Psalm 122 (121) verse 3

Bob MacDonald bobmacdonald at
Mon Apr 30 20:50:26 EDT 2001

In conversation with a friend, I used a prayer-book translation of Psalm
122:3 "Jerusalem is a city that is at unity with itself". He claimed this
was not the translation. From an old Russian translation of 1894, (Psalm
121) he read "Jerusalem is a city which is bound firmly together" - more
like the RSV.

The English Jerusalem translation of 1966 reads "Jerusalem restored! The
city, one united whole."

My friend assumed "of David" referred to the Psalm's origin from the hand
of David, dating it 500 or so years before the restoration implied by the
Jerusalem Bible which references Nehemiah 2:17. The JB, I presume implies
that the prayer for a peaceful Jerusalem would have made no sense at the
time of David when gates and restoration would be not an issue.

2 questions:

Is the translation better as 'built' or 'rebuilt' or is there insufficient
context in the poem to decide?

Is the implied date early or late?

Any alternate translations or contexts suggested?  online references or
reading recommended?



Jerome [Pss 121:3] Hierusalem quae aedificaris ut civitas cuius
participatio eius simul

Orthodox: Jerusalem is builded as a city which its dwellers share in

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