Psalm 24

Psalm 24[a]

The Lord’s Solemn Entry into Jerusalem

1 [b]A psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it,
the world and all who live in it.[c]
2 For he founded it on the seas
and established[d] it on the rivers.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 One who has clean hands and a pure heart,[e]
who does not turn his mind to vanities
or swear an oath in order to deceive.
5 He will receive a blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God, his Savior.
6 This is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
7 [f]Lift up your arches, O gates;
rise up, you ancient portals,[g]
so that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, valiant in battle.
9 Lift up your arches, O gates,
rise up, you ancient portals,
so that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts:[h]
he is the King of glory. Selah


  1. Psalm 24:1 A procession wends its way toward the temple; perhaps it bears the Ark of the Covenant to the holy place. Chants are expressed. They acclaim the Creator and thus recall the conditions for a true participation in worship: “clean hands and a pure heart” (vv. 3-6). At the entrance to the sanctuary, the cortege comes to a halt as the participants take time to meditate wonderingly about the presence of God. They must needs celebrate God the Vanquisher who takes possession of his holy dwelling; the titles given him (vv. 8-10) evoke the time when, represented by the Ark, the Lord would take his place at the head of the armies of Israel and lead them to victory (Num 10:35; Jos 6).
    This psalm is well adapted to celebrating feasts of the Lord and to calling for the coming of his kingdom. It is also a psalm that makes demands, since it tells us of the conditions required for receiving the kingdom of God. The Church has always used this psalm in celebrating Christ’s Ascension into the heavenly Jerusalem and into the sanctuary on high.
  2. Psalm 24:1 The Lord is proclaimed as the Creator, Sustainer, and Owner of the entire world. Therefore, he is worthy of the title “King of glory” (vv. 7-10). See Pss 29; 33:6-11; 89:6-19; 95:3-5; 104.
  3. Psalm 24:1 See Ps 89:12; Deut 10:14. This text is cited in 1 Cor 10:26.
  4. Psalm 24:2 Founded . . . established: a metaphor taken from the founding of a city. Extra-biblical records indicate that temples were regarded as microcosms of the created world; hence language applicable to temples was also applicable to the earth.
  5. Psalm 24:4 Clean hands . . . pure heart: those who do no evil and think no evil. Jesus said that the “pure of heart . . . will see God” (Mt 5:8).
  6. Psalm 24:7 These verses speak of the arrival of the Lord, the King of glory, at his sanctuary in Zion after his victorious journey from Egypt. The Lord of hosts (v. 10), the Lord, valiant in battle (v. 8; see Ex 15:1-18), has routed his enemies and now comes in triumph to his own city (see Pss 46; 48; 76; 87).
  7. Psalm 24:7 Lift up your arches, O gates . . . you ancient portals: the gates and doors are personified in accord with extra-biblical parallels.
  8. Psalm 24:10 The Lord of hosts: in Hebrew, Yahweh Sabaoth, sometimes translated as “the Lord of armies.” The expression suggests, first of all, the God who leads the Israelite army, therefore the Almighty who is surrounded by angels and stars and who controls the cosmic forces; then the expression becomes simply a way of emphasizing the greatness and power of God. See also note on Ps 59:6.

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