December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 A psalm of David. The earth is the LORD'S and all it holds, the world and those who live there.
- For God founded it on the seas, established it over the rivers.
- Who may go up the mountain of the LORD? Who can stand in his holy place?
- 2 "The clean of hand and pure of heart, who are not devoted to idols, who have not sworn falsely.
- They will receive blessings from the LORD, and justice from their saving God.
- Such are the people that love the LORD, that seek the face of the God of Jacob." Selah
- 3 Lift up your heads, O gates; rise up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may enter.
- Who is this king of glory? The LORD, a mighty warrior, the LORD, mighty in battle.
- Lift up your heads, O gates; rise up, you ancient portals, that the king of glory may enter.
- Who is this king of glory? The LORD of hosts is the king of glory. Selah
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1 [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 (Psalm 24:1-2). The people had to affirm their fidelity before being admitted into the sanctuary (Psalm 24:3-6; cf Psalm 15). A choir identifies the approaching God and invites the very temple gates to bow down in obeisance (Psalm 24:7-10).
2 [4-5] Literally, "the one whose hands are clean." The singular is used for the entire class of worshipers, hence the plural translation.
3 [7, 9] Lift up your heads, O gates . . . you ancient portals: the literal meaning is impossible since the portcullis (a gate that moves up and down) was unknown in the ancient world. Extra-biblical parallels 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.
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