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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 84:1

 

 

How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!

Adam Clarke Commentary

How amiable are thy tabernacles - In this plural noun he appears to include all the places in or near the temple where acts of Divine worship were performed. The holy of holies, the holy place, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt-offering, etc., etc.; all called here God's tabernacles or dwelling-places; for wherever God was worshipped, there he was supposed to dwell.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-84.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

How amiable - How much to he loved; how lovely. The word amiable is now used to denote a quality of mind or disposition - as gentle, affectionate, kind. The word used here, however in the original, means rather dear, beloved - as a token of endearment. Compare the notes at the title to Matthew 21:12, following.

O Lord of hosts! - Yahweh of hosts; Yahweh, controlling - ruling - guiding - marshalling - all the armies of heaven and earth: compare the notes at Isaiah 1:9; notes at Psalm 24:10.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-84.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 84

THE SUPREME PSALM OF THE SANCTUARY

The title here was given by Fleming James, as quoted by McCullough.[1] "The love of the psalmist for the temple here is not for its own sake, but for the sake of God's presence to be found there."[2]

The great lesson for Christians here is: "If the ancient temple of the Hebrews inspired such loving devotion and joy as that revealed here, how much more wonderful indeed should be the joy and spiritual exultation of those who actually are in the spiritual body of the Son of God."?

This psalm is a favorite with many people; and almost everyone recalls a memory verse from it.

Due to the evident fact that the temple services were being conducted in the era when this psalm was written, and to the strong possibility that Psalms 84:9 is a reference to the "king," the psalm was composed during the monarchy, which means that the temple mentioned here was that of Solomon. The psalm is stated to be for the "Sons of Korah" in the superscription, but the actual author of it is unknown.

The psalm naturally falls into three divisions of four verses each, set apart in the text itself by the word "Selah," following Psalms 84:4,8.

We do not believe that any `pilgrimage' whatever is mentioned in the psalm, that conception having been imported into the psalm and supported by the RSV's butchering it with several impossible alterations and additions to the sacred text.

Psalms 84:1-4

"How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Jehovah of Hosts!

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of Jehovah;

My heart and my flesh cry out unto the living God.

Yea, the sparrow hath found her a house, where she may lay her young,

Even thine altars, O Jehovah of hosts,

My King, and my God.

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house:

They will be still praising thee.

(Selah)"

"Amiable" (Psalms 84:1). The marginal reading here is `lovely,' which appears preferable.

"My heart and my flesh cry out unto the living God" (Psalms 84:2). "Our hearts, O God, were made for thee; and never shall they rest until they rest in thee." These immortal words of Augustine always come to mind in the contemplation of the thought written here. There is a deep and unquenchable thirst in the hearts of all men for the knowledge of God, and nothing on earth can satisfy it except the worship and adoration of the Creator. Those who do not worship God do not have to wait until the Judgment Day to be lost; they are lost already. Apart from the love of God, no man has any sure anchor; but those who truly seek God and faithfully strive to serve him have laid hold upon the hope `in Christ,' "a hope both sure and stedfast and which enters into that which is within the veil" (Hebrews 6:19).

"The sparrow ... and the swallow" (Psalms 84:3). Small birds had built nests in the temple area, perhaps in crevices and small niches within the temple itself; but the mention of `altars' cannot be taken as a place where such nests were built. Daily fires upon the temple altars would surely have prevented that. The peace and security which these small creatures found in their temple location suggested to the psalmist the peace and security that he himself felt in coming there to worship.

The mention of the safe nesting place of these tiny birds recalls the plaintive words of Our Savior, who said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head" (Luke 9:58).

"Blessed are they that dwell in thy house" (Psalms 84:4). This blessing of God's worshippers occurs in all three divisions of the psalm, in the last verse of Division No. 1, in the first verse of Division No. 2, and in the last verse of Division No. 3.

The intense longing of the psalmist for his presence in God's temple has been used by some as evidence that the psalmist was at the time of this hymn compelled to be absent from the temple, either by exile, illness, or some other hindrance. We cannot find any evidence whatever of such a thing in the psalm.

