This is psalm number 13 of the 15 “Songs of Ascents” (see this previous post for more information). Some have classified this as a post-exillic psalm, but that really does not appear to be the case. If one looks carefully at verses 8-10, it is evident that it was written at a time when the Ark of the Covenant was still in the possession of God’s people:
Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place,
you and the ark of your might.
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one
Also, those verses are quoted at the dedication of Solomon’s temple in 2 Chronicles 6:41. Or perhaps, the passage here is a quotation of that scripture. Either way, the ark seems not to have been missing at the time. In verse 6, Ephrathah, is a district with villages called Bethlehem and Jaar – or Kiriath-jearim, where the ark had been left for a time before coming to Jerusalem (1 Samuel 7:1-2).
The song’s lyrics build the pilgrims’ excitement as they journey to Jerusalem for the Passover and other feasts; and gives them pause for remembering the promise of the Lord to have one of David’s line on the throne forever. this was a conditional promise, though, as they were reminded by the psalm itself in verse 12: “If your sons keep my covenant and my testimonies that I shall teach them, their sons also forever shall sit on your throne.”
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.