on Psalms 84 :7
They go from strength to strength - They proceed from one degree of grace to another, gaining Divine virtue through all the steps of their probation.
Every one of them in Zion appeareth before God - This is a paraphrase, and a bad one, but no translation. They shall proceed from strength to strength, יראה אל אלהים בציון yeraeh el Elohim betsiyon, "The God of gods shall be seen in Zion." God shall appear in their behalf, as often as they shall seek him; in consequence of which they shall increase in spiritual strength.
Some think there is a reference here to companies of people going up to Jerusalem from different parts of the land, bending together as they go on, so that the crowd is continually increasing. This meaning our translators have put in the margin.
on Psalms 84 :7
They go from strength to strength ... - Margin," company to company." The Septuagint and Vulgate, "They go from strength to strength; the God of gods is seen in Zion." Luther, "They obtain one victory after another, that one must see that there is a righteous God in Zion." DeWette, "Going they increase in strength, until they appear before God in Zion." This last is doubtless the true idea. As they pass along, as they come nearer and nearer to the end of their journey, their strength, their ardor, their firmness of purpose increases. By their conversation; by their songs; by encouraging one another; by seeing one difficulty overcome after another; by the fact kept before their minds, and increasingly apparent, that they are constantly approaching the end of their journey - that the distance to be traveled is constantly diminishing - that the difficulties become less and less, and that they will soon see the towers and walls of the desired city - they are invigorated, cheered, comforted. What a beautiful illustration of the life of Christian pilgrims - of the bands of the redeemed - as they journey on toward the end of their course - the Mount Zion above! By prayer and praise and mutual counsel, by their songs, by the fact that difficulties are surmounted, leaving fewer to be overcome, and that the journey to be traveled is diminishing constantly - by the feeling that they are ever drawing nearer to the Zion of their home, until the light is seen to glitter and play on its towers and walls - they increase in strength, they become more confirmed in their purposes, they bear trials better, they overcome difficulties more easily, they walk more firmly, they tread their way more cheerfully and triumphantly.
Every one of them in Zion appeareth before God - literally, "He shall appear to God in Zion." The meaning evidently is, that they who are referred to in the previous verses as going up to Zion will be seen there, or will come before God, in the place of worship. There is a change of number here, from the plural to the singular - as, in Psalm 84:5, there is a change from the singular to the plural. Such changes are frequent in the Scriptures as in other writings, and the one here can be accounted for on the supposition that the author of the psalm, in looking upon the moving procession, at one moment may be supposed to have looked upon them as a procession - a moving mass - and then that he looked upon them as individuals, and spake of them as such. The idea here is, that they would not falter and fall by the way; that the cheerful, joyous procession would come to the desired place; that their wishes would be gratified, and that their joy would be full when they came to the end of their journey - to Zion. So it is of all Christian pilgrims. Every true believer - everyone that truly loves God - will appear before him in the upper Zion - in heaven. There their joy will be complete; there the long-cherished desires of their hearts will be fully gratified; there all that they ever hoped for, and more, will be realized.
on Psalms 84 :7
84:7 They go - They grow stronger and stronger. Appeareth - This is added as the blessed fruit of their long and tedious journey.