"The longing after God and the sanctuary, in the first part of this psalm, does not necessarily imply exile from its premises; because such longings for God may be felt when men are nearest to Him, and are, in fact, an element of that nearness."[3]


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-84.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! Which were erected in the wilderness by Moses at the command of God, and brought into the land of Canaan, where the Lord took up his dwelling: here he was worshipped, and sacrifices offered to him; here he granted his presence, and commanded his blessing; here it was in David's time; for as yet the temple was not built: it is called "tabernacles", in the plural number, because of its several parts: hence we read of a first and second tabernacle, Hebrews 9:2, there was the holy place, and the holy of holies, besides the court of the people; unless it can be thought to refer to the tabernacle David had built for the ark in Zion, and to the old tabernacle which was at Gibeon, 2 Samuel 6:17 the whole was a representation of the church of God, and the ordinances of it; which is the dwelling place of God, Father, Son, and Spirit, where he is worshipped, his presence enjoyed, his word is preached, ordinances administered, and the sacrifices of prayer and praise offered up; on account of all which it is very "amiable": what made the tabernacle of Moses lovely was not the outside, which was very mean, as the church of God outwardly is, through persecution, affliction, and poverty; but what was within, having many golden vessels in it, and those typical of things much more precious: moreover, here the priests were to be seen in their robes, doing their duty and service, and, at certain times, the high priest in his rich apparel; here were seen the sacrifices slain and offered, by which the people were taught the nature of sin, the strictness of justice, and the necessity and efficacy of the sacrifice of Christ; here the Levites were heard singing their songs, and blowing their trumpets: but much more amiable are the church of God and its ordinances in Gospel times, where Christ, the great High Priest, is seen in the glories of his person, and the fulness of his grace; where Zion's priests, or the ministers of the Gospel, stand clothed, being full fraught with salvation, and the tidings of it; where Christ is openly set forth, as crucified and slain, in the ministry of the word, and the administration of ordinances; here the Gospel trumpet is blown, and its joyful sound echoed forth, and songs of love and grace are sung by all believers: besides, what makes these tabernacles still more lovely are, the presence of God here, so that they are no other than the house of God, and gate of heaven; the provisions that are here made, and the company that are here enjoyed; to which may be added, the properties of those dwellings; they are lightsome, like the habitations of Israel in Goshen; they are healthful, no plague comes nigh them; the inhabitants of them are not sick; their sins are forgiven them; they are safe, sure, and quiet dwelling places; see Isaiah 32:18 and they are lovely to such, and to such only, who have seen the unamiableness of sin, and are sick of its tents, and of enjoying its fading pleasures, and to whom Christ is precious, and altogether lovely: these have an intense affection for him, and for his house, word, worship, and ordinances, and with admiration say, "how amiable", &c.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-84.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

"To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah." How amiable [are] thy tabernacles, O a LORD of hosts!

(a) David complains that he cannot have access to the Church of God to make profession of his faith, and to profit in religion.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-84.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalm 84:1-12. (See on Psalm 8:1, title, and see on Psalm 42:1, title). The writer describes the desirableness of God‘s worship and prays for a restoration to its privileges.

amiable — not lovely, but beloved.

tabernacles — (Psalm 43:3).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-84.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Jehovah of Hosts! David complains of his being deprived of liberty of access to the Church of God, there to make a profession of his faith, to improve in godliness, and to engage in the divine worship. Some would understand by the tabernacles of God, the kingdom of heaven, as if David mourned over his continuance in this state of earthly pilgrimage; but they do not sufficiently consider the nature of his present afflicted circumstances — that he was debarred from the sanctuary. He knew that God had not in vain appointed the holy assemblies, and that the godly have need of such helps so long as they are sojourners in this world. He was also deeply sensible of his own infirmity; nor was he ignorant how far short he came of approaching the perfection of angels. He had therefore good ground to lament over his being deprived of those means, the utility of which is well known to all true believers. His attention was, no doubt, directed to the proper end for which the external ritual was appointed; for his character was widely different from that of hypocrites, who, while they frequent the solemn assemblies with great pomp, and seem to burn with ardent zeal in serving God, yet in all this, aim at nothing more than by an ostentatious display of piety to obtain the credit of having performed their duty towards Him. David’s mind was far from being occupied with this gross imagination. The end he had in view in desiring so earnestly to enjoy free access to the sanctuary was, that he might there worship God with sincerity of heart, and in a spiritual manner. The opening words are in the form of an exclamation, which is an indication of ardent affection; and this state of feeling is expressed still more fully in the second verse. Hence we learn, that those are sadly deficient in understanding who carelessly neglect God’s instituted worship, as if they were able to mount up to heaven by their own unaided efforts.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-84.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Gittith

See title note; (See Scofield "Psalms 8:1").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Psalms 84:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/psalms-84.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 84:1 « To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. » How amiable [are] thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

A Psalm] Or the same subject with the forty-second, and made when David was banished, either by Saul or Absalom, or else when busied abroad in his wars, 2 Samuel 8:1-14, and so debarred from the use of God’s public ordinances.

