Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Col, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
Augustine finds the ascription to Psalm 24 indicating it has to do with “the first day of the week” (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320642). Though manuscript evidence used more often today does not include that ascription, the Psalm is certainly appropriate to the first day of the week, the Lord’s day. Verse 1 speaks to the whole of the world belonging to the Lord. Augustine emphasizes that the whole of the world, wherever God’s word is proclaimed and believed, becomes the Church (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320643). The concept of rivers in verse two suggests to Augustine that those who are not believing will flow away from God’s Church, “above the seas.” Just as rivers flow to the sea, so people who don’t believe flow away from God’s kingdom. On the contrary, God’s people will ascend (v. 3). Those are the people who are guiltless and pure (v. 4) (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320649). Those who seek the Lord receive His blessing (vv. 5-6).
Augustine translates verse 7, “Take away your gates, ye princes,” equating the “take away” with “lift up.” This he understands as removing hindrances “of desire and fear” so they will not interfere with godliness (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320655). As a result, the King “in whom we may glory without pride” will enter (Augustine Psalms, loc. 320662). Augustine finds verse 8 as a statement of awe. We are surprised at the identity and presence of the King. The repetition in verse 9 and 10 suggests more of the wonder, as well as a chance to consider God’s glory anew. The Psalmist reminds us that it is the Lord’s glory in which we rejoice. He is truly the Lord of glory.