all the days of my life; the mercies of God are new every morning, they continue all the day long; temporal goodness abides as long as life lasts, and ends with it; and spiritual blessings are for ever, they are the gifts of God, which are without repentance;
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever; which may denote his constant attendance on the public worship of God, of which he had been deprived in time past, being driven out from it, but now he enjoyed it, and believed he ever should; or it may design his being a member of the church of God, and a pillar in the house and temple of the Lord, that should never go out; see Revelation 3:12; or it may regard the assurance he had of dwelling in the house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens, Christ's Father's house, in which are many mansions, sure dwellings, and quiet resting places for his people, and that to all eternity. The Targum interprets it of the house of the sanctuary; and Kimchi expounds the whole verse in a petitionary way, "may goodness and mercy", &c.
(c) "nil nisi", Junius & Tremellius; "certe vel tantum", Cocceius.
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 24
A Psalm of David. This psalm is thought by some of the Jewish writers (d) to have been wrote when the ark was brought from the house of Obededom to the city of David, and put into the place prepared for it by him, 2 Samuel 6:17; to which reference is supposed to be had in Psalm 24:7; or after that David had built an altar in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, and had knowledge of the hill Moriah, as the place where the sanctuary was to be built; called the hill of the Lord, and his holy place, Psalm 24:3; however, it was certainly written by David, under the inspiration of the spirit of God; and is a prophecy of Christ, and of the Gospel church, and describes the members of it.
(d) Aben Ezra & Kimchi.
the world, and they that dwell therein; the habitable world, and the dwellers on it, rational and irrational. These words may be interpreted of Christ, who is Lord of all; he made the world, and has a right and claim to all things in it; for the same person is here spoken of as in the preceding psalm, under the character of a shepherd; and this shows him to be very fit and proper for such an office, seeing he cannot fail of feeding and protecting his sheep; nor can they want any good thing, since the fulness both of nature and of grace is with him; and hence it is that all things are theirs, whether the world, or things present, or things to come; and though they seem to have nothing, yet possess all things, they possessing him whose all things are. The apostle makes use of this passage of Scripture, to prove, explain, and direct in the use of Christian liberty, with respect to the free use of creatures, they all being the Lord's; and therefore good, and to be received with thanksgiving: and yet, inasmuch as there is a variety of them, such should be abstained from, when to use them serves to embolden evil men in their wicked ways, or offend and grieve weak Christians, 1 Corinthians 10:25.
and established it upon the floods; the floods of the seas, or rivers of water running to and fro in it: this shows the ground and foundation of Christ's right and claim to the earth, and all that is in it; which is not by reason of his father's gift to him as Mediator, but by virtue of his concern in creation, the world, and all things in it, being made and established by him; in him do all things consist, Colossians 1:16.
(e) R. Moses in Aben Ezra in loc. (f) "juxta maria", Vatablus, Gejerus, Amama; so Kimchi & Ben Melech.
and who shall stand in his holy place? the same with the hill of the Lord; the temple being to be built upon it, where the Lord took up his residence, and was worshipped, and holiness becomes the house of God for evermore: the import of these questions is, who is a proper person to be an inhabitant of Zion, or a member of a Gospel church? and the answer to them is in Psalm 24:4, in which is a description much like that which is given of one hundred forty and four thousand seen with the Lamb on Mount Zion, Revelation 14:1; compare with this verse.
who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity; or "set his heart upon" (g), and desired vain things, as the phrase is sometimes used, Deuteronomy 24:15; that is, the vain things of this world; as the riches, honours, pleasures, and profits of it; or has not served other gods, the idols of the Gentiles, which are lying vanities, but has lifted up his soul to God, and served him only: or "who hath not received his soul in vain" (h); from the hands of God, but loves him with all his soul, believes with the heart in Christ for righteousness, being sanctified by the Spirit of God; and so the desire of his soul is to his name, and the remembrance of him. The "Keri", or marginal reading, according to the points, is, "who hath not lifted up my soul to vanity" (i); that is, has not taken the name of God in vain, or swore falsely by his name; his soul being put for his name or himself; and by which he is said sometimes to swear, Jeremiah 51:14; and this sense the Jewish interpreters (k) generally give into. The Targum seems to take in both the writing of the text and the marginal reading, as it often does, and renders the words, "who hath not sworn in vain, to the condemnation of his soul"; though sometimes to his own disadvantage, yet not to the hurt of others; see Psalm 15:4; it follows,
nor sworn deceitfully; by bearing false witness against any man; or by cheating him out of his substance through a false oath.
(g) "non inhiat, aut intentus est", Vatablus, Amama; so Gejerus, Michaelis. (h) So Pagninus. (i) "Animam meam", Montanus, Vatablus, Hillerus. (k) Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, & Ben Melech in loc.
and righteousness from the God of his salvation; from Christ, who is God his Saviour, the author of salvation; and who has brought in an everlasting righteousness, which is in him, and is a gift of his grace, and is received from him by faith, and is a great blessing indeed; it secures from condemnation and death, and entitles to eternal life.
