What does Psalm chapter 24 mean?In this psalm King David extols God as the eternal King, the Lord of hosts. This psalm has traditionally been associated with David's relocation of the ark of the covenant, from the house of Obed-edom to Mount Zion (2 Samuel 6). A procession would have accompanied the ark with singing and music (1 Chronicles 15:2–28). Likely, the psalm was composed for a choir. The people at worship or a chorus would sing the first two verses, and a leader asked the questions starting in verse 3.
David writes that the Lord owns the earth and everything in the earth and on it, including human beings. The "fullness" of earth is a reference to all of humanity. As the one who created the world and established its form, God is rightfully considered the Master of everyone and everything (Psalm 24:1–2).
Only the righteous can properly worship the Lord in His house. This involves having pure motives, a truthful approach, and hands which are not stained with evil. David writes that those who lead a righteous life will receive blessing from God (Psalm 24:3–6).
Calling out to the entire city of Jerusalem, David cries out for the city gates to swing open so the King of glory can enter Jerusalem. In Hebrew the exact same phrasing used in verse 7 is repeated in verse 9, emphasizing the poetry and importance of that moment. This psalm describes God as strong and mighty, mighty in battle and the Lord of hosts (Psalm 24:7–10).