343 – Psalm 24 – Part 3
Psalm 24:7-10 (NKJV)
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
[YHWH] strong and mighty,
[YHWH] mighty in battle.
9 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?
[YHWH] of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
In the above quote, I’ve replaced the generic phrase “the LORD” with the correct bracketed transliteration [YHWH]. Remember that transliteration is bringing the source language word forward into the target language without an attempt to translate it. As I’ve mentioned many times before “The LORD” is not a translation, but rather a substitution for God’s personal name YHWH (or Yahweh). It is important to read “the LORD” in our translations as Yahweh because He wants His name known. YHWH wants us to know His name and He wants us to use His name. He had His name penned in the Holy Scriptures and human translators took it upon themselves to substitute “the LORD” obscuring the fact that He is indeed a God of personal relationship. God’s name YHWH is repeated six times in the ten verses of Psalm twenty-four. If knowing His name isn’t important then why is recorded this many times in this short chapter of the Bible? Know His name, and use His name.
Before we look specifically at verse seven notice that it and verse eight almost exactly duplicate verses nine and ten. Why is that? One may retort, “That’s because the Psalms are songs. Verses seven and eight are the chorus repeated in verses nine and ten”. To that response, I would suggest caution. Remember that the Psalms are ancient and in no way model our modern and Westernized ideas of musical composition. The idea of a chorus could not be validated once you consider the majority of the Psalms. We need to be careful not to read our cultural norms into the text. We should be focusing our efforts on understanding the culture of the biblical audience.
Is it possible verses seven and eight were used as a call and verses nine and ten were used as a response? That might make sense since the Psalms were used in corporate worship, right? Maybe, but that would be pure speculation without any evidence to support such a notion. So what then? Why are these verses repeated almost word for word?
I suggest a strong possibility is verses seven and eight are repeated for emphasis. The divine Author, through the pen of the human author, wanted a strong callout, a bolding or underlining of what these verses communicate.
Psalm 24:7 (NKJV)
7 Lift up your heads, O gates,
and rise up, O ancient doorways,
that the king of glory may enter.
How tempting it would be to skip over the phrases “O gates” and “O ancient doorways” without hardly a sideways glance. It’s easy to see that they are probably metaphors or similies, but we don’t know what this is referring to so let’s just keep reading. Although I do think we should be careful to never force meaning on the text of scripture we should make an effort to understand what Yahweh as written. Let’s compare Scripture with Scripture.
Psalm 118:19-20 (NKJV)
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I will go through them,
And I will praise [YHWH].
20 This is the gate of [YHWH],
Through which the righteous shall enter.
Although we don’t have time to study Psalm 118 in full it’s worth noting there is strong indication it is a messianic Psalm, or a Prophecy-Psalm about Jesus. Remember the Scriptures are inextricably woven together. It is impossible to understand portions of God’s word without comparing and learning from the whole.
Walls are designed to deny all access whereas gates are designed to restrict access. The gatekeeper decides who may enter and who may not. Psalm 24:7 & 9 declare to the gatekeepers something like, “Look up and notice who is coming toward you and throw open the gates/doors because it is YHWH’s desire that the King of Glory come through”! The text asks a final question, “Who is this King of Glory”? The answer? “Yahweh, strong and mighty, mighty in battle, Yahweh of the hosts (armies)”!
It is tough to communicate emotion in the written word, but I believe I see great energy and joy bleeding through the page as I read verses seven through ten. Listen, YHWH Jesus is on His way toward the gates of history. He is on soon coming to the earth again, not as a suffering servant but as a conquering King.
Are you anticipating His return with great longing and a sense of Joy?
YHWH is worthy of all Praise, Worship, Adoration, Obedience, and Service!