What does Psalm 24:9 mean?
ESV: Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
NIV: Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
NASB: Lift up your heads, you gates, And lift them up, you ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in!
CSB: Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come in.
NLT: Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.
KJV: Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
NKJV: Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.
Verse Commentary:
Again, David calls upon the city of Jerusalem to welcome the King of glory. In Hebrew, this is a word-for-word repetition of the proclamation made in verse 7. This emphasizes the importance of the statement, and fits into the poetic structure of the psalm.

It's likely that at this moment, David was returning the ark to Jerusalem from the home of Obed-edom (2 Samuel 6:12–15). The ark was a visible reminder of God's presence. It was constructed to rest in the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle (Hebrews 9:3–4). David was returning the ark to Jerusalem to rest once again in the tabernacle. The King of glory, therefore, would be entering the city.

However, the scene of the ark entering Jerusalem also previews a future event. Before He was arrested and nailed to a cross, Jesus entered Jerusalem. He arrived in humility, but received a spontaneous welcome. "Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road" (Matthew 21:8). Those who went before Him and those who followed Him shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9). Clearly, they were acknowledging that He is the Messiah. However, before long the crowd clamored for His crucifixion (Matthew 27:23).

Nevertheless, Christ will enter Jerusalem again, at His second coming. Then He will arrive as the conquering King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11–16).
Verse Context:
Psalm 24:7–10 calls upon Jerusalem to welcome the Messiah. The original audience of the psalm likely heard these words while being encouraged to welcome the ark's return to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). Matthew 21:1–11 offers a preview of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem at His second coming (Revelation 19:11–16). At that time Jesus, the King of glory, will be king over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9).
Chapter Summary:
Tradition suggests this psalm celebrates the return of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. David declares God's role as Creator and Sovereign. He points out the need for worshippers of God to be sincere, truthful, and righteous. The psalm then calls out to the city of Jerusalem to welcome the "King of glory."
Chapter Context:
Psalm 24 follows logically after Psalms 22 and 23. Psalm 22 depicts the Good Shepherd's suffering on the cross. Psalm 23 depicts the depths of His care of his sheep. Psalm 24 depicts his return to rule as king. The cross is seen in Psalm 22. The shepherd's crook is seen in Psalm 23. The shepherd's crown is in view in Psalm 24. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, died for us (Psalm 22), cares for us (Psalm 23), and is coming for us (Psalm 24). Psalm 15 is a parallel to this passage.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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