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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 47

 

 

Verse 1

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Psalms 47:1-9.-Call to the nations to join Israel in thanksgiving for deliverance Psalms 47:1-9.-The victory (Psalms 47:1-4); the kingdom of God established over the earth, beginning with the people of the God of Abraham (Psalms 47:5-9). The occasion was Jehoshaphat's bloodless victory over Moab, Ammon, Edom, and the Arabians, who combined to drive Judah out of their "inheritance" (Psalms 47:4; 2 Chronicles 20:11; Psalms 83:3-12). The Title ascribes the psalm to "the sons of Korah," just as, in 2 Chronicles 20:19, the Korahites are in front of the Jews' army "to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high." So Psalms 47:5 corresponds to 2 Chronicles 20:26. Perhaps this Psalms 47:1-9 was sung in the valley of Berechah (i:e., blessing); Psalms 48:1-14 in the temple-service on their return. As Jehoshaphat was "in the forefront" of the returning people (2 Chronicles 20:27), so "Yahweh with the sound of a trumpet went up" to His earthly temple (Psalms 47:5). So "the fear of God was on all the kingdoms" (cf. Psalms 47:8-9, with 2 Chronicles 20:28-29).

O clap your hands, all ye people - for joy. Hebrew, 'peoples' (Isaiah 55:12).

Shout unto God with the voice of triumph. The heart's exultation toward Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) is to be expressed with the hands and the voice.


Verse 2

For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

For the Lord most high is terrible - the ground of exultation, namely, Yahweh's interposition for His people with terrible judgments on their enemies (Psalms 68:35).

He is a great King over all the earth. The destruction of Israel's last foes shall be the preliminary to His manifestation as "King over all the earth." Every previous triumph of God's people is an earnest of the final one.


Verse 3

He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet - i:e., the nations who league together against us, as distinguished from the 'peoples' (Psalms 47:1) whom Israel calls to join in praise for the deliverance. The original passage is Deuteronomy 32:43; cf. Psalms 18:38; Psalms 18:47; Psalms 18:49. Not a work of grace, whereby men's prejudices are overcome, and their hearts won to the Lord, is here spoken of, but a work of judgment on adversaries (Isaiah 60:14-15; Isaiah 62:10-12; Isaiah 63:1-4).


Verse 4

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob, whom he loved - i:e., He shall choose it anew for us, by recovering it from the usurping enemy (2 Chronicles 20:11). Compare on the "inheritance," Isaiah 58:14; Deuteronomy 4:38. "The excellency of Jacob" is explanatory of "our inheritance;" 'a land which God had espied for them,' flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands (Ezekiel 20:6), the possession of which Israel might well be proud, on account of the grace shown by God in giving it (Nahum 2:2; Amos 6:8). "Whom he loved" implies that God's everlasting LOVE is the ground of HIS choosing their inheritance for them (Psalms 78:68; Malachi 1:2).


Verse 5

God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Second strophe.

God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. See the opening remarks. After He had gone forth to fight for Israel He is represented as returning to His holy seat, the temple on Zion, amidst the music-accompanied thanksgivings of His people. The result is, the princes of the people and the pagan own that the God of Abraham "reigneth" over all the earth (Psalms 47:2; Psalms 47:8-9). Not only by Christ's ascension He hath a spiritual reign over the earth, but also He is to return as he ascended (Psalms 68:18; Acts 1:11,) and to reign on Zion over His own people, and thence, over the whole earth (Daniel 7:13-14; Jeremiah 3:17).


Verse 6

Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 7

For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

For God is the King of all the earth - and shall be manifested as such after His final interposition for Israel (Zechariah 14:1-9).

Sing ye praises with understanding - (1 Corinthians 14:15-16.) Or, as the Hebrew 'Maschil,' is usually translated instruction, we may translate, 'Sing ye praises with edification'-spiritual 'wisdom.' Compare Colossians 3:16.


Verse 8

God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 9

The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

The princes of the people are gathered together, (even) the people of the God of Abraham - rather, as Arabic, 'The princes of the peoples (plural) are gathered together TO the people (singular) of the God of Abraham.' The pagan princes flock together to be received among the people Yahweh (Hebrew #3068). Thus, the prophecy of Jacob concerning Messiah (Shiloh) shall come to pass fully: "Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be" (Genesis 49:10; Psalms 87:4; Isaiah 60:3-8). The designation, "God of Abraham," is appropriately used, as it was to Abraham the promise was made, "In thee" - "in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 22:18). The Septuagint reading, which the Vulgate follows, is, 'WITH the God of Abraham, for "the people of the God of Abraham' [ `am (Hebrew #5971), for `im (Hebrew #5973)]. The text is better.

For the shields of the earth belong unto God. The princes are metaphorically called "shields," as being the protectors of their people, (Hosea 4:18, margin.)

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 47:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-47.html. 1871-8.

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