I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
3 Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
Lord, what a pleasant experience it always is to be in your house and to worship you with friends who love you.
Lord, though I wander about on my journey through life, I know I stand in your house of peace and in your grace, by which I have received access through faith.
Lord, just as they stood within the gates of Jerusalem admiring the beauty of the city, we stand in your grace and we admire the beauty of your presence and character.
And just as Jerusalem was built strong and built to unify and protect its people, you keep us, protect us, and hold us together in love.
Exposition of Psalm 122:1-3, by John Wycliffe
This poem is oriented around the visit of a pilgrim to Jerusalem. By indicating that the journey is accomplished, it acts as a sequel to the two preceding psalms. Some interpreters hold that the speaker has returned home and is reminiscing about his recent pilgrimage. Although this is possible, it is more likely that he is still in Jerusalem, about to leave for home.
Verse 1-2. Joy in Pilgrimage. I was glad when they said … let us go. The psalmist recalls with what joy he responded to the invitation to join a group of pilgrims. Now the journey is complete and he can say, Our feet have stood within thy gates, O Jerusalem. The future tense of the AV is not appropriate in the light of the following verses.
Verse 3. Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
Impressions of Jerusalem. Jerusalem … compact together. While the city undoubtedly was fully built up within massive walls, the emphasis here seems to be upon its function in unifying the people. The verb (habar), translated “compact,” refers primarily to close human associations. The going up of the tribes accentuates this togetherness and the attendant sense of fellowship.