New American Bible (Revised Edition)
The Glory of God in Procession to Zion
1 A psalm of David.
3 Who may go up the mountain of the Lord?(C)
Who can stand in his holy place?
4 [b]“The clean of hand and pure of heart,
who has not given his soul to useless things,
what is vain.
5 He will receive blessings from the Lord,
and justice from his saving God.
6 Such is the generation that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.”
7 Lift up your heads, O gates;[c]
be lifted, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter.(D)
8 Who is this king of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in war.
9 Lift up your heads, O gates;
rise up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may enter.
10 Who is this king of glory?
The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.
- 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 (Ps 24:1–2). The people had to affirm their fidelity before being admitted into the sanctuary (Ps 24:3–6; cf. Ps 15). A choir identifies the approaching God and invites the very Temple gates to bow down in obeisance (Ps 24:7–10).
- 24:4–5 Lit., “the one whose hands are clean.” The singular is used for the entire class of worshipers.
- 24:7, 9 Lift up your heads, O gates…you ancient portals: the literal meaning would involve disassembly of the gates, since the portcullis (a gate that moves up and down) was unknown in the ancient world. Extra-biblical parallels might also 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.