(l) "qui accipit", Cocceius.
that seek thy face, O Jacob. By the "face" of God is meant the favour of God, the discoveries of his love, the light of his countenance, than which nothing is more desirable to gracious souls, or more sought after by them; and by Jacob is meant the God of Jacob; and so Apollinarius has it in his metaphrase; see Psalm 10:1; unless Christ should be intended, one of whose names is Israel, Isaiah 49:3; or the words may be supplied, as they are by some Jewish writers (m), "this is Jacob"; or the persons before described are the seed of Jacob, and who are called by his name: and it may be observed, that the church of God often bears the same name, Isaiah 43:1; and then the sense is, the persons whose characters are given above are fit to ascend, and stand in the holy hill of God, are Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile.
Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.
(m) Aben Ezra, Kimchi, & Ben Melech in loc.
and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; or "the doors of the world" (n); which some understand of the kingdoms and nations of the world, and of the kings and princes thereof, as called upon to open and make way for, and receive the Gospel of Christ into them, and to support and retain it; but it is best to interpret it of the church and its members, whose continuance, perpetuity, and duration, are here intimated, by being called "everlasting doors"; which may be said to be "lifted up", as it may respect churches, when those things are removed which hinder communion with Christ; as their sins, which separate between them and their God, and the wall of unbelief, behind which Christ stands; and sleepiness, drowsiness, coldness, lukewarmness, and indifference; see Isaiah 59:2; and when public worship is closely and strictly attended on, as the ministration of the word and ordinances, prayer to God, which is the lifting up the heart with the hands to God, and singing his praise: and as it may respect particular believers; these doors and gates may be said to be lifted up, when their hearts are enlarged with the love of God; the desires and affections of their souls are drawn out towards the Lord, and the graces of the Spirit are in a lively exercise on him; and when they lift up their heads with joy in a view of Christ coming to them. This must not be understood as if they could do all this of themselves, any more than gates and doors can be thought to open and lift up themselves;
and the King of glory shall come in; the Lord Jesus Christ, called the Lord of glory, 1 Corinthians 2:8; who is glorious in himself, in the perfections of his divine nature, as the Son of God; being the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person; and in his office as Mediator, being full of grace and truth, and having a glory given him before the world was; and which became manifest upon his resurrection, ascension to heaven, and session at God's right hand; and particularly he is glorious as a King, being made higher than the kings of the earth, and crowned with glory and honour; and so the Targum renders it , "the glorious King"; and he is moreover the author and giver, the sum and substance, of the glory and happiness of the saints: and now, as the inhabitants of Zion, and members of the church, are described in the preceding verses, an account is given of the King of Zion in this and the following; who may be said to "come into" his churches, when he grants his gracious presence, shows himself through the lattices, and in the galleries of ordinances, in his beauty and glory; takes his walks there, and his goings are seen, even in the sanctuary; and where he dwells as King in his palace, and as a Son in his own house; and he may be said to come into the hearts of particular believers, when he manifests himself, his love and grace, unto them, and grants them such communion as is expressed by supping with them, and by dwelling in their hearts by faith,
(n) "ostia mundi", Gejerus, Schmidt.
the Lord strong and mighty: he whose name alone is Jehovah; the most high in all the earth; the everlasting I AM; Jehovah our righteousness; the mighty God, even the Almighty; the Son of Man, whom God has made strong for himself: his strength and might have been seen in the creation of all things out of nothing, in upholding all things by his power, in the redemption of his people, in the resurrection of himself, in dispossessing the strong man armed out of the hearts of his chosen ones, in the government of his church, and the care of all his saints, and in keeping them from a final and total falling away. From the first of these words, which is only here used, Mars, because of his strength, has the name of Azizus; which name of his Julian (o) makes mention of; and very probably Hesus, also a deity of the ancient Gauls, spoken of by the poet (p), and by Lactantius (q); but to none does it belong as to our Jehovah;
the Lord mighty in battle; as he was when he was up on the cross; when he made an end of sin, spoiled principalities and powers; abolished death, and destroyed him that had the power of it; and as he will be at the last day, when the kings of the earth shall make war with him, and he shall overcome them; when the beast and false prophet shall be taken, and cast alive into the lake of fire; and the remnant shall be slain with the sword of his mouth; see Revelation 17:14; and who is now the Captain of salvation to his people, their Leader and Commander; who furnishes them with weapons of warfare, which are mighty through God; who teaches their hands to war, and their fingers to fight the good fight of faith; and makes them more than conquerors, through himself, that has loved them.
(o) Orat. 4. in solem, p. 281. (p) "Teutates horrensque feris altaribus Hesus". Lucan. (q) De Fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 31.