Shalom, everyone! Psalm 24 is traditionally recited as the “psalm of the day” (Shir Shel Yom) for the first day of the week (Yom Rishon), which corresponds to Sunday on the Gregorian calendar. The psalm is recited at the end of Sunday morning prayer (Shacharit) services. According to post-Exilic tradition, Psalm 24 was chosen for the first day of the week because of it’s relation to the first day of Creation. All the earth belongs to YAH because He created it, and everything in it.
Psalm 24 was written by David, King of Israel. This psalm reminds us of YAH‘s holiness and the holiness He requires of those who serve Him. Only those with clean hands and a pure heart may approach His holy mountain or His holy place. Those who serve YAH purely and wholeheartedly will receive a blessing from YAH, and a reward and salvation at the time of judgment. The modern Hebrew word “tzedakah” is often translated as “righteousness” in the English, however, a better translation is “reward” or “charity.” David wanted to build the First Holy Temple for YAH. He even gathered the materials necessary for its construction. Though YAH appreciated the gesture, He did not reward David with the task. This was because David was a “man of war” who had “shed blood” (1 Chronicles 28:3).
Psalm 24 also reminds us of YAH‘s glory, majesty, and might. YAH is the “King of Glory” and no one else. He leads His heavenly armies in battle. Nothing can withstand His power and might.
The following is Psalm 24 in English, taken from the Jewish Publication Society (JPS) 1917 version of the Tanakh. For a side-by-side modern Hebrew-English translation please click on the link below to Mechon-Mamre:
1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the mountain of the LORD? and who shall stand in His holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not taken My name in vain, and hath not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of them that seek after Him, that seek Thy face, even Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in.
8 ‘Who is the King of glory?’ ‘The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.’
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates, yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors; that the King of glory may come in.
10 ‘Who then is the King of glory?’ ‘The LORD of hosts; He is the King of glory.’ Selah.