Ver. 1. How amiable are thy tabernacles] viz. For thy word’s sake that is there preached, and thy worship there performed. The Protestants at Lyons, in France, called their place for public meeting to serve God Paradise. Chrysostom calleth it the place of angels and archangels, the kingdom of God, yea, heaven itself (Hom. 36, ad 1 Corinthians 14:1-40). Another calleth it, The heavenly exchange between God and his people; they present duty, he confers mercy. Luther saith he would not live in paradise without the ordinances; as with them he could frame to live in hell itself: and a small village with a godly pastor, and a good people in it, is an earthly paradise, saith he. If that Italian martyr could date his letter, From the delectable orchard of the Leonine prison, what may we think of the free use of the ordinances? what of heaven? nam facile litera transfertur ad Spiritum.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-84.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 84.

The prophet, longing for the communion of the sanctuary, sheweth how blessed they are that dwell therein: he prayeth to be restored unto it.

To the chief musician upon Gittith, A psalm for the sons of Korah.

Title. הגתית על למנצח lamnatseach al haggittith.] This psalm contains the ardent desires of a pious soul towards God; a pathetic expression of the benefits and joy of his public service; and an encouragement of the people to make the ways thither from all quarters fair and passable. Bishop Patrick thinks that it was composed by some pious Levite, when Sennacherib's army had blocked up the way to Jerusalem, and hindered him from waiting upon the service of God at the temple. But Dr. Delaney has suggested, that it was written by David when he was at peace from all his enemies, and, having settled the ark in its place, had set his heart upon building a temple to God. Let us suppose then, what is not at all unnatural, says this learned writer, that David, upon conceiving this great design of building the temple, had poured out his purpose in fervent prayer to God, imploring his aid and protection, and confiding in his support to the accomplishment of it: Could any words more aptly or emphatically express the fulness of his heart upon this head than those of this psalm? Let us suppose him to have communicated any psalm that he composed upon this occasion to Nathan, his prophet and friend: what other answer could the prophet make to him, on a supposition that this was the very psalm so communicated, than that which we find recorded of him, 2 Samuel 7:3. Go, do all that is in thine heart, for the Lord is with thee? Life of David, b. 3: Psalms 100:1.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-84.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

We have here the earnest longings and devout aspirations of the soul for personal communion with God in Christ. The blessedness of that man is sublimely set forth who hath a God in Christ for his portion.

To the chief musician upon Gittith, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-84.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PSALM 84

THE ARGUMENT.

The author of this Psalm seems to have been David, partly because it is ascribed to no other, and partly because it is most agreeable to his style and condition, and the occasion of it, his banishment or absence from the place of God’s worship; either,

1. In Saul’s time, which suits not with Psalms 84:7, for then the tabernacle was not in Zion. Or rather,

2. During Absalom’s rebellion.

The prophet, commending the sanctuary, Psalms 84:1, longeth for communion with it, Psalms 84:2,3; showeth the blessed state and condition of such as dwell therein, Psalms 84:4-7; prayeth to be restored unto it, Psalms 84:8,9; preferreth one day therein before a thousand elsewhere, Psalms 84:10. What the Lord is to them that trust in him, Psalms 84:11,12.

Thy tabernacle, called tabernacles, either

1. Because it consisted of several parts; or,

2. To note its excellency; as behemoth, or beasts, is put for one eminent beast, Job 40:15, and wisdoms for excellent wisdom, Proverbs 1:20.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-84.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Amiable—Lovely.

Tabernacles—The plural form can mean nothing more than the apartments and cloisters of the sacred place.

