chaldean, and Syriac add, "of David," (Calmet) who saw in spirit the glory of the temple under Solomon, or the return of the captives, and the felicity of souls in heaven. (Berthier) --- See Psalm xli. --- What is said of the earthly Jerusalem, is beautifully applied to heaven by St. Augustine, &c. The captive Levites might write this psalm. (Calmet) --- Lord. Many prophets assured the Jews of their speedy deliverance, as preachers still set before the people the joys of heaven; all which filled the psalmist with rapture. (Worthington) --- The motive for this joy is disinterested and edifying. The captives had begged for redress in the former psalms. (Calmet) --- Before they had been chastised, they profane the temple. (St. Chrysostom)

Ver. 2. Were. Hebrew also, "shall," &c. Yet many of the Levites had officiated in the temple, 1 Esdras iii. 12. --- Courts, or gates, where justice was administered. (Calmet) --- We may better (Haydock) rejoice in the Church, (Worthington) and in the prospect of heaven. (Haydock) --- "At the news, it seemed as if our feet had been," &c. (Berthier)

Ver. 3. Together. Well built and inhabited. The Jews throughout the world considered it as their most dear country. (Calmet) --- The participation of spiritual graces (Psalm cxviii. 63., &c.) is a great comfort to Catholics, (Worthington) who look upon the chair of St. Peter at Rome as the centre of unity. (Haydock) --- David established order in Jerusalem, when he had made the conquest, and various families contributed to the rebuilding of it. (Berthier) --- All the tribes were united under the dominion of David. (Houbigant)

Ver. 4. The. This was the testimony, (Haydock) or ordinance of the Lord, (Calmet) which Israel had solemnly engaged to perform. (Haydock) --- All were obliged to repair thither thrice in the year; (Exodus xxiii. 17.; Menochius) and this contributed most to the splendour of the city. (Calmet) --- Houbigant would translate "the congregations of Israel;" or juxta may be understood, "according to the testimony." (Berthier) --- The tribes shall be all united, (Calmet) and come to Jerusalem, as all mankind should embrace the true faith in the Catholic Church. (Worthington)

Ver. 5. Upon. Or "over." (Haydock) --- The Jews made their sanhedrim superior to the kings, as the Chaldean here insinuates. But the text rather means that both the ecclesiastical and civil courts shall be re-established, and bring an immense concourse of people to the city. (Calmet) --- The Church is empowered to pass sentence, (Worthington) and the apostles shall judge both men and angels. (Haydock)

Ver. 6. Pray. Septuagint, "ask Jerusalem for," &c., (Haydock) as if she were to give it. (Calmet) --- And may there be abundance. Hebrew, "those who love thee shall be at rest." (Haydock) --- Christ encourages us to ask; as Catholics exhort each other to pray for the Church. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. Strength. Fortifications, (Berthier) or army. --- Towers, or "palaces." (Hebrew) (Jeremias xxxi. 23.) (Calmet) --- He insists so much on the blessing of peace, because he foresaw that Jerusalem would one day neglect it, Luke xix. 42. Charity dwells in the towers or saints, (Berthier) and makes us resemble God. (St. Chrysostom, de Laud. S. Paul. iii.)

Ver. 8. I. Hebrew adds, "I will now;" (Montanus) or rather, "I have now spoken." (Berthier) --- I was forbidden to beg for the peace of Chanaan, Deuteronomy vii. 3. But Jeremias (xxix. 7.) exhorts the captives to desire this blessing for the city, to which they were going, as it would redound to their own advantage. (Calmet) --- Christ leaves his peace to his apostles, and to their successors; and in heaven, all good thing are prepared for the elect. (Worthington)


Bible Text & Cross-references:

The desire and hope of the just for the coming of the kingdom of God, and the peace of his Church.

1 A gradual canticle.

I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.

2 Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem.

3 Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together.

4 For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord; the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.

5 Because their seats have sat in judgment, seats upon the house of David.

6 Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee.

7 Let peace be in thy strength: and abundance in thy towers.

8 For the sake of my brethren and of my neighbours, I spoke peace of thee.

9 Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for thee.