Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?
&c.] This question, with the following, is put by the psalmist in a view of the sad corruption and degeneracy of mankind described in the preceding psalm, which renders the sons of men unfit for the presence of God, and communion with him; and it is put to the Lord himself, the founder of Zion, who has set his King over this holy hill of his; who has enacted laws for the good of it, and brings his people thither, making them meet for it, and so is most proper to give the qualifications of such as are admitted here; for by the tabernacle is meant not the human nature of Christ, as in ( Hebrews 8:2 ) ( 9:11 ) ; as some interpret it, and apply all the characters in the following verses to Christ; nor heaven itself, of which the holy place made with hands in the tabernacle and temple were a figure, ( Hebrews 9:24 ) ; for to "sojourn" F4 or "lodge", as in an inn, as the word rendered abide signifies, will not suit with that state and place which is fixed and immovable; but the church of God on earth, called a "tabernacle", in allusion to the tabernacle of Moses, where God granted his presence, sacrifices were offered up with acceptance, and the holy vessels were put; and which was mean without, but rich and glorious within: so God affords his gracious presence in his church, accepts the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise offered to him there; and here are the vessels of mercy placed, which are sanctified and meet for the master's use; and though it is mean and despicable in its outward appearance, in the eyes of men, it is all glorious within; see ( Song of Solomon 1:6 ) ; and this is the tabernacle of God, being of his building and preserving, and the place of his residence;
who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
the same is here intended as in the preceding clause; the allusion is to Mount Zion, whither the ark of the Lord was brought in David's time, and on one part of which the temple was afterwards built: and the church may be compared to this hill, for its eminence and visibility in the world; for the holiness which God has put upon it, and for the immovableness of it; for though like, a tabernacle it may be carried from place to place, yet it is like an hill that can never be removed out of the world; it is built on a sure foundation, the Rock of ages. Now the purport of these questions is, who is a proper person to be an inhabitant of Zion? or to be a member of the church of God? the answer is in the following verses.
F4 (wwny) "peregrinabitur", Pagninus, Montanus; "diversabitur", Muis; so Ainsworth; "vel hospitabitur", Cocceius.