O Lord of hosts—Or, of armies. This has been called one of the Eloheem psalms. Eloheem, (God,) is used six times; Jehovah, God, twice; Jehovah of hosts, three times; God of hosts, once; Jehovah, God of hosts, once. Like the other Korahitic productions, it is highly lyrical and cheerful. The heart is in lively sympathy with God and his worship, and the frequent use of the divine name is impassioned.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-84.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 84:1-2. How amiable are thy tabernacles — That is, thy tabernacle, termed tabernacles; either, 1st, Because it consisted of several parts; or, 2d, To denote its excellence; as behemoth, or beasts, is put for one eminent beast, (Job 40:15,) and wisdoms for excellent wisdom, Proverbs 1:20. My soul longeth, &c. — With vehement desire, to tread again the courts of the Lord’s house, and join with his people in the holy worship there performed. Yea, even fainteth — So the Seventy, reading εκλειπει; the Hebrew, however, וגם כלתה, vegam caletha, is literally, yea, even is consumed, namely, with grief, for want of thine ordinances, with ardent longings to enjoy them, and with the delay of this comfort, and the disappointment of my hopes and expectations. My heart and my flesh crieth out — My soul and body are pained; or the passion of my heart maketh my tongue cry out; for the living God — To know and love him, and to enjoy his favour and communion with him.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-84.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Psalm. It resembles the 66th [psalm], and seems to have been sung when the first-fruits were brought to the temple. Most people explain it of the captives delivered, (Theodoret; Du Pin) and of Christ's redemption. (Eusebius; St. Augustine) (Calmet) --- David foresaw the afflictions and captivity of his people; and was aware of the miseries of mankind, to be removed by the Messias alone. (Berthier)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-84.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Title. A Psalm. Hebrew. mismor. See App-65.

for the sons of Korah = of, &c. The seventh of nine so ascribed. See note on Psalm 42, and App-63.

How . . . ! Figure of speech. Ecphdnlsis. App-6.

amiable = beloved.

tabernacles = habitations. Hebrew. mishkan (App-40). Perhaps referring to the Mosaic (at Gibeon), and the Davidic (on Zion).

LORD of hosts. Hebrew. Jehovah Sabaioth. App-4. See note on 1 Samuel 1:3.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-84.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!

Psalms 84:1-12.-Meditation on the blessedness of dwelling in God's house (Psalms 84:1-7); prayer on the ground that Yahweh giveth grace and glory to them that trust in Him (Psalms 84:8-12). The sons of Korah sang this psalm, as from the soul of David. Compare title with Psalms 84:9. They reminded him of the foundation of his hope, communion with God remaining to him though now fleeing from Absalom (cf. Psalms 84:1-4; Psalms 84:6; Psalms 84:9-10; Psalms 42:1-11; Psalms 43:1-5; Psalms 63:1-11. Psalms 42:1-11; Psalms 43:1-5 are Korahite 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430) psalms, this is a Korahite Yahweh psalm.

To the chief Musician upon Gittith - (see Psalms 8:1-9, title, note.) It directs the chief Musician that the psalm should be sung afar the manner, or 'according to the harp of Gath.' This harp of Gath was used for psalms of a pleasant and joyful character. For it was usual to vary the instrument according to the strain of each psalm.

How amiable are thy tabernacles - Hebrew, 'How (much) loved (by me).' Psalms 84:2 expands this thought (cf. Psalms 27:4). The special reason of his love to the Lord's house here is, because in it there is refuge from all troubles (cf. Psalms 84:3 and Psalms 27:5). The plural "tabernacles" is used in reference to the different apartments of the one tabernacle (Psalms 43:3; Psalms 68:35), "Thy holy places."


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-84.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) How amiable.—Better, How loved and how lovable. The Hebrew word combines both senses.

Tabernacles.—Better, perhaps, dwellings. (Comp. Psalms 43:3.) The plural is used poetically, therefore we need not think of the various courts of the Temple.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-84.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts!
A. M. 3469. B.C. 535. (Title.) Gittith
8:1; 81:1; *titles
A Psalm
Some suppose this Psalm was composed by David when driven from Jerusalem by Absalom's rebellion: but it is more probable that it was written at the foundation of the second temple.
for
or, of.
How
36:8; 27:4; 48:1,2; 87:2,3; 122:1; Hebrews 9:23,24; Revelation 21:2,3,22,23
O Lord
103:20,21; 1 Kings 22:19; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 6:2,3

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 84:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-84.html.

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