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Psalms 24:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Lift up your heads, O ye gates - The address of those who preceded the ark, the gates being addressed instead of the keepers of the gates. Allusion is here made to the triumphal entry of a victorious general into the imperial city.

In the hymn of Callimachus to Apollo, there are two lines very much like those in the text; they convey the very same sentiments. The poet represents the god coming into his temple, and calls upon the priests to open the doors, etc.

Αυτοι νυν κατοχηες ανακλινεσθε πυλαως,

Αυται δε κληιδες· ὁ γαρ Θεος ουκ ετι μακρανπ ;

"Fall back, ye bolts; ye pond'rous doors, give way

For not far distant is the god of day."

Callim. Hymn in Apol., ver. 6, 7.

The whole of this hymn contains excellent sentiments even on the subject of the Psalms.

Everlasting doors - There seems to be a reference here to something like our portcullis, which hangs by pullies above the gate, and can be let down at any time so as to prevent the gate from being forced. In the case to which the psalmist refers, the portcullis is let down, and the persons preceding the ark order it to be raised. When it is lifted up, and appears above the head or top of the gate, then the folding doors are addressed: "Be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;" let there be no obstruction; and the mighty Conqueror, the King of glory, whose presence is with the ark, and in which the symbol of his glory appears, shall enter. Make due preparations to admit so august and glorious a Personage.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Lift up your heads, O ye gates - Either the gates of the city, or of the house erected for the worship of God; most probably, as has been remarked, the former. This may be supposed to have been uttered as the procession approached the city where the ark was to abide, as a summons to admit the King of glory to a permanent residence there. It would seem not improbable that the gates of the city were originally made in the form of a portcullis, as the gates of the old castles in the feudal ages were, not to “open,” but to be “lifted up” by weights and pullies. In some of the old ruins of castles in Palestine there are still to be seen deep grooves in the “posts” of the gateway, showing that the door did not open and shut, but that it was drawn up or let down. (The Land and the Book, vol. i. p. 376. One such I saw at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight; and they were common in the castles erected in the Middle Ages.) There were some advantages in this, as they could be suddenly “let down” on an enemy about to enter, when it would be difficult to close them if they were made to open as doors and gates are commonly made. Thus understood, the “heads” of the gates would be the top, perhaps ornamented in some such way as to suggest the idea of a “head,” and the command was that these should be elevated to admit the ark of God to pass.

And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors - The doors of a city or sanctuary that was now to be the permanent place of the worship of God. The ark was to be fixed and settled there. It was no longer to be moved from place to place. It had found a final home. The idea in the word “everlasting” is that of permanence. The place where the ark was to abide was to be the enduring place of worship; or was to endure as long as the worship of God in that form should continue. There is no evidence that the author of the psalm supposed that those doors would be literally eternal, but the language is such as we use when we say of anything that it is permanent and abiding.

And the King of glory shall come in - The glorious King. The allusion is to God as a King. On the cover of the ark, or the mercy-seat, the symbol of the divine presence - the Shekinah - rested; and hence, it was natural to say that God would enter through those gates. In other words, the cover of the ark was regarded as his abode - His seat - His throne; and, as thus occupying the mercy-seat, He was about to enter the place of His permanent abode. Compare Exodus 25:17, Exodus 25:20, Exodus 25:22.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The splendid entry here described, refers to the solemn bringing in of the ark into the tent David pitched for it, or the temple Solomon built for it. We may also apply it to the ascension of Christ into heaven, and the welcome given to him there. Our Redeemer found the gates of heaven shut, but having by his blood made atonement for sin, as one having authority, he demanded entrance. The angels were to worship him, Heb 1:6: they ask with wonder, Who is he? It is answered, that he is strong and mighty; mighty in battle to save his people, and to subdue his and their enemies. We may apply it to Christ's entrance into the souls of men by his word and Spirit, that they may be his temples. Behold, he stands at the door, and knocks, Rev 3:20. The gates and doors of the heart are to be opened to him, as possession is delivered to the rightful owner. We may apply it to his second coming with glorious power. Lord, open the everlasting door of our souls by thy grace, that we may now receive thee, and be wholly thine; and that, at length, we may be numbered with thy saints in glory.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 185

This is a time when every man in a responsible position, and every member of the church, should bring every feature of his work into close accord with the teachings of the word of God. By untiring vigilance, by fervent prayer, by Christlike words and deeds, we are to show the world what God desires His church to be. 9T 185.1

From His high position, Christ, the King of glory, the Majesty of heaven, saw the condition of men. He pitied human beings in their weakness and sinfulness, and came to this earth to reveal what God is to men. Leaving the royal courts, and clothing His divinity with humanity, He came to the world Himself, in our behalf to work out a perfect character. He did not choose His dwelling among the rich of the earth. He was born in poverty, of lowly parentage, and lived in the despised village of Nazareth. As soon as He was old enough to handle tools, He shared the burden of caring for the family. 9T 185.2

Christ humbled Himself to stand at the head of humanity, to meet the temptations and endure the trials that humanity must meet and endure. He must know what humanity has to meet from the fallen foe, that He might know how to succor those who are tempted. 9T 185.3

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Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 833

