Note: the following comes from Father Patrick Boylan’s THE PSALMS: A STUDY OF THE VULGATE PSALTER IN LIGHT OF THE HEBREW TEXT. Because Father Boylan is following the Vulgate text his numbering of the Psalms will probably differ from most modern bibles. What we call Psalm 24 is Psalm 23 in the Vulgate; likewise, his reference to Psalm 14 corresponds to Psalm 15 in most modern translations. Here is a handy reference chart for your convenience.It should be noted that even today there is not agreement as to how the Psalms should be properly divided and, therefore, numbered. Most modern bibles follow the Hebrew numbering merely as a matter of convenience. See footnote 1 to Psalms 9-10 in the NAB.
Ps 24:4-6 answer the question; “Who is the friend and guest of
the Lord?”‘ (like Ps 14). The answer is: “He whose thoughts and acts are
pure.” In Ps 24:1-2 the majesty of the Lord, the Founder of the
universe, is described. The sixth verse would form a very natural ending
to what precedes; and a very neat and beautiful poem, similar in theme
to Ps 14, might be regarded as completed in Ps 24:1-6.
In Ps 24:7-10 is celebrated a solemn entry of the Lord into His
Sanctuary. Thus the second part of Psalm 24 deals, like the first (Ps 24:1-6), with entrance into the Sanctuary, but the first part (Ps 24:1-6)
deals with the ethical conditions demanded from Israelites who will
sojourn there; while the second (Ps 24:7-10) speaks of the glorious entrance
of the Lord into His own shrine. The poetical structure differs in the
two parts of the psalm, and the view has often been expressed that we
have in this psalm a combination of two poems which had originally
nothing to do with each other. It might be well maintained that the
second part of the psalm was chanted for the first time when David
brought the Ark to Sion, and that it was afterwards sung whenever the
Ark was being carried back to its sanctuary at the close of a victorious
military campaign, in which the Ark, as the symbol of God, had been
carried on the battlefields. The words of the second part of the psalm
would find a very natural explanation if they could be regarded as part
of the liturgy recited at the return of the Ark from victorious warfare,
but there is, unfortunately, no direct evidence that the Ark was
carried out to battle during the monarchical period.
Some recent commentators have conjectured that the whole psalm was
composed for an annual Feast of Dedication of the Temple at which the
Ark was carried out from its shrine, and borne back to it again. But
there is no trace of such an annual festival in ancient Israel.
The structure of Ps 24:3-6 and of Ps 24:7-10 is obviously dramatic
and liturgical. A procession in both parts approaches the Temple, and
voices from without and within are heard in question and reply. The
translation suggests the order of speakers or singers (I’ve reproduced this below). Cf. Ps 14 (i.e., Ps 15); Isa 33:14-16 ; Micah 6:8 ff.
Ps 24:1. On the First day of the week. A psalm of David.
Ps 24:2. The world is the Lord’s, and all that it holds; The universe and
everything that dwells therein. For He hath established it upon the
seas; And upon the waters He hath made it firm.
(The procession asks)
Ps 24:3. Who shall ascend the mountain of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place?
(The Priests at the Temple-entrance respond)
Ps 24:4. He that is clean of hands, and pure of heart; He that setteth not his
desire on vanity, And sweareth not treacherously to his neighbour.
Ps 24:5. Such a one will receive blessings from the Lord, And graciousness from his God, who is so rich in help.
Ps 24:6. Such are the men who seek Him, Who seek the face of the God of Jacob .
(The procession with the Ark)
Ps 24:7. Open, O Princes, your gates! And raise yourselves, ye everlasting gates!
That the glorious King may enter in!
(A voice from within the sanctuary)
Ps 24:8a. Who is this glorious king?
Ps 24:8b. The Lord, the Mighty and Strong, The Lord who is powerful in battle!
Ps 24:9. Open, O Princes, your gates! And raise yourselves ye everlasting gates! That the glorious King may enter in.
Ps 24:10a. Who is this glorious king?
Ps 24:10b. The Lord of Hosts is the glorious King.
5 years ago