The King of Glory (Psalm 24)

Looking down on east side of the Temple Mount. 23 May 2017. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

24 A Psalm of David. 

1  The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, 

the world and those who dwell therein, 

for he has founded it upon the seas 

and established it upon the rivers. 

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? 

And who shall stand in his holy place? 

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, 

who does not lift up his soul to what is false 

and does not swear deceitfully. 

He will receive blessing from the Lord 

and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 

Such is the generation of those who seek him, 

who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 

Lift up your heads, O gates! 

And be lifted up, O ancient doors, 

that the King of glory may come in. 

Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord, strong and mighty, 

the Lord, mighty in battle! 

Lift up your heads, O gates! 

And lift them up, O ancient doors, 

that the King of glory may come in. 

10  Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord of hosts, 

he is the King of glory! Selah 

In light of Holy Week 2022, I cannot help but meditate on David’s hymn.

David makes it clear that the earth belongs to Yahweh and that He is the Creator and Sovereign overall (vv 1-2). David’s understanding of creation theology is the antithesis of how Israel’s neighbors understood creation. For most of the Ancient Near East (ANE), they viewed the earth as flat and floating on a cosmic ocean. Water in the ANE was signified with chaos and disorder. (Each ANE civilization had a defeated sea god. For example: the Ugaritic (Canaanite) Baal was the storm/fertility god who defeated the sea god Yamm). To David, “these words signify that the Lord has manifested his wisdom in creating an orderly world, and therefore he rules over all. The biblical perspective is opposed to the deification of nature, for, while everything is glorious, its glory is derived from the glorious Creator” (W. VanGemeren, Psalms REBC, 2008, p. 258).

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?” (v 3). The hill that David is speaking of is Mount Zion. “The temple of Yahweh was built on a hilltop above the rest of the city. Thus, going to worship at the temple involved a modest ascent. The Temple Mount was the place of God’s throne, which is relevant in this psalm’s call to praise God’s kingship” (J. Hilber, “Psalms” ZIBBC, 2009, p. 342). While the temple was not constructed in David’s lifetime, I love what VanGemeren says, “The hymn instructs God’s people wherever they may be to live in the presence of the Creator-King in order to receive his blessing” (p. 260).

Holiness is required to enter the Lord’s presence! Only those with clean hands and a pure heart, who neither lift up their soul (life source) to what is false nor swear deceitfully (v 4), will “receive blessing from the Lord” (v 5). The Lord requires us to be solely and only devoted to Him. We cannot serve God and something or someone else. It was impossible in the Old Testament and it is impossible today!

“Purity of ‘hands’ and ‘heart’ is the condition of living before God in accordance with his precepts and out of the desire of his heart…The one who has ‘clean hands’ is innocent of wrongdoing and readily asks for forgiveness when he or she has sinned against God. In contrast is the sinner, whose ‘hands are full of blood’ and who needs cleansing, forgiveness, and reconciliation” (VanGemeren, p. 260).

Only a fool would enter the Creator-King’s Holy presence in a manner that is contrary to His Character and Workings. The people of God need to be sensitive and mindful of the condition of their hands and hearts when they enter into His presence. Failure to do so will lead to discipline rather than blessing.

For the “generation of those who seek him” they are the legitimate children of Jacob (v 6). Seek here is a Hebrew participle denoting continuous action. “To ‘seek him’ is an expression of a sincere desire to live in accordance with God’s standards so as to live in the presence of his ‘face'” (p. 260).

Scholars are not in agreement as to what David is referring to in verses 7 and 9. It could be that David is literally commanding the gates and doors of the temple to open or it could be referring to the ancient city of Jerusalem itself. Since the temple was not built in David’s time, I am more inclined to go with the latter; however, I am not dogmatic on this! As VanGemeren states, “Regardless of the referent, the point remains that Jerusalem had been a Jebusite city with a long history…over which Melchizedek ruled in Abraham’s days. It became the city of God because God chose to dwell in it. Consequently, both the city and the people were called on to receive with joy and anticipation the Great King. The repetition in v. 9…bears out the importance of proper preparation for ‘the King of glory'” (p. 262).

Verses 8 and 10 are verbless clauses where the people cry out, “Who is this King of Glory?” The answer is the Lord, Yahweh. “He brings blessing, victory, and vindication to his people because he is their God and Savior” (p. 262). Yahweh is the Divine Warrior (a significant theme in the Old Testament) who fights for Israel rather than against her. David describes the Lord’s divine power as “strong and mighty” and “mighty in battle!”

