Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume VIII/Expositions on the Book of Psalms/Psalm XXIV
A psalm of David himself, on the first day of the week.
1. A Psalm of David himself, touching the glorifying and resurrection of the Lord, which took place early in the morning on the first day of the week, which is now called the Lord’s Day.
2. “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof, the compass of the world, and all they that dwell therein” (ver. 1); when the Lord, being glorified, is announced for the believing of all nations; and the whole compass of the world becomes His Church. “He hath founded it above the seas.” He hath most firmly established it above all the waves of this world, that they should be subdued by it, and should not hurt it. “And hath prepared it above the rivers” (ver. 2). The rivers flow into the sea, and men of lust lapse into the world: these also the Church, which, when worldly lusts have been conquered by the grace of God, hath been prepared by love for the reception of immortality, subdues.
3. “Who shall ascend into the mount of the Lord?” Who shall ascend to the height of the righteousness of the Lord? “Or who shall stand in His holy place?” (ver. 3). Or who shall abide in that place, whither He shall ascend, founded above the seas, and prepared above the rivers?
4. “The innocent of hand, and the pure in heart” (ver. 4). Who then shall ascend thither, and abide there, but the guiltless in deed, and pure in thought? “Who hath not received his soul in vain.” Who hath not reckoned his soul among things that pass away, but feeling it to be immortal, hath longed for an eternity stedfast and unchangeable. “And hath not sworn in deceit to his neighbour.” And therefore without deceit, as things eternal are simple and undeceiving, hath so behaved himself to his neighbour.
5. “This man shall receive blessing from the Lord, and mercy from the God of his salvation” (ver. 5).
6. “This is the generation of them that seek the Lord” (ver. 6). For thus are they born that seek Him. “Of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob. Diapsalma.” Now they seek the face of God, who gave the pre-eminence to the younger born.
7. “Take away your gates, ye princes” (ver. 7). All ye, that seek rule among men, remove, that they hinder not, the entrances which ye have made, of desire and fear. “And be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates.” And be ye lift up, ye entrances of eternal life, of renunciation of the world, and conversion to God. “And the King of glory shall come in.” And the King, in whom we may glory without pride, shall come in: who having overcome the gates of death, and having opened for Himself the heavenly places, fulfilled that which He said, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”
8. “Who is this King of glory?” Mortal nature is awe-struck in wonder, and asks, “Who is this King of glory?” “The Lord strong and mighty.” He whom thou didst deem weak and overwhelmed. “The Lord mighty in battle” (ver. 8). Handle the scars, and thou wilt find them made whole, and human weakness restored to immortality. The glorifying of the Lord, which was owing to earth, where It warred with death, hath been paid.
9. “Take away your gates, ye princes.” Let us go hence straightway into heaven. Again, let the Prophet’s trumpet cry aloud, “Take away too, ye princes of the air, the gates, which ye have in the minds of men who ‘worship the host of heaven.’” “And be ye lift up, ye everlasting gates.” And be ye lift up, ye doors of everlasting righteousness, of love, and chastity, through which the soul loveth the One True God, and goeth not a-whoring with the many that are called gods. “And the King of glory shall come in” (ver. 9). “And the King of glory shall come in,” that He may at the right hand of the Father intercede for us.
10. “Who is this King of glory?” What! dost thou too, prince of the power of this air, marvel and ask, “Who is this King of glory?” “The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory” (ver. 10). Yea, His Body now quickened, He who was tempted marches above thee; He who was tempted by the angel, the deceiver, goes above all angels. Let none of you put himself before us and stop our way, that he may be worshipped as a god by us: neither principality, nor angel, nor power, separateth us from the love of Christ. It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in a prince; that he who glorieth, should glory in the Lord. These indeed are powers in the administration of this world, but “the Lord of powers, He is the King of glory.”
- Lat. XXIII.
- [Surely a foretokening of our Sunday.—C.]
- Al. “hath ascended.”
- [Light, resurrection, and sanctification are the glories of the Lord’s Day, and “this man” inherits all this.—C.]
- [“God of Jacob.” So the Vulgate, after the Septuagint.—C.]
- Rom. ix. 12.
- John xvi. 33.
- [“Ye princes.” So Septuagint and Vulgate.—C.]
- 2 Kings xvii. 16.
- Eph. ii. 2.
- Rom. viii. 39.
- Ps. cxviii. 9.
- 1 Cor. i. 31.