Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 24:1-10. God's supreme sovereignty requires a befitting holiness of life and heart in His worshippers; a sentiment sublimely illustrated by describing His entrance into the sanctuary, by the symbol of His worship—the ark, as requiring the most profound homage to the glory of His Majesty.
world—the habitable globe, with
they that dwell—forming a parallel expression to the first clause.
For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
2. Poetically represents the facts of Ge 1:9.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
3, 4. The form of a question gives vivacity. Hands, tongue, and heart are organs of action, speech, and feeling, which compose character.
hill of the Lord—(compare Ps 2:6, &c.). His Church—the true or invisible, as typified by the earthly sanctuary.
He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
4. lifted up his soul—is to set the affections (Ps 25:1) on an object; here,
vanity—or, any false thing, of which swearing falsely, or to falsehood, is a specification.
He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
5. righteousness—the rewards which God bestows on His people, or the grace to secure those rewards as well as the result.
This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
6. Jacob—By "Jacob," we may understand God's people (compare Isa 43:22; 44:2, &c.), corresponding to "the generation," as if he had said, "those who seek Thy face are Thy chosen people."
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
7-10. The entrance of the ark, with the attending procession, into the holy sanctuary is pictured to us. The repetition of the terms gives emphasis.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
10. Lord of hosts—or fully, Lord God of hosts (Ho 12:5; Am 4:13), describes God by a title indicative of supremacy over all creatures, and especially the heavenly armies (Jos 5:14; 1Ki 22:19). Whether, as some think, the actual enlargement of the ancient gates of Jerusalem be the basis of the figure, the effect of the whole is to impress us with a conception of the matchless majesty of God.