Psalm 24:1-10

A Psalm of David.

1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.

For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.

Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory. Selah

Seen as a Messianic Psalm by most commentaries, referring to the time when Christ shall take the throne in Jerusalem at the beginning of the Millennium. Many believe it was written by David at the time that the Ark of the Covenant was brought from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem, recently captured from the Jebusites. (2 Samuel 5; 1 Chronicles 15:16-23) but the psalm itself doesn’t specify a time.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness (v.1) — quoted in 1 Corinthians 10:26.

David affirms that the earth (more precisely “the land,” denoting that part of the planet intended for human habitation: see Genesis 1:10) and its fullness are the Lord’s, the phraseology of which recalls God’s statement to Moses in Numbers 14:21: “all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (see also Psalm 72:19; Isaiah 6:3). The implication of the parallel phraseology is that, in addition to the denoting the extent of the Lord’s dominion, the present statement also implies that the fullness of (i.e., everything within) that dominion attests to the glory of God. — Wechsler, pages 78-79.


The second verse is in harmony with Genesis 1:9. This was the third day of the reconstruction of the earth. The earth had been inhabited by angels in the prehistoric ages, who were led by Lucifer. Genesis 1:1 tells of a perfect creation by the God of heaven and earth. The second verse shows the result of a judgment. God Himself drove off Lucifer and his fallen angels and threw the earth into chaotic night for ages untold. These things can be seen in Isaiah 14:12-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Isaiah 24:1. It should be said that Isaiah 24:1 and Jeremiah 4:23-28 have had two fulfillments in the past and will also have another one at the end of the kingdom age. But in the prehistoric age God threw the earth into chaotic night and for ages the earth was in darkness and covered with water. From that condition God let the dry land appear; therefore He founded the world upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. — Phillips, pages 85-86.

I know that the gap theory isn’t popular these days, in part because some try to force evolution into the gap. But there was a time when a lot of people believed that earth was originally created by God for Satan and that, after his fall, the earth was reduced to chaos. Then, in Genesis 1, God reformed it for man. Many passages in Scripture seem to point in this direction. Personally, I will only say that if, upon further study or when I get to heaven, I find out that this was the case, it won’t rock my theology.

This section (vs. 3-6) closely parallels the  Psalm 15 — vs. 3 to 15:1; vs. 4 to 15:2-5a; vs. 5 to 15:5b.

hill of the Lord (v.3) — the hill in Jerusalem where the tabernacle was and where sacrifices were offered — see Psalm 2:6 (the holy hill of Zion)

clean hands (v.4) — Only the righteous can come into the presence of God, but their righteousness is not of their own doing or because of their own merit but is received from God (v.5)

Jacob (v.6) — intended to specify “those who seek Thy face” — i.e., Israel (the people), for which “Jacob” is a poetic alternative (see Psalm 14:7), and in this case especially appropriate since it was as “Jacob” that the patriarch struggled with and saw God “face to face,” only at the end of which “struggle” his name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28-30). — Wechsler, page 79.

mighty (v.8) — actually a noun used to designate warriors distinguished by military prowess (1 Samuel 16:18; 2 Samuel 1:19, 25, 27; 1 Chronicles 11:10, etc.) — David is making the point that the Lord of Hosts (Jesus Christ) is the greatest warrior of all.

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