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PSALM 46

This psalm seems to be an expression of thanksgiving rather for some particular deliverance, than for the constant aid by which God has always protected and preserved his Church. It may be inferred from it that the city of Jerusalem. when stricken with great terror, and placed in extreme danger, was preserved, contrary to all expectation, by the unlooked for and miraculous power of God. The prophet, therefore, whoever composed the psalm, commending a deliverance so singularly vouchsafed by God, exhorts the faithful to commit themselves confidently to his protection, and not to doubt that, relying fearlessly upon him as their guardian and the protector of their welfare, they shall be continually preserved in safety from all the assaults of their enemies, because it is his peculiar office to quell all commotions.

To the chief musician of the sons of Korah, a song upon Alamoth.

Interpreters are not agreed as to the meaning of the word עלמות, alamoth; but without noticing all the different opinions, I shall mention only two of them, namely, that it was either an instrument of music, or else the commencement of some common and well known song. The latter conjecture appears to me the most probable. As to the time when this psalm was written it is also uncertain, unless, perhaps, we might suppose that it was written when the siege of the city was suddenly raised by the terrible and sore destruction which God brought upon the army of Sennacherib, 174174     Others refer it, as Rosenmüller, to the victory of Jehoshaphat, which was celebrated with great rejoicing, 2 Chronicles 20:26-30. It is, however, difficult or impossible to ascertain with certainty the occasion on which it was composed. It seems rather the language of faith under threatened difficulties, than of triumph over vanquished foes. Thus, in the midst of threatened danger, it may be employed by Christians to support their faith, hope, and peace. This was Luther’s favorite psalm. He composed a famous version of it on his journey to the Diet at Worms, where he went boldly to defend the Reformation at the risk of his life; and he was wont to say when threatened with any fresh trouble, “Come, let us sing the 46th Psalm.” (2 Kings 19:35.) This opinion I readily admit, because it accords most with the whole scope of the psalm. It is abundantly manifest that some favor of God, worthy of being held in remembrance, such as that was, is here commended.


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