The Lord of Hosts (ebāʾôt) is also translated Almighty. “The Great King has at his command innumerable heavenly ‘hosts,’ reflecting the glory and splendor of undisputed lordship. He is the Divine Warrior, the Commander of all powers in heaven and earth. His battles always win him victory…The presence of the divine Warrior among his people is the ground for tranquillity that drives out fear” (p.263).

In Psalm 24, David celebrates the entrance of the great Divine Warrior, the King of Glory, the Lord Almighty Himself coming into Zion. Yesterday, April 10, 2022 Protestants remembered the Triumphal entry of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt, where the crowds met Jesus with palm branches, spreading their cloaks on the road, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12; c.f. Ps 118:25-26).

Only a few days later these same people along with their chief priests and religious leaders cried out for Pilate to “crucify” Him (Luke 23:21; John 19:6). In prophetic irony, Pilate put an inscription on Jesus’s cross which read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:19). Onlookers who were coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover would have seen this sign. For three hours Jesus suffered before succumbing to death. His body was then taken down and buried in a new, yet borrowed tomb (v 41); however, this was not the end, because on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave! This Overcoming King of Glory defeated death, the grave and Satan forever!

For those who believe in Christ, we know that Jesus is the Soon Returning Conquering King who will enter the holy city of Jerusalem bringing His reward with Him (Rev 22:12). For those who believe in Christ we know that our reward is being with our Triune God forever. For those who do not know Christ, their reward is separation from God and eternal torment (see Matthew 25). In a world full of uncertainty and zero guarantees, Jesus’s return is certain. None of us are promised tomorrow, please seek Jesus while there is still time!

Jesus is the ultimate Davidic King. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the King of Glory, the One who fights on behalf of His people. May we allow Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection take root more in our lives this year. For the reader who is a part from Christ, do not spend another day without Jesus being Your Redeemer, Savior and King. All glory to Jesus both now and forevermore.

Father God, prepare our hearts to worship You both now and in eternity. Thank You Jesus for coming to earth, being born of a virgin, living among sinful man, being crucified, dead and buried, rising on the third day so as to reconcile Your repentant sinful people to Yourself for the glory of God the Father. Holy Spirit, thank You for indwelling and sealing Your people. Thank You Holy Spirit for helping us to become more like Jesus each and every day. Help us to want more of You and less of ourselves. Lord God, help Your people to have clean hands and a pure heart. May we never forget that we come to You and stand in Your presence because of Your grace and mercy and not because of anything good in us. Lord God, may we never forget that salvation has always been by grace through faith, never because of our works! Lord God, help Your people to be a generation who seeks Your face. Lord God, help believers to not lift their soul to what is false nor swear deceitfully. Lord God, thank You for this reader! Lord God, You are strong and mighty in battle and NOTHING is too great for You. Thank You Lord that nothing will stop Your will from being accomplished. Thank You for this reader. Lead and guide this reader to love You more each and every day. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.


Published by

Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

69 thoughts on “The King of Glory (Psalm 24)”

  1. Good point about continuous action in seeking: “Seek here is a Hebrew participle denoting continuous action. “To ‘seek him’ is an expression of a sincere desire to live in accordance with God’s standards so as to live in the presence of his ‘face’””

    Liked by 3 people

      1. What a thoroughly encouraging study of this psalm Mandy, Thank you for this! It is a clear call to be ready for our Lord’s return as His church but also individually in our life that we lead for Him. Oh how we need to be aware of our spiritual cleanliness before Him every day!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Amen Alan to us being aware of our spiritual cleanliness before Him everyday!! Thank you for reading this. I know it was long but I couldn’t stop being amazed and humbled by our God! How are you doing, brother? Praying for your dental appointment!


      3. Spring has arrived and disappeared again haha. We had a brief spell of warm temps and sunshine just over a week ago…then the temp has plummeted again and brought many sleet and rain showers. In the brief sunny spell I did see bees and butterflies though. It is raining steadily as I write.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We have the same weather! Short flower season this year. My mom is coming in town on Friday and I told her we have no flowers, some trees had flowers but they blew away and others are still dormant. Praise God He is still sovereign over all!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful post, thank you for taking us to this scripture. I appreciate your research and also wondered about verses 7 & 9.
    But for me, this Psalm brought me into worship. I had to put on “Give Us Clean Hands” (Chris Tomlin), open my heart and prayerfully sing. Not only that, but in Handel’s glorious Messiah, “Who is This King of Glory”!
    Thank you sister, I love these. Love you too! ⚘

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So, you’ve been to the Holy City, eh? Nice photo!

