Blessed is the man whom thou choosest - This is spoken in reference to the priests who were chosen of God to minister at the tabernacle; and who were permitted to approach, draw nigh, to the Divine Majesty by the various offerings and sacrifices which they presented.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house - Though we are not priests, and have not the great felicity to minister before thee in holy things; yet we can worship at thy temple, feel the outpouring of thy Spirit, and be made happy with the blessings which thou dispensest there to thy true worshippers.
Blessed is the man whom thou choosest - That is, Happy is the man; or, “Oh, the happiness of the man whom thou dost thus permit to approach thee.” The construction here in the Hebrew is the same as in Psalm 1:1. See the notes at that passage. The word choosest refers to the fact that true piety regards all such blessings as the result of the divine favor; the fruit of his electing grace and love. Compare the notes at Ephesians 1:3-4; notes at 1 Peter 1:2-3. We approach God with confidence, with the spirit of true worshippers, with the spirit of his children, only as he inclines us to him, and calls us to partake of his favor. Compare John 6:44.
And causest to approach unto thee - That is, that he may worship thee. The idea is here recognized in the word “causest,” that it is only by a divine influence that people are led to worship God. The cause - the efficient reason - why any man worships his Maker at all, is to be found in God himself. This idea is fairly implied in the form of the word as it is used in the Hebrew.
That he may dwell in thy courts - That is, either temporarily for the purpose of worship; or permanently, that he may serve thee in the sanctuary. See Psalm 23:6, note; Psalm 27:4, note. Compare Psalm 15:1. The word “courts” refers properly to the area around the tabernacle or the temple, and not to the tabernacle or temple itself. The worship of the people was offered in those courts, and not in the tabernacle or temple. See the notes at Matthew 21:12.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house - Our souls will find thus what they need; what they long for. See the notes at Psalm 36:8. It is the nature of religion to satisfy the mind; that is, the soul finds in religion what meets its needs, for religion leaves no necessity of its nature unsupplied. It may be added that nothing else will do this but religion. The word “house” here denotes a place where God dwells, and it might be applied to the temple, as it often is in the Scriptures (compare Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; John 2:16; et al.); or to the tabernacle, before the temple was reared. Psalm 42:4; Matthew 12:4; Judges 18:31; Judges 20:18, Judges 20:26, Judges 20:31. The reference here is to the tabernacle or tent which David reared on Mount Zion, and where the worship of God was celebrated before the temple was built. “Even of thy holy temple.” The word “temple” is most commonly applied in the Scriptures to the structure which Solomon built for the worship of God; and it is on the ground that the Word is usually so applied, that DeWette and others have argued that this psalm could not have been written by David, but that it was composed after the temple was reared. But the word rendered “temple” - היכל hêykâl - is a word of so general a character that it may be applied to any house erected for the worship of God. It is not unfrequently applied to the tabernacle. See the notes at Psalm 5:7. This psalm, therefore, may have been composed while the tabernacle was standing, and before the temple was built, and hence, may have been composed by David, as the title intimates.