PSALM 24#The Psalm apparently accompanied a ceremony of the entry of God (invisibly enthroned upon the ark), followed by the people, into the Temple. The Temple commemorated the creation of the world (Ps 24:1–2). The people had to affirm their fidelity before being admitted into the sanctuary (Ps 24:3–6; cf. Ps 15). A choir identifies the approaching God and invites the very Temple gates to bow down in obeisance (Ps 24:7–10).
The Glory of God in Procession to Zion
1A psalm of David.
The earth is the Lord’s and all it holds,#a. [24:1] Ps 50:12; 89:12; Dt 10:14; 1 Cor 10:26.
the world and those who dwell in it.
2For he founded it on the seas,
established it over the rivers.#b. [24:2] Ps 136:6; Is 42:5.
3Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?#c. [24:3] Ps 15:1.
Who can stand in his holy place?
4#Lit., “the one whose hands are clean.” The singular is used for the entire class of worshipers.“The clean of hand and pure of heart,
who has not given his soul to useless things,
what is vain.
5He will receive blessings from the Lord,
and justice from his saving God.
6Such is the generation that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.”Selah
7Lift up your heads, O gates;#Lift up your heads, O gates…you ancient portals: the literal meaning would involve disassembly of the gates, since the portcullis (a gate that moves up and down) was unknown in the ancient world. Extra-biblical parallels might also suggest a full personification of the circle of gate towers: they are like a council of elders, bowed down and anxious, awaiting the return of the army and the great warrior gone to battle.
be lifted, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter.#d. [24:7] Ps 118:19–20.
8Who is this king of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in war.
9Lift up your heads, O gates;
rise up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter.
10Who is this king of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.Selah