World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of glory may come in.
The King of Glory.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
What is spoken once is spoken a second time in these verses; such repetitions are usual in songs, and have much beauty in them. Here is, 1. Entrance once and again demanded for the King of glory; the doors and gates are to be thrown open, thrown wide open, to give him admission, for behold he stands at the door and knocks, ready to come in. 2. Enquiry once and again made concerning this mighty prince, in whose name entrance is demanded: Who is this King of glory? As, when any knock at our door, it is common to ask, Who is there? 3. Satisfaction once and again given concerning the royal person that makes the demand: It is the Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle, the Lord of hosts, v. 8, 10. Now,
I. This splendid entry here described it is probable refers to the solemn bringing in of the ark into the tent David pitched for it or the temple Solomon built for it; for, when David prepared materials for the building of it, it was proper for him to prepare a psalm for the dedication of it. The porters are called upon to open the doors, and they are called everlasting doors, because much more durable than the door of the tabernacle, which was but a curtain. They are taught to ask, Who is this King of glory? And those that bore the ark are taught to answer in the language before us, and very fitly, because the ark was a symbol or token of God's presence, Josh. iii. 11. Or it may be taken as a poetical figure designed to represent the subject more affectingly. God, in his word and ordinances, is thus to be welcomed by us, 1. With great readiness: the doors and gates must be thrown open to him. Let the word of the Lord come into the innermost and uppermost place in our souls; and, if we had 600 necks, we should bow them all to the authority of it. 2. With all reverence, remembering how great a God he is with whom we have to do, in all our approaches to him.
II. Doubtless it points at Christ, of whom the ark, with the mercy-seat, was a type. 1. We may apply it to the ascension of Christ into heaven and the welcome given to him there. When he had finished his work on earth he ascended in the clouds of heaven, Dan. vii. 13, 14. The gates of heaven must then be opened to him, those doors that may be truly called everlasting, which had been shut against us, to keep the way of the tree of life, Gen. iii. 24. Our Redeemer found them shut, but, having by his blood made atonement for sin and gained a title to enter into the holy place (Heb. ix. 12), as one having authority, he demanded entrance, not for himself only, but for us; for, as the forerunner, he has for us entered and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. The keys not only of hell and death, but of heaven and life, must be put into his hand. His approach being very magnificent, the angels are brought in asking, Who is this King of glory? For angels keep the gates of the New Jerusalem, Rev. xxi. 12. When the first-begotten was brought into the upper world the angels were to worship him (Heb. i. 6); and accordingly, they here ask with wonder, "Who is he?—this that cometh with dyed garments from Bozrah? (Isa. lxiii. 1-3), for he appears in that world as a Lamb that had been slain." It is answered that he is strong and mighty, mighty in battle, to save his people and subdue his and their enemies. 2. We may apply it to Christ's entrance into the souls of men by his word and Spirit, that they may be his temples. Christ's presence in them is like that of the ark in the temple; it sanctifies them. Behold, he stands at the door and knocks, Rev. iii. 20. It is required that the gates and doors of the heart be opened to him, not only as admission is given to a guest, but as possession is delivered to the rightful owner, after the title has been contested. This is the gospel call and demand, that we let Jesus Christ, the King of glory, come into our souls, and welcome him with hosannas, Blessed is he that cometh. That we may do this aright we are concerned to ask, Who is this King of glory?—to acquaint ourselves with him, whom we are to believe in, and to love above all. And the answer is ready: He is Jehovah, and will be Jehovah our righteousness, an all-sufficient Saviour to us, if we give him entrance and entertainment. He is strong and mighty, and the Lord of hosts; and therefore it is at our peril if we deny him entrance; for he is able to avenge the affront; he can force his way, and can break those in pieces with his iron rod that will not submit to his golden sceptre.
In singing this let our hearts cheerfully answer to this call, as it is in the first words of the next psalm, Unto thee, O Lord! do I lift up my soul.