Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 1 (Psalms 15:1)

Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? - The literal translation of this verse is, "Lord, who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in the mountain of thy holiness?" Fwor the proper understanding of this question we must note the following particulars: -

  1. The tabernacle, which was a kind of moveable temple, was a type of the Church militant, or the state of the people of God in this world.
  • Mount Zion, the holy mount, where the temple was built, was the type of the kingdom of heaven. There the ark became stationary, and was no longer carried about from place to place; and the whole was typical of the rest that remains for the people of God.
  • The Tabernacle was a temporary and frequently-removed building, carried about from place to place, and not long in any one place. Concerning this it is said: יגור מי mi yagur , "Who shall lodge, or sojourn," there? It is not a residence, or dwelling-place, but a place to lodge in for a time.
  • The Temple was a fixed and permanent building; and here it is inquired, ישכן מי mi yiscon , "Who shall dwell, abide," or have his permanent residence, there?
  • The tabernacle being a migratory temple, carried about on the shoulders of the priests and Levites, there was no dwelling there for any; they could but lodge or sojourn.
  • The temple being fined, the priests, Levites, etc., became permanent occupiers. There was no lodging or sojourning, but permanent residence for all connected with it.
  • The tabernacle is, therefore, a proper type of the Church militant, wandering up and down, tossed by various storms and tempests; the followers of God, having here no continuing city; sojourning only on earth to get a preparation for eternal glory.
  • The temple is also a proper type or emblem of the Church triumphant in heaven. "Here the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest." It is the dwelling-place the eternal residence, of all who are faithfui unto death, who are made pillars in that temple of God, to go no more out for ever.
  • The questions therefore are,
    1. Who can be considered a fit member of the Church of Christ here below? and,
    2. Who shall be made partakers of an endless glory? In answer to these questions, the character of what we may term a true Israelite, or a good Christian, is given in the following particulars: -

    - Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible