The occasion of this Psalm is thought to be that happy success, and settlement, and peace which God granted to the people of Israel in David’s time, and by his means, 2Sa 8
The confidence and safe condition of the church under God’s care, Psalms 46:1-5; manifested in his wonderful deliverance from her enemies, Psalms 46:6-9. He exhorteth all to consider it, to the magnifying his name, Psalms 46:10,11.
God is our refuge, i.e. he hath now manifested himself to be so by the course of his providence.
A very present; or, a sufficient, as this word is sometimes used, as Joshua 17:16 Zechariah 10:10.
Though there should be nothing but shakings, and confusions, and desolations in all the nations round about us; which are oft expressed by such metaphors, as Jeremiah 51:25 Haggai 2:21,22 Rev 6:14.
Though the sea be very tempestuous, and its waters (by which a multitude of people is oft signified, as Revelation 17:1,15) rage, to Wit, against us, as appears from the following verses. Though its raging waves assault mighty princes and kingdoms, and make them shake and be ready to fall down.
He either speaks of, or at least alludes to, the river of Kidron, 2 Samuel 15:23 John 18:1, and its two streams or rivulets flowing from it, Gihon and Shiloah, 2 Chronicles 32:30 Isaiah 8:6, which being small and contemptible, or still or gentle waters, are not unfitly opposed to the vast and unruly waters of the sea. He insinuates the weak condition of God’s church as to outward advantages, that they had not one sea to oppose to another, but only a small river; which though in itself despicable, yet was sufficient to refresh and defend them in spite of all their enemies. And as the sea and waters thereof, Psalms 46:2,3, are to be understood metaphorically, as all agree, so also in all probability are this river and streams; which therefore may design the gracious presence, and assistance, and blessing of be Lord, (which is very frequently described under the name of waters, as Isaiah 11:9 12:3 Zechariah 14:8, &c.,) or the Lord himself, who is expressly said to be unto the city of Zion, for its defence, a place of broad rivers and streams, Isaiah 33:20,21, which probably alludes to this text, or at least explains it.
Shall make glad, i.e. shall not barely defend it from utter ruin, but preserve it from danger, and give great occasion for rejoicing and thanksgiving.
The city of God, i.e. Zion or Jerusalem, so called also @Psalms 48:1 Isaiah 60:14.
Of the tabernacles, i.e. of the tabernacle, the plural number for the singular, as Psalms 43:3; the place where God’s holy tabernacle is settled.
Heb. as soon as the morning appeareth, i.e. speedily, after a short night of affliction; compare Psalms 30:5; and seasonably, when the danger is greatest, and the enemies prepare to make the assault; which is commonly done in the morning.
The heathen raged, to wit, against God, and against his people.
He uttered his voice; either he thundered, or he spake to them in his wrath, as is said, Psalms 2:5.
The earth melted; the inhabitants of the earth who were combined against Zion were dispirited and consumed.
i.e. Among those people of the earth who were neighbouring and vexatious to God’s people, and therefore were cut off by David, and their lands and cities in great part wasted.
He hath ended our wars, and settled us in a firm and well-grounded peace.
The end of the earth, or of this land, to wit, of Israel; from one end of it to the other.
He speaks of the bows, and spears, and chariots of their enemies; for he preserved those which belonged to his people.
He speaks either,
1. To the Israelites,
Be still, i.e. Do you henceforth silently and quietly wait upon me without fear or diffidence. Or rather,
2. To the heathen, who had raged, Psalms 46:6; and therefore now he seasonably admonisheth them to be still, and to stir no more against God’s people.
I am God, the only true and almighty God; and your gods are but dumb and impotent idols. I will be exalted, i.e. I will make myself glorious by my great and wonderful works.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 46". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany