Beautiful Mount Zion (Ps 48:1-48:3)

A song, a psalm of the Korahites

“Great is Yahweh!

Greatly to be praised

In the city of our God!

His holy mountain,

Beautiful in elevation,

Is the joy of all the earth.

Mount Zion is

In the far north,

In the city of the great king.

Within its citadels

God has shown himself

A sure defense.”

Psalm 48 is yet another of the 11 psalms of the sons of the Korah, like the preceding ones. There is a glorification of Mount Zion, the northern mountain in Jerusalem, where the Temple and the palace of David were built. Yahweh was great and thus greatly praised. His holy beautiful mountain was a joy to the whole world. This Mount Zion was in the far northern part of the city of the great king, the city of David. Within its walls, God had shown himself to be a great defender of this mountain.

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God is king of the world (Ps 47:7-47:9)

“God is king of all the earth.

Sing praises with a psalm!

God is the king over the nations.

God sits on his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples gather

As the people of the God of Abraham.

The shields of the earth

Belong to God.

He is highly exalted!”

This short psalm comes to an end where it began, proclaiming that God is king of the world, not just Israel, as in the first verses. He is the king of everyone. He sits on his throne. The princes of the world gather together with the people of the God of Abraham. All the protections or shields of the world belong to God. This might be a reference to the shields of the various rulers with their gang sign symbols. Once again we end with the idea that God is highly exalted in this psalm of worship.

Sing praises to Yahweh (Ps 47:5-47:6)

“God has gone up with a shout.

Yahweh has gone up

With the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God!

Sing praises!

Sing praises to our King!

Sing praises!”

In case you missed the point, “sing praises to God.” This refrain is repeated 4 times. There must be noise. There were shouts and at least a trumpet. They were to sing praises to God, the King, Yahweh. This psalm may have been used in the transport of the Ark of the Covenant.

Yahweh is king (Ps 47:1-47:4)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of the Korahites

“Clap your hands!

All you peoples!

Shout to God!

Shout with loud songs of joy!

Yahweh!

The Most High is awesome!

He is a great king over all the earth.

He subdued peoples under us.

He subdued nations under our feet.

He chose our heritage for us.

We are the pride of Jacob.

He loves us.”

Selah

Psalm 47 is another in the string of Korahite choral songs that proclaims Yahweh as king. They were to clap their hands and shout for joy because Yahweh was awesome. He was and is the king of the earth. He has subdued peoples and nations under the pride of Jacob, the Israelites. Yahweh has chosen Jacob and his descendants as his heritage because he loves them. This section ends with the musical interlude pause of the Selah.

The peaceful ending (Ps 46:8-46:11)

“Come!

Behold the works of Yahweh!

See what desolations

He has brought on the earth!

He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.

He breaks the bow.

He shatters the spear.

He burns the shields with fire.

‘Be still!

Know that I am God!

I am exalted among the nations!

I am exalted in the earth!’

Yahweh of hosts is with us.

The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Selah

The psalmist wants you to come and see the work of Yahweh. He has brought a peaceful desolation to earth. Wars have ceased. All the bows and spears have been broken. The shields have been burned. Everyone should know that Yahweh is truly God since he is exalted among the nations and on earth. Then this psalm ends with the refrain of Yahweh, the God of Jacob, as his refuge. Like in the preceding section, there is the Selah, the musical interlude pause.

The city of God (Ps 46:4-46:7)

“There is a river whose streams

Make glad the city of God.

This is the holy habitation of the Most High.

God is in the midst of the city.

It shall not be moved.

God will help it

When the morning dawns.

The nations are in an uproar.

The kingdoms totter.

He utters his voice.

The earth melts.

Yahweh of hosts is with us.

The God of Jacob is our refuge.”

Selah

The symbolic river around the holy city of Jerusalem called streams only leads to the enchantment of this city of God. Those who live there are holy because God is in the midst of them. The city will not be moved since God is with them from early morning on. Even when the nations are in an uproar, or kingdoms are falling, God’s voice would be there to melt the earth. This section ends with the refrain of Yahweh, the God of Jacob, as his refuge. Perhaps this should have been in the first section also, before the Selah, musical interlude pause, as it is here.

God is with us (Ps 46:1-46:3)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of the Korahites, according to Alamoth, a song

“God is our refuge.

God is our strength.

He is a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear!

Even though the earth should change.

Even though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea.

Even though its waters roar and foam.

Even though the mountains tremble with its tumult.”

Selah

Psalm 46 is another of the psalms or songs of the sons of Korah. However, this is a victory song that inspired Martin Luther to write his famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress.” In fact, it is a hymn of Mount Zion that was to be sung by an Alamoth, who was a soprano or female voice. God was their refuge and strength. He was present during any time of trouble. Therefore they would not fear. Even though great changes on the earth were taking place, they would not be afraid. There was a mention of the underwater earthquakes, tsunamis, or above ground earthquakes, when God would be there. At this thought there is a musical interlude or pause, a Selah.