The disciples no longer had any distrust of the future. They knew that Jesus was in heaven, and that His sympathies were with them still. They knew that they had a friend at the throne of God, and they were eager to present their requests to the Father in the name of Jesus. In solemn awe they bowed in prayer, repeating the assurance, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:23, 24. They extended the hand of faith higher and higher, with the mighty argument, “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” Romans 8:34. And Pentecost brought them fullness of joy in the presence of the Comforter, even as Christ had promised. DA 833.1

All heaven was waiting to welcome the Saviour to the celestial courts. As He ascended, He led the way, and the multitude of captives set free at His resurrection followed. The heavenly host, with shouts and acclamations of praise and celestial song, attended the joyous train. DA 833.2

As they drew near to the city of God, the challenge is given by the escorting angels,— DA 833.3

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 190-1

His anxious followers gladly listened to His teachings, eagerly feasting upon every word which fell from His holy lips. Now they certainly knew that He was the Saviour of the world. His words sank deep into their hearts, and they sorrowed that they must soon be parted from their heavenly Teacher and no longer hear comforting, gracious words from His lips. But again their hearts were warmed with love and exceeding joy, as Jesus told them that He would go and prepare mansions for them and come again and receive them, that they might be ever with Him. He promised also to send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide them into all truth. “And He lifted up His hands, and blessed them.” EW 190.1

All heaven was waiting the hour of triumph when Jesus should ascend to His Father. Angels came to receive the King of glory and to escort Him triumphantly to heaven. After Jesus had blessed His disciples, He was parted from them and taken up. And as He led the way upward, the multitude of captives who were raised at His resurrection followed. A multitude of the heavenly host were in attendance, while in heaven an innumerable company of angels awaited His coming. As they ascended to the Holy City, the angels who escorted Jesus cried out, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.” The angels in the city cried out with rapture, “Who is this King of glory?” The escorting angels answered in triumph, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in!” Again the waiting angels asked, “Who is this King of glory?” and the escorting angels answered in melodious strains, “The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.” And the heavenly train passed into the city of God. Then all the heavenly host surrounded their majestic Commander, and with the deepest adoration bowed before Him and cast their glittering crowns at His feet. And then they touched their golden harps, and in sweet, melodious strains filled all heaven with rich music and songs to the Lamb who was slain, yet lives again in majesty and glory. EW 190.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 476

Moses beheld the disciples of Jesus as they went forth to carry His gospel to the world. He saw that though the people of Israel “according to the flesh” had failed of the high destiny to which God had called them, in their unbelief had failed to become the light of the world, though they had despised God's mercy and forfeited their blessings as His chosen people—yet God had not cast off the seed of Abraham; the glorious purposes which He had undertaken to accomplish through Israel were to be fulfilled. All who through Christ should become the children of faith were to be counted as Abraham's seed; they were inheritors of the covenant promises; like Abraham, they were called to guard and to make known to the world the law of God and the gospel of His Son. Moses saw the light of the gospel shining out through the disciples of Jesus to them “which sat in darkness” (Matthew 4:16), and thousands from the lands of the Gentiles flocking to the brightness of its rising. And beholding, he rejoiced in the increase and prosperity of Israel. PP 476.1

And now another scene passed before him. He had been shown the work of Satan in leading the Jews to reject Christ, while they professed to honor His Father's law. He now saw the Christian world under a similar deception in professing to accept Christ while they rejected God's law. He had heard from the priests and elders the frenzied cry, “Away with Him!” “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” and now he heard from professedly Christian teachers the cry, “Away with the law!” He saw the Sabbath trodden under foot, and a spurious institution established in its place. Again Moses was filled with astonishment and horror. How could those who believed in Christ reject the law spoken by His own voice upon the sacred mount? How could any that feared God set aside the law which is the foundation of His government in heaven and earth? With joy Moses saw the law of God still honored and exalted by a faithful few. He saw the last great struggle of earthly powers to destroy those who keep God's law. He looked forward to the time when God shall arise to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and those who have feared His name shall be covered and hid in the day of His anger. He heard God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law, as He utters His voice from His holy habitation and the heavens and the earth do shake. He saw the second coming of Christ in glory, the righteous dead raised to immortal life, and the living saints translated without seeing death, and together ascending with songs of gladness to the City of God. PP 476.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 707-8

Again the long train was in motion, and the music of harp and cornet, trumpet and cymbal, floated heavenward, blended with the melody of many voices. “And David danced before the Lord,” in his gladness keeping time to the measure of the song. PP 707.1

David's dancing in reverent joy before God has been cited by pleasure lovers in justification of the fashionable modern dance, but there is no ground for such an argument. In our day dancing is associated with folly and midnight reveling. Health and morals are sacrificed to pleasure. By the frequenters of the ballroom God is not an object of thought and reverence; prayer or the song of praise would be felt to be out of place in their assemblies. This test should be decisive. Amusements that have a tendency to weaken the love for sacred things and lessen our joy in the service of God are not to be sought by Christians. The music and dancing in joyful praise to God at the removal of the ark had not the faintest resemblance to the dissipation of modern dancing. The one tended to the remembrance of God and exalted His holy name. The other is a device of Satan to cause men to forget God and to dishonor Him. PP 707.2

The triumphal procession approached the capital, following the sacred symbol of their invisible King. Then a burst of song demanded of the watchers upon the walls that the gates of the Holy City should be thrown open: PP 707.3

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