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84. Psalm 84

How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!

2My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

3Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.

4Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

5Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

6Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

7They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

8O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

9Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

12O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

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

1. amiable—not lovely, but beloved.

tabernacles—(Ps 43:3).

2. longeth—most intensely (Ge 31:30; Ps 17:12).

fainteth—exhausted with desire.

courts—as tabernacles (Ps 84:1)—the whole building.

crieth out—literally, "sings for joy"; but here, and La 2:19, expresses an act of sorrow as the corresponding noun (Ps 17:1; 61:2).

heart and … flesh—as in Ps 63:1.

3. thine altars—that is, of burnt offering and incense, used for the whole tabernacle. Its structure afforded facilities for sparrows and swallows to indulge their known predilections for such places. Some understand the statement as to the birds as a comparison: "as they find homes, so do I desire thine altars," &c.

4. This view is favored by the language here, which, as in Ps 15:1; 23:6, recognizes the blessing of membership in God's family by terms denoting a dwelling in His house.

5. (Compare Ps 68:28).

in whose heart … the ways—that is, who knows and loves the way to God's favor (Pr 16:17; Isa 40:3, 4).

6. valley of Baca—or, "weeping." Through such, by reason of their dry and barren condition, the worshippers often had to pass to Jerusalem. As they might become wells, or fountains, or pools, supplied by refreshing rain, so the grace of God, by the exercises of His worship, refreshes and revives the hearts of His people, so that for sorrows they have "rivers of delight" (Ps 36:8; 46:4).

7. The figure of the pilgrim is carried out. As such daily refit their bodily strength till they reach Jerusalem, so the spiritual worshipper is daily supplied with spiritual strength by God's grace till he appears before God in heaven.

appeareth … God—the terms of the requisition for the attendance on the feasts (compare De 16:16),

9. God is addressed as a shield (compare Ps 84:11).

thine anointed—David (1Sa 16:12).

10. I had … doorkeeper—literally, "I choose to sit on the threshold," the meanest place.

11, 12. As a sun God enlightens (Ps 27:1); as a shield He protects.

grace—God's favor, its fruit—

glory—the honor He bestows.

uprightly—(Ps 15:2; 18:23).

12. that trusteth—constantly.

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