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Psalm 15:1

ESV A Psalm of David. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
NIV A psalm of David. LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?
NASB Lord, who may reside in Your tent? Who may settle on Your holy hill?
CSB Lord, who can dwell in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain?
NLT Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
KJV {A Psalm of David.} LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

What does Psalm 15:1 mean?

David questions how to describe a person qualified to be the Lord's guest in His tabernacle. This is not meant as a shallow thought; David seems to recognize that everyone has fallen short of God's glory (Psalm 51:1–2; 143:2; Romans 3:23). The Lord cannot coexist in His full presence with sin, so how can He welcome anyone to live in His presence?

David's use of the term "sojourn" here is part of his perspective. The Hebrew root word is guwr, which most literally means to live somewhere as a stranger or foreigner. Naturally, any imperfect person would be out of place in God's presence. This term is sometimes used for temporary travel, but it is not necessarily something short-lived. David's desire is for something permanent (Psalm 5:4–8; 15:5).

Today, a person might ask, "Who will live in heaven with the Lord?" In the New Testament a young lawyer pondered this question (Matthew 19:16–23). A Pharisee, Nicodemus, also sought an answer from Jesus (John 3:1–4). Jesus provides the answer in John 3:36 and John 14:1–3. John 3:36 assures us that whoever believes in Jesus, God's Son, has eternal life. In John 14:1–3 Jesus promises His disciples—and all believers—that He will come again and take them to His Father's house. Then Jesus and believers will be together forever.

God's saving grace is the means for us to answer. By grace He saves sinners (Ephesians 2:8–9) and reconciles them to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:17–21). David refers to the Lord's "tent," or "tabernacle," as situated on His holy hill, which is Zion, or Jerusalem. Some believe this psalm was written when David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem with great joy (2 Samuel 6:12–15).
What is the Gospel?
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