Prayer of a Pilgrim to Jerusalem
1 For the leader; "upon the gittith." A psalm of the Korahites.
2 How lovely your dwelling,
O LORD of hosts!a
3 My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the LORD.b
My heart and flesh cry out
for the living God.
4 As the sparrow finds a home
and the swallow a nest to settle her young,
My home is by your altars,
LORD of hosts, my king and my God!c
5 Happy are those who dwell in your house!
They never cease to praise you. Selah
6 Happy are those who find refuge in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrim roads.
7 As they pass through the Baca valley,
they find spring water to drink.
Also from pools the Lord provides water
for those who lose their way.
8 They pass through outer and inner wall
and see the God of gods on Zion.
9 LORD of hosts, hear my prayer;
listen, God of Jacob. Selah
10 O God, look kindly on our shield;
look upon the face of your anointed.d
11 Better one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.
Better the threshold of the house of my God
than a home in the tents of the wicked.
12 For a sun and shield is the LORD God,
bestowing all grace and glory.
The LORD withholds no good thing
from those who walk without reproach.
13 O LORD of hosts,
happy are those who trust in you!
a: Pss 43:3-4; 122:1.
b: Pss 42:2-3; 63:2-3; 143:6; Is 26:9.
c: Ps 5:3.
d: Ps 89:19.
Ps 84 Israelites celebrated three pilgrimage feasts in Jerusalem annually. The psalm expresses the sentiments of the pilgrims eager to enjoy the divine presence.
84:4 The desire of a restless bird for a secure home is an image of the desire of a pilgrim for the secure house of God. Cf. Ps 42:2-3, where the image for the desire of the pilgrim is the thirst of the deer for water.
84:7 Baca valley: Hebrew obscure; probably a valley on the way to Jerusalem.
84:10 Our shield . . . your anointed: the king had a role in the liturgical celebration. For the king as shield, cf. Ps 89:19.
Copyright ©1991 by the confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, DC. All rights reserved.