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3

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

And who shall stand in his holy place?


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3. Who shall ascend unto. It being very well known that it was of pure grace that God erected his sanctuary, and chose for himself a dwelling-place among the Jews, David makes only a tacit reference to this subject. 543543     “Il n’en fait yci que bien petite mention et comme en passant.” — Fr. “He here only slightly adverts to this subject, and as it were in passing.” He insists principally on the other point contained in the verse, that of distinguishing true Israelites from the false and bastards. He takes the argument by which he exhorts the Jews to lead a holy and righteous life from this, that God had separated them from the rest of the world, to be his peculiar inheritance. The rest of mankind, it is true, seeing they were created by him, belong to his empire; but he who occupies a place in the church is more nearly related to him. All those, therefore, whom God receives into his flock he calls to holiness; and he lays them under obligations to follow it by his adoption. Moreover, by these words David indirectly rebukes hypocrites, who scrupled not falsely to take to themselves the holy name of God, as we know that they are usually lifted up with pride, because of the titles which they take without having the excellencies which these titles imply, contenting themselves with bearing only outside distinctions; 544544     “Comme nous s’avons que c’est leur coustume de s’eslever par orgueil a cause des titres qu’ils prenent sans avoir l’effect, se contentans de porter seulement les marques par dehors.” — Fr. yea, rather he purposely magnifies this singular grace of God, that every man may learn for himself, that he has no right of entrance or access to the sanctuary, unless he sanctify himself in order to serve God in purity. The ungodly and wicked, it is true, were in the habit of resorting to the tabernacle; and, therefore, God, by the Prophet Isaiah, (Isaiah 1:12) reproaches them for coming unworthily into his courts, and wearing the pavement thereof. But David here treats of those who may lawfully enter into God’s sanctuary. The house of God being holy, if any rashly, and without a right, rush into it, their corruption and abuse are nothing else but polluting it. As therefore they do not go up thither lawfully, David makes no account of their going up; yea, rather, under these words there is included a severe rebuke, of the conduct of wicked and profane men, in daring to go up into the sanctuary, and to pollute it with their impurity. On this subject I have spoken more fully on the 15th psalm. In the second part of the verse he seems to denote perseverance, as if he had said, Who shall go up into the hill of Sion, to appear and stand in the presence of God? The Hebrew word קום, kum, it is true, sometimes signifies to rise up, but it is generally taken for to stand, as we have seen in the first psalm. And although this is a repetition of the same idea, stated in the preceding clause, it is not simply so, but David, by expressing the end for which they ought to go up, illustrates and amplifies the subject; and this repetition and amplification we find him often making use of in other psalms. In short, how much soever the wicked were mingled with the good in the church, in the time of David, he declares how vain a thing it is to make an external profession unless there be, at the same time, truth in the inward man. What he says concerning the tabernacle of the covenant must be applied to the continual government of the church.




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