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Psalm 63:2

ESV So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
NIV I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.
NASB So have I seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and glory.
CSB So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory.
NLT I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
KJV To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
NKJV So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory.

What does Psalm 63:2 mean?

At the beginning of Absalom's rebellion (2 Samuel 15:13–14), David and a group of loyal followers evacuated through the wilderness and across the Jordan river. This dry, hungry, fearful trip inspired the words of this psalm. While fleeing, David recalls his worship in the tabernacle. This was the resting place of the ark of the covenant and the center of Israel's worship before the building of the temple (Exodus 25:8–9). The various components of the tabernacle, including the ark (Exodus 25:10–22), symbolized the divine nature of God. The ark was the focal point of God's presence, and it evoked His power and glory.

Before he was a fugitive, David had returned the ark to its rightful place in the tabernacle at Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:1—7:1). When David fled, priests followed with the ark; but David told them to return it to Jerusalem. He trusted that "if I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place" (2 Samuel 15:25). Even so, David was separated from the tangible symbol of God's glory and love for Israel (Psalm 27:4). Years before, during the time of Israel's priest and judge Eli, Philistines captured the ark. Upon hearing the bad news, Eli fell over backward from his seat, broke his neck, and died (1 Samuel 4:17–18). Hearing news of this and her husband's death caused Eli's daughter-in-law to go into labor. She named the baby Ichabod, meaning the glory has departed (1 Samuel 4:19–22).
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