24:7, 8 I like to think that the procession has been singing the words of verses 1–6 as they cross the Valley of the Kidron. But now their singing is interrupted by the clarion call of the herald at the head of the parade. He calls out to the watchmen at the gates of Jerusalem: “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.” A sentry on the wall of the city calls back in loud, impressive tones, “Who is this King of glory?” The answer comes back in clear, stentorian words, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.”
The Believers Bible Commentary
24:7 Heaven is opened to receive Christ in his ascension (Luke 24:51; Heb. 9:24).
The ESV Study Bible
7 It is difficult to be sure of this psalm’s original setting. Some explain it from the perspective of the ark’s return from battle (Craigie, 213–14). Others relate it to David’s bringing of the ark to Jerusalem from Kiriath-Jearim (K&D, 1:334). Weiser, 234–35 posits a cult dramatization of a theophany in the temple. This difficulty raises the question of the referent of “heads,” “gates,” and “doors.” Dahood, 1:152, explains “lift up your heads” as an idiom for rejoicing by the godly (cf. Lk 21:28). Similarly, A. A. Anderson, 1:204–5, proposes that “gates” may be symbolic of the people collectively, as in Isaiah 14:31 (cf. Briggs, 1:216–217). The sense of v. 7 would be: “Rejoice greatly, O you people [who live within the gates]” (cf. Zec 9:9). On the other hand, the psalmist may be literally addressing the gates of the temple to open up. Or since the temple itself was not yet erected in David’s time, the psalmist may be referring to the “ancient doors” of Jerusalem. Regardless of the referent, the point remains that Jerusalem had been a Jebusite city with a long history (cf. K. Kenyon, Royal Cities of the Old Testament [New York: Schocken, 1971], 13–35) and over which Melchizedek ruled in Abraham’s days (Ge 14:18). 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 of the refrain bears out the importance of proper preparation for “the King of glory.” Twice the people ask in antiphonal chorus, “Who is [he] this King of glory?” (vv. 8, 10).
8–10 “The King of glory” is “the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (v. 8) and “The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory” (v. 10). He is Yahweh (three times, vv. 8, 10), the God of the covenantal people. He brings blessing, victory, and vindication to his people because he is their God and Savior (v. 5). He is the Warrior (see Reflections, p. 733, Yahweh Is the Divine Warrior). The descriptive phrases “strong and mighty” and “mighty in battle” (v. 5) portray him as the Warrior for his people (cf. Ex 15:2–3; Nu 10:35; Dt 10:17; Isa 10:21; Jer 32:18)—coming not to fight against them but for them. He is “Lord Almighty” (ṣebāʾôt, “of hosts”) as he commands both the heavenly beings (89:6–8; 103:20–21; 148:2) and the host of stars and constellations (Isa 40:26; Joel 2:10–11; see Reflections, p. 263, Lord Sabaoth). The Creator-God is the King of Glory and has come down to dwell in the midst of the city of human beings.
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary
24:7 Lift up your heads The psalmists asks the doors of the temple to open for Yahweh’s entrance. This psalm was most likely used when the ark of the covenant returned from battle (see Num 10:35–36 and note).
The ark of the covenant symbolizes Yahweh’s presence. Israelites used the ark in military campaigns during the conquest of the land (Josh 6:1–21), the period of the judges (Judg 20:27–28; 1 Sam 4:1–11), and in the early days of the monarchy (1 Sam 14:18–23). They eventually housed it in Solomon’s temple (1 Kgs 8:6).
24:8 mighty in war The psalmist portrays Yahweh, the King of glory, as a mighty warrior (Exod 15:3). Throughout the ot, biblical writers portray Yahweh going out to battle with His people (Deut 20:2–4).
Faithlife Study Bible