Psalm 24:8
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
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(8) Who . . .—But the claim is not unchallenged. The old heathen gates will not at once recognise the new-comer’s right of admission.

The Lord strong and mighty.—But it is the right of conquest—

“Jehovah, the strong, the mighty, Jehovah, mighty in battle.”

Psalm 24:8. Who is the King of glory? — What is the cause of this imperious call? And why? Or, for whom must those gates be opened in so solemn and extraordinary a manner? The answer is, The Lord strong and mighty, &c. — As if he had said, He is no ordinary person, no other than Jehovah, who hath given so many proofs of his almightiness, who hath subdued all his enemies, and is now returned in triumph.24:7-10 The splendid entry here described, refers to the solemn bringing in of the ark into the tent David pitched for it, or the temple Solomon built for it. We may also apply it to the ascension of Christ into heaven, and the welcome given to him there. Our Redeemer found the gates of heaven shut, but having by his blood made atonement for sin, as one having authority, he demanded entrance. The angels were to worship him, Heb 1:6: they ask with wonder, Who is he? It is answered, that he is strong and mighty; mighty in battle to save his people, and to subdue his and their enemies. We may apply it to Christ's entrance into the souls of men by his word and Spirit, that they may be his temples. Behold, he stands at the door, and knocks, Rev 3:20. The gates and doors of the heart are to be opened to him, as possession is delivered to the rightful owner. We may apply it to his second coming with glorious power. Lord, open the everlasting door of our souls by thy grace, that we may now receive thee, and be wholly thine; and that, at length, we may be numbered with thy saints in glory.Who is this King of glory? - This is probably the response of a portion of the choir of singers. The answer is found in the other part of the verse.

The Lord strong and mighty - Yahweh, strong and mighty - describing Him by His most exalted attributes as a God of power. This is in accordance with the idea in Psalm 24:1-2, where He is represented as the Creator and the Proprietor of all the earth. Perhaps, also, there is an allusion to the fact that He is mighty, as distinguished from idols which have no power.

The Lord mighty in battle - Who displays His power eminently in overthrowing hostile armies; perhaps in allusion to the victories which had been won when His people were animated in war by the presence of the ark in the midst of their armies, and when the victory could be properly traced to the fact that the ark, the symbol of the divine presence, was with them, and when, therefore, the victory would be properly ascribed to Yahweh himself.

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. This seems to be a prolepsis, or removal of an objection. You will say, What is the cause of this imperious call? and why or for whom must those gates be opened in so solemn and extraordinary a manner?

The Lord strong and mighty: this contains an answer to the question; He is no ordinary person, no meaner and no other than Jehovah, who hath given so many proofs of his almightiness, who hath subdued all his enemies, and is now returned in triumph. Here is in this and the foregoing verse a sacred dialogue between several persons. And some suppose that the sacred musicians, which attended upon the service of the ark and tabernacle, and were doubtless employed in this solemnity, 2 Samuel 5:5, were divided into two choirs, whereof one spake the former, and the other the latter verse. Who is this King of glory?.... Which question is put by the church, or particular believers; not through ignorance, as the daughters of Jerusalem, Sol 5:9; or the Pharisees, when Christ made his public entrance into Jerusalem, Matthew 21:10; much less in pride and haughtiness, in scorn and derision, as Pharaoh, Exodus 5:1; and the Capernaites, John 6:42; but as wondering at the glories and excellencies of his person, and as desirous of knowing more of him. The answer to the question is,

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.

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
8. Who is the King of glory? may be merely a rhetorical question; but it is far more poetical to suppose that the gates, or the warders, are represented as challenging the comer’s right to enter. The choir’s response recalls the opening words of the Song of Moses (Exodus 15:2-3), “Jah is my strength and song … Jehovah is a man of war:” while the title King reflects its closing words (Exodus 15:18); “Jehovah shall be King for ever and ever.” He is now proclaimed as the Victor, who comes as He had purposed, to take His kingdom.Verse 8. - Who is this King of glory? The other half of the choir, acting as keepers of the doors, inquires, as if ignorant of the motive and character of the procession, "Who is this King of glory?" - who is it to whom ye give this high-sounding appellation, and to whom ye require us to open? And the reply follows from the previous speakers. The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. It is Jehovah, the Strong and Mighty One-strong in himself, mighty in his acts, mighty especially in battle; whom ye may therefore be glad to receive among you as your Defence. It is this King for whom we demand admission. Jahve, whose throne of grace is now set upon Zion, has not a limited dominion, like the heathen deities: His right to sovereignty embraces the earth and its fulness (Psalm 50:12; Psalm 89:12), i.e., everything that is to be found upon it and in it.

(Note: In 1 Corinthians 10:26, Paul founds on this verse (cf. Psalm 50:12) the doctrine that a Christian (apart from a charitable regard for the weak) may eat whatever is sold in the shambles, without troubling himself to enquire whether it has been offered to idols or not. A Talmudic teacher, B. Berachoth 35a, infers from this passage the duty of prayer before meat: He who eats without giving thanks is like one who lays hands upon קדשׁי שׁמים (the sacred things of God); the right to eat is only obtained by prayer.)

