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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 46

Introduction

BOOK II.—PSS. XLII.-LXXII.

Psalms 42-83 are Elohistic, i.e. they use the word God (Elohim) and avoid the proper name Yahweh, probably from motives of reverence. Here and there, however, the name Yahweh has crept into the text by a natural slip of the scribes.

Verses 1-11

XLVI. God the Refuge of His People.—The poem is divided into three parts by the word "Selah," which also marks its close. It was further divided by the refrain which occurs after Psalms 46:6 and Psalms 46:10 and, no doubt, originally stood after Psalms 46:3 also.

The Ps. looks back to the deliverance from Sennacherib. Cf. Psalms 46:5, "God shall help her at the dawn of the morning," with Isaiah 37:36 : "Early in the morning they" (i.e. Sennacherib's troops) "were all dead men." But it may be much later than the time to which it alludes. The confused state of the known world, the exaltation of Judah's God, the promise of future peace, are well suited to the strife among the successors of Alexander the Great. This, however, is no more than plausible conjecture.

Title: set to Alamoth: 1 Chronicles 15:20*.

. In all physical catastrophes God is the refuge of His people.

Psalms 46:2. The mountains are planted like pillars in the ocean which is beneath the earth.

. They are no less safe amidst political tumult.

Psalms 46:4. The "river" is symbolical (cf. Psalms 36:9, also Isaiah 33:21). The river here is not to be confounded with the material river which was to issue in Messianic times from the Temple (see Ezekiel 47:5). The LXX reads, probably correctly, "The Most High hath sanctified his tabernacle," i.e. has put it beyond the possibility of profanation. The author wrote before the very beginning of the outrages on the Temple committed by Antiochus Epiphanes.

. Promise of peace.

Psalms 46:9. chariots: translate, "wagons."

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 46". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/psalms-46.html. 1919.