Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty– he is the King of glory. “Selah”
These verses look identical until you look at them closer and even then the meaning doesn’t appear to change much between the two. So what’s the point? Why the repetition?
I’m no Bible scholar, but I read somewhere that this is an old Jewish style of writing; using repetition to drive home a point or simply to emphasize the message. Personally I love it. In fact, I’ve very much adopted that style in my own writing. It adds weight to whatever you are saying. Besides, people forget a lot of what they read and hear. I know I do. Just ask a pastor how he gets people to remember his central point and he’ll tell you “repetition.”
So what is the author’s point here? Simply to praise the Lord by describing his greatness and by providing the reader with an image of glory. Once again, it might be difficult for us to understand the full significance of the “king” metaphor when they are largely a thing of history books. But if you can imagine the Lord himself walking through some huge gates out into his court with angels signing and crowds cheering and all the pomp and celebration you can possibly imagine – then maybe you can start to picture a tiny piece of God’s glory.
Because his glory is beyond our imagination. It can’t be put into words or pictures or anything we can wrap our heads around. So all we can do is praise him, …and then praise him again.