Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 48

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-14

Zion as a Type of the Christian Church.

A song and psalm for the sons of Korah, written by one of their number to set forth the privileges and blessings of God's dominion in His Church.

v. 1. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, in setting forth His fame in psalms of thanksgiving, in the city of our God, where the Tabernacle and afterward the Temple stood, in the mountain of His holiness, where He dwells in the glory of His holiness.

v. 2. Beautiful for situation, elevated for the sake of bringing out the beauty of its location on the hill, the joy of the whole earth, as it deserves to be according to the opinion of the spiritual Israel living there, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, where Moriah proper lifted its summit, the city of the great King. The entire description, though taken from the picture of Jerusalem, the location of which is singularly beautiful and impressive, is evidently typical of the holy Christian Church; for the name Zion or daughter of Zion, the city of God, is applied by the Holy Spirit to the congregation of believers of all times, as in Psalms 46.

v. 3. God is known in her palaces for a refuge, having given evidence of His gracious protection and deliverance in so many troubles; the citadels of the spiritual Jerusalem are upheld by His divine power.

v. 4. For, lo, the kings, the same enemies of Zion which are mentioned in Psalms 2, were assembled, they passed by together, in a confederacy to attack the city of God.

v. 5. They saw it, after passing the boundary of the country and encamping against the Church, they became aware of the fact that Jehovah is its mighty Protector, and so they marveled, they were greatly astonished; they were troubled and hasted away, filled with terror at the revelation of God's omnipotence.

v. 6. Fear took hold upon them there, trembling and quaking, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

v. 7. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish, the largest and most valuable merchant ships of those days, with an east wind, and so the mightiest enemies have no chance of overcoming him, they cannot cope with His almighty power.

v. 8. As we have heard, in reports brought to them concerning former deliverances, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, who has all the heavenly armies under His command, in the city of our God; God will establish it forever, the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church of Christ, Matthew 16:18. Selah. The believers therefore, in congregation assembled, draw their conclusions to the strengthening of their faith in Jehovah.

v. 9. We have thought of, by reflecting upon this deliverance and other manifestations of God's mercy, Thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple, the grace and goodness revealed in His Church.

v. 10. According to Thy name, O God, as it is proclaimed and glorified by the preaching of the Word, by setting forth the nature and the attributes of God, so is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth, wherever believers are gained by the preaching of the Gospel; Thy right hand, symbol of His dealings with His Church, is full of righteousness, which the Lord deals out and imputes to the believers, as they accept the redemption gained by the Savior, Jesus Christ.

v. 11. Let Mount Zion, the spiritual Israel, rejoice, let the daughters of Judah, the congregation of believers, the children of the spiritual Judah, be glad because of Thy judgments, the decisions and acts of His just government in their favor.

v. 12. Walk about Zion, taking the opportunity of examining the Church closely, both in its appearance and in its work, and go round about her; tell the towers thereof, counting the many means of defense which the Lord has given her in His Word.

v. 13. Mark ye well her bulwarks, setting their hearts upon the fortifications of the Church, consider her palaces, the many fine congregations in which the Word and the Sacraments are in use in their original purity, that ye may tell it to the generation following, using all diligence that the faith of the fathers may be transmitted inviolate to the children, and that the hearts of the Christians may truly remain habitations of God through the Spirit.

v. 14. For this God, who has revealed Himself to His Church in His Word, is our God forever and ever; He will be our Guide even unto death, or, in eternal youthfulness, to a world where there is no death, where all believers will be with Him in everlasting, deathless bliss.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 48". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/psalms-48.html. 1921-23.
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