For He, הוא, is the owner of the world, because its Creator. He has founded it upon seas, i.e., the ocean and its streams, נהרות, ῥέεθρα (Jonah 2:4); for the waters existed before the dry land, and this has been cast up out of them at God's word, so that consequently the solid land, - which indeed also conceals in its interior a תּהום רבּה (Genesis 7:11), - rising above the surface of the sea, has the waters, as it were, for its foundation (Psalm 136:6), although it would more readily sink down into them than keep itself above them, if it were not in itself upheld by the creative power of God. Hereupon arises the question, who may ascend the mountain of Jahve, and stand above in His holy place? The futures have a potential signification: who can have courage to do it? what, therefore, must he be, whom Jahve receives into His fellowship, and with whose worship He is well-pleased? Answer: he must be one innocent in his actions and pure in mind, one who does not lift up his soul to that which is vain (לשּׁוא, according to the Masora with Waw minusculum). (ל) נשׂא נפשׁ אל, to direct one's soul, Psalm 25:1, or longing and striving, towards anything, Deuteronomy 24:15; Proverbs 19:18; Hosea 4:8. The Ker נפשׁי is old and acknowledged by the oldest authorities.

(Note: The reading נפשׁי is adopted by Saadia (in Enumoth ii., where נפשׁי is equivalent to שׁמי), Juda ha-Levi (Cuzari iii. 27), Abulwalid (Rikma p. 180), Rashi, Kimchi, the Sohar, the Codices (and among others by that of the year 1294) and most editions (among which, the Complutensis has נפשׁי in the text). Nor does Aben-Ezra, whom Norzi has misunderstood, by any means reverse the relation of the Chethb and Ker; to him נפשׁי is the Ker, and he explains it as a metaphor (an anthropomorphism): וכתוב נפשי דוך כנוי. Elias Levita is the only one who rejects the Ker נפשׁי; but he does so though misunderstanding a Masora (vid., Baer's Psalterium p. 130) and not without admitting Masoretic testimony in favour of it (וכן ראיתי ברוב נוסחאות המסורת). He is the only textual critic who rejects it. For Jacob b. Chajim is merely astonished that נפשׁו is not to be found in the Masoreth register of words written with Waw and to be read with Jod. And even Norzi does not reject this Ker, which he is obliged to admit has greatly preponderating testimony in its favour, and he would only too gladly get rid of it.)

Even the lxx Cod. Alex. translates: τὴν ψυχὴν μου; whereas Cod. Vat. (Eus., Apollin., Theodor., et al.): τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ. Critically it is just as intangible, as it is exegetically incomprehensible; נפשׁי might then be equivalent to שׁמי. Exodus 20:7, an explanation, however, which does not seem possible even from Amos 6:8; Jeremiah 51:14. We let this Kerמ alone to its undisturbed critical rights. But that the poet did actually write thus, is incredible.

In Psalm 24:5 (just as at the close of Psalm 15:1-5), in continued predicates, we are told the character of the man, who is worthy of this privilege, to whom the question in Psalm 24:3 refers. Such an one shall bear away, or acquire (נשׁא, as e.g., Esther 2:17) blessing from Jahve and righteousness from the God of his salvation (Psalm 25:5; Psalm 27:9). Righteousness, i.e., conformity to God and that which is well-pleasing to God, appears here as a gift, and in this sense it is used interchangeably with ישׁע (e.g., Psalm 132:9, Psalm 132:16). It is the righteousness of God after which the righteous, but not the self-righteous, man hungers and thirsts; that moral perfection which is the likeness of God restored to him and at the same time brought about by his own endeavours; it is the being changed, or transfigured, into the image of the Holy One Himself. With Psalm 24:5 the answer to the question of Psalm 24:3 is at an end; Psalm 24:6 adds that those thus qualified, who may accordingly expect to receive God's gifts of salvation, are the true church of Jahve, the Israel of God. דּור (lit., a revolution, Arabic dahr, root דר, to turn, revolve) is used here, as in Psalm 14:5; Psalm 73:15; Psalm 112:2, of a collective whole, whose bond of union is not contemporaneousness, but similarity of disposition; and it is an alliteration with the דּרשׁיו (Chethb דרשו, without the Jod plur.) which follows. מבקשׁי פּניך is a second genitive depending on דּור, as in Psalm 27:8. Here at the close the predication passes into the form of invocation (Thy face). And יעקב is a summarising predicate: in short, these are Jacob, not merely after the flesh, but after the spirit, and thus in truth (Isaiah 44:2, cf. Romans 9:6; Galatians 6:16). By interpolating אלהי, as is done in the lxx and Peshto, and adopted by Ewald, Olshausen, Hupfeld, and Bttcher, the nerve, as it were, of the assertion is cut through. The predicate, which has been expressed in different ways, is concentrated intelligibly enough in the one word יעקב, towards which it all along tends. And here the music becomes forte. The first part of this double Psalm dies away amidst the playing of the instruments of the Levitical priests; for the Ark was brought in בּכל־עז וּבשׁירים, as 2 Samuel 6:5 (cf. 2 Samuel 6:14) is to be read.

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