Psalms 84

1 To the Overseer. -- `On the Gittith By sons of Korah.' -- A Psalm. How beloved Thy tabernacles, Jehovah of Hosts!
2 My soul desired, yea, it hath also been consumed, For the courts of Jehovah, My heart and my flesh cry aloud unto the living God,
3 (Even a sparrow hath found a house, And a swallow a nest for herself, Where she hath placed her brood,) Thine altars, O Jehovah of Hosts, My king and my God.
4 O the happiness of those inhabiting Thy house, Yet do they praise Thee. Selah.
5 O the happiness of a man whose strength is in Thee, Highways [are] in their heart.
6 Those passing through a valley of weeping, A fountain do make it, Blessings also cover the director.
7 They go from strength unto strength, He appeareth unto God in Zion.
8 O Jehovah, God of Hosts, hear my prayer, Give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
9 Our shield, see, O God, And behold the face of Thine anointed,
10 For good [is] a day in Thy courts, O Teacher! I have chosen rather to be at the threshold, In the house of my God, Than to dwell in tents of wickedness.
11 For a sun and a shield [is] Jehovah God, Grace and honour doth Jehovah give. He withholdeth not good To those walking in uprightness.
12 Jehovah of Hosts! O the happiness of a man trusting in Thee.

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Psalms 84 Commentary

Chapter 84

The psalmist expresses his affection to the ordinances of God. (1-7) His desire towards the God of the ordinances. (8-12)

Verses 1-7 The ordinances of God are the believer's solace in this evil world; in them he enjoys the presence of the living God: this causes him to regret his absence from them. They are to his soul as the nest to the bird. Yet they are only an earnest of the happiness of heaven; but how can men desire to enter that holy habitation, who complain of Divine ordinances as wearisome? Those are truly happy, who go forth, and go on in the exercise of religion, in the strength of the grace of Jesus Christ, from whom all our sufficiency is. The pilgrims to the heavenly city may have to pass through many a valley of weeping, and many a thirsty desert; but wells of salvation shall be opened for them, and consolations sent for their support. Those that press forward in their Christian course, shall find God add grace to their graces. And those who grow in grace, shall be perfect in glory.

Verses 8-12 In all our addresses to God, we must desire that he would look on Christ, his Anointed One, and accept us for his sake: we must look to Him with faith, and then God will with favour look upon the face of the Anointed: we, without him, dare not show our faces. The psalmist pleads love to God's ordinances. Let us account one day in God's courts better than a thousand spent elsewhere; and deem the meanest place in his service preferable to the highest earthly preferment. We are here in darkness, but if God be our God, he will be to us a Sun, to enlighten and enliven us, to guide and direct us. We are here in danger, but he will be to us a Shield, to secure us from the fiery darts that fly thick about us. Through he has not promised to give riches and dignities, he has promised to give grace and glory to all that seek them in his appointed way. And what is grace, but heaven begun below, in the knowledge, love, and service of God? What is glory, but the completion of this happiness, in being made like to him, and in fully enjoying him for ever? Let it be our care to walk uprightly, and then let us trust God to give us every thing that is good for us. If we cannot go to the house of the Lord, we may go by faith to the Lord of the house; in him we shall be happy, and may be easy. That man is really happy, whatever his outward circumstances may be, who trusts in the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob.

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. Of "gittith," See Gill on "Ps 8:1." The Targum renders it here, as there, "to praise upon the harp that was brought from Gath;" and of the sons of Korah, See Gill on "Ps 42:1" and the argument of this psalm is thought to be much the same with that and Psalm 43:1. It was, very probably, written by David; to whom the Targum, on Psalm 84:8, ascribes it; though it does not bear his name, the spirit it breathes, and the language in which it is written, show it to be his; though not when he was an exile among the Philistines, in the times of Saul, as some in Kimchi think; for then the ark was not in Zion, as is suggested Psalm 84:7, but elsewhere; for it was brought thither by David, after he was king of Israel, 2 Samuel 7:2, but rather when he fled from his son Absalom; though there is nothing in it that necessarily supposes him to be banished, or at a distance from the house of God; only he expresses his great affection for it, and his earnest desires for returning seasons and opportunities of worshipping God in it; and the general view of it is to set forth the blessedness of such who frequently attend divine service: the inscription of it, in the Syriac version, is, "for the sons of Korah, when David meditated to go out of Zion, to worship in the house of God: and it is called a prophecy concerning Christ, and concerning his church," as it undoubtedly is. Bishop Patrick thinks it was composed by some pious Levite in the country, when Sennacherib's army had blocked up the way to Jerusalem, and hindered them from waiting upon the service of God at the temple; and others refer it to the times of the Babylonish captivity; and both Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the captivity, when the temple and altars of God were in ruins; but this does not agree with the loveliness of them, in which they were at the time of writing this psalm.

Psalms 84 Commentaries

Young's Literal Translation is in the public domain.