The Psalms

Psalm 84

The prophet, longing for the communion of the sanctuary, 1-3, shows how blessed those are who dwell therein, 4-7. He prays to be restored to it, 8-12.

1 [To the Chief Musician upon Gittith. A Psalm for the Sons of Korah.]

How amiable your tabernacles are,/
O LORD of hosts!

My soul longs and even faints for the courts of the LORD./
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a house/
and the swallow a nest for herself/
where she may lay her young/
near your altars, O LORD of hosts,/
my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house./
They will be still praising you./

Blessed is the man whose strength is in you,/
in whose heart are the ways of them.

Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a well./
The rain also fills the pools.

They go from strength to strength./
Every one of them in Zion appears before God.

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer./
Give ear, O God of Jacob./

Behold, O God our shield,/
and look upon the face of your anointed.

10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand [elsewhere]./
I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God/
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield./
The LORD will give grace and glory./
No good will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12 O LORD of hosts,/
blessed is the man who trusts in you.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 84[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

The Psalmist complains that nothing proved to him a source of greater distress than his being prevented from coming to the tabernacle, and his being banished from the assembly of the saints, where God was called upon. And yet he shows, that nothing can withstand the longing desires of the godly; and that, surmounting all obstacles, they will be constantly engaged in seeking God, and, so to speak, will make a way for themselves where there is none. At length he expresses his desire to be restored to the tabernacle of God, and again testifies that a day spent in the tabernacle was in his estimation more to be prized than to live for a long time in the society of unbelievers.

[v.10] - Text in square brackets added for implied meaning. Taken from John Calvin's Commentary. From John Gill's Exposition: "A day thus spent in religious exercises 'is better than a thousand'; that is, than a thousand days; not than a thousand days spent in like manner, but than a thousand other days, common day, of the week; or than a thousand in other places, especially in places of sin, and in the company of wicked men; one day in God's house employed in spiritual exercises, and enjoying communion with him, is better than a thousand days in any of the houses of Satan, of sinful pleasure, or in the houses of sinful men; better as to peace of mind, solid pleasure, real profit, and true honour."