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They Are Happy Who Dwell In Your House…

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How lovely is your dwelling place
O Lord, God of Hosts

Even the sparrow finds a home.
Even the sparrow finds a home.
“Our hearts were made for thee, O God” writes St. Augustine.  “And they remain restless until they rest in Thee.”  Psalm 84 re-expresses the same idea in terms of a pilgrimage that passes along the routes going from the Bacca Valley to Jerusalem, and finally to the Temple (vv. 6-8).  I wonder how Augustine read this psalm?  Did he see in the sparrow (v. 4) a symbol of one who is at home in the house of the Lord?  How did he interpret v. 5?
Happy are those who dwell in your house!
They never cease to praise you.
Did he see in this passage a picture of the monks in his community in the same way as the psalmist draws here a picture of the priests who serve at Yahweh’s altar day and night?
Then who is the “I” of the psalm?  Who is the “pilgrim”?  Is he “Anyman” going through life’s journey and purposely goes through “the outer and inner wall and see the God of gods on Zion” at journey’s end?

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.

Are these the words of someone who has reached Zion for the first time?  Or is it that of a man who has been returning each year to visit the Temple so as to enjoy the nearness of Yahweh?

Originally posted 2005-02-07 21:23:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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