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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 48

 

 

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 1-14

XLVIII. A Psalm which Describes the Impression made on a Pilgrim by his Visit to Zion.

Psalms 48:1 f. Praise of Zion.—sides of the north is hard to comprehend. It has been explained as contrasting Zion, the true mountain of the North, with the Oriental Olympus (Isaiah 14:13). The text, however, does not even hint at any such contrast. Mount Zion did indeed occupy the NE. corner of Jerusalem, but what of that? It has been suggested that the pilgrim came from the extreme S. of Egypt. But even then he must have known that there were mountains far further N. Really the text is unintelligible and probably corrupt.

Psalms 48:3-7. God's protection of His own city. The poet is thinking of Sennacherib's fate (see on Psalms 46) though he may well have written centuries later. Notice in Psalms 48:4 the vague word "kings," which can hardly refer to Sennacherib and his princes.

Psalms 48:7. Tarshish is an unknown place. It has been identified with Tartessus in S. Spain, with the land of the Tyrseni or Etruscans, with Phœnicia and Sardinia. The phrase "ships of Tarshish" came to mean large ships of any kind. The author borrows the phrase from Isaiah 2:16*. But neither "great ships" or "E. wind" are appropriate here when the reference is to a siege of Jerusalem.

Psalms 48:8-14. The pilgrim has often heard of, now he has seen and worshipped at Jerusalem and would tell others of its marvels.

Psalms 48:10. The congress of pilgrims proves that the praise of Yahweh has reached the remotest parts of the world.

Psalms 48:11. The "daughters of Judah" are, according to a common Heb. idiom, the country towns in Judah.

Psalms 48:14. RVm is possible, RV is not. But it is highly probable that the last two words, ‘al-muth, are a musical direction, and belong to the title of the next Ps.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 48:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/psalms-48.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
the Fifth Week after Easter
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