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Home > Fathers of the Church > Expositions on the Psalms (Augustine) > Psalm 24

Exposition on Psalm 24

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A psalm of David himself, on the first day of the week.

1. A Psalm of David himself, touching the glorifying and resurrection of the Lord, which took place early in the morning on the first day of the week, which is now called the Lord's Day.

2. The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the compass of the world, and all they that dwell therein Psalm 23:1; when the Lord, being glorified, is announced for the believing of all nations; and the whole compass of the world becomes His Church. He has founded it above the seas. He has most firmly established it above all the waves of this world, that they should be subdued by it, and should not hurt it. And has prepared it above the rivers Psalm 23:2. The rivers flow into the sea, and men of lust lapse into the world: these also the Church, which, when worldly lusts have been conquered by the grace of God, has been prepared by love for the reception of immortality, subdues.

3. Who shall ascend into the mount of the Lord? Who shall ascend to the height of the righteousness of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His holy place? Psalm 23:3. Or who shall abide in that place, whither He shall ascend, founded above the seas, and prepared above the rivers?

4. The innocent of hand, and the pure in heart Psalm 23:4. Who then shall ascend there, and abide there, but the guiltless in deed, and pure in thought? Who has not received his soul in vain. Who has not reckoned his soul among things that pass away, but feeling it to be immortal, has longed for an eternity steadfast and unchangeable. And has not sworn in deceit to his neighbour. And therefore without deceit, as things eternal are simple and undeceiving, has so behaved himself to his neighbour.

5. This man shall receive blessing from the Lord, and mercy from the God of his salvation Psalm 23:5.

6. This is the generation of them that seek the Lord Psalm 23:6. For thus are they born that seek Him. Of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob. Diapsalma. Now they seek the face of God, who gave the pre-eminence to the younger born. Romans 9:12

7. Take away your gates, you princes Psalm 23:7. All you, that seek rule among men, remove, that they hinder not, the entrances which you have made, of desire and fear. And be lifted up, you everlasting gates. And be lifted up, you entrances of eternal life, of renunciation of the world, and conversion to God. And the King of glory shall come in. And the King, in whom we may glory without pride, shall come in: who having overcome the gates of death, and having opened for Himself the heavenly places, fulfilled that which He said, Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. John 16:33

8. Who is this King of glory? Mortal nature is awe-struck in wonder, and asks, Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty. He whom you deemed weak and overwhelmed. The Lord mighty in battle Psalm 23:8. Handle the scars, and you will find them made whole, and human weakness restored to immortality. The glorifying of the Lord, which was owing to earth, where It warred with death, has been paid.

9. Take away your gates, you princes. Let us go hence straightway into heaven. Again, let the Prophet's trumpet cry aloud, Take away too, you princes of the air, the gates, which you have in the minds of men who 'worship the host of heaven.' 2 Kings 17:16 And be lifted up, you everlasting gates. And be lifted up, you doors of everlasting righteousness, of love, and chastity, through which the soul loves the One True God, and goes not a-whoring with the many that are called gods. And the King of glory shall come in Psalm 23:9. And the King of glory shall come in, that He may at the right hand of the Father intercede for us.

10. Who is this King of glory? What! Do you too, prince of the power of this air, Ephesians 2:2 marvel and ask, Who is this King of glory? The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory Psalm 23:10. Yea, His Body now quickened, He who was tempted marches above you; He who was tempted by the angel, the deceiver, goes above all angels. Let none of you put himself before us and stop our way, that he may be worshipped as a god by us: neither principality, nor angel, nor power, separates us from the love of Christ. Romans 8:39 It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in a prince; that he who glories, should glory in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:31 These indeed are powers in the administration of this world, but the Lord of powers, He is the King of glory.

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Source. Translated by an anonymous scholar. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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