    I like that the gates/doors have been personified in 7/9. Given the metaphorical nature here, I’m inclined to think the interpretation is to be open, such that multiple understandings are to be understood (multivalent). That is, I don’t the Psalm is meant to be interpreted merely one way or another. (Jerusalem? Temple? New Jerusalem? YES!)

    That’s my two cents, anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see support for both Jerusalem and the Temple. There’s also a lot of other ANE connections to this which this post didn’t go in that direction.

      I was in Jordan and Israel May and June 2017. I was in Jerusalem for the 50th anniversary, wild! I was also on the last team at Gezer (Solomon chariot city). If you’re interested

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow will read this post! Answering your question: I don’t know how I remember Greek verb endings, I feel its so much easier than Hebrew though I think sometimes the irregular verbs throw me off

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with that. Sometimes the psalms can be so routine it’s nice to take a different look at them. I have also found that many folks don’t have a good grasp of OT background; however, that can cause some to stumble more than help. NT background is more known to people thankfully!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree: ” I have also found that many folks don’t have a good grasp of OT background” I think you do present OT background well without it being stumbling

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, brother! I work very hard at that. There are so many things that I want to say, but it is much harder with writing to gage how it is being received or understood. I had a PhD OT background class and I was like, why aren’t we teaching the people of God this from the pulpit or at least in Undergraduate studies?! So, that is why I do OT and NT background for the youth. Even if they do not understand now, God willing they will at a later date. I hope they save their PowerPoints for a future reference as well so they can add to the material that they learn!!!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I am glad you are able to bring the things that can be PhD level to the level kids can understand (I do think the youths can apprehend what you are teaching). The powerpoints are great! Which I am so grateful for with giving these knowledge to the youths. And the ppt is a big plus for them for later

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoyed the study of this Psalm Mandy. We are called to be ready for Christ return and that is something we are to be ready for both corporately as a people of God and in our own personal walk.
    To have clean hands, a pure heart, not lifting our soul to any idol or swear by what is false – that verse is humbling. May we be aware of each of those things in our daily walk.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Bible studies are going good. We do not rush through it. We take our time. It is currently school term break and we make sure to take a break from gathering during the holidays as people might travel and leaders get a rest too. But if people are around we get together for a meal.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love how you noted the ascent to the temple; and the need for clean hands. Appreciate you pointing out the Divine Warrior motif too. We must not forget that lest we take for granted His humble and mercy coming with the Humble entry the Sunday before His death. I look forward to the reward of His presence in heaven one day. Good study.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Glad you are reading person of Interest! That was a good chapters you guys read! We are doing good here today for Good Friday, exhausted from this week’s ministry, not going to lie, but blessed. THis morning someone tagged me on Twitter and it was a nasty atheists trolling so trying to see that subside. Blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No matter where we are at we will welcome you all but the future of ministry travels is still being worked out right now. Covid around the world and various government new policies hinder certainty of any planing 😢

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can understand that for sure!!!! Speaking of travels, I didn’t realize that Nathan and I will be out of town the first Saturday in May and I’m not sure if we will have internet, I am so sorry! I booked this last October. Would I be able to share with the youth the second Saturday May 14, 2022? I really, really love the youth (and adults) at TCAC! Thank you for all the love that y’all show to me and nathan!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Answering your question: I have not had criticism for the latest contradiction; it was for the second to last one over at Twitter; but literally none of the atheist trolls dealt with the post but went tangent to other contradictions; it was really low grade stuff, not the hardest ones honestly…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is just so sad the way these people won’t deal with the Bible directly but use the skeptic’s and other peoples writings. I wrote a paper today for the class I dislike on “pastors use of social media.” You are truly one of the few pastors using social media correctly!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Responding to your comment on my post: I agree and say amen to your sentence “the left is everything they accuse everyone else to be.” Also youth group went well, Leo was able to join in and we had Andrew and Linda. I think we are really seeing Linda and Leo grow and also GOd working in Andrew and Nathan. Grateful for your care for the youth!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s