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Psalm 47

God’s Rule over the Nations

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.


Clap your hands, all you peoples;

shout to God with loud songs of joy.


For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,

a great king over all the earth.


He subdued peoples under us,

and nations under our feet.


He chose our heritage for us,

the pride of Jacob whom he loves.Selah



God has gone up with a shout,

the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.


Sing praises to God, sing praises;

sing praises to our King, sing praises.


For God is the king of all the earth;

sing praises with a psalm.



God is king over the nations;

God sits on his holy throne.


The princes of the peoples gather

as the people of the God of Abraham.

For the shields of the earth belong to God;

he is highly exalted.

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Ps 47:1-9. Praise is given to God for victory, perhaps that recorded (2Ch 20:20-30); and His dominions over all people, Jews and Gentiles, is asserted.

1. clap … hands … people—literally, "peoples," or "nations" (compare De 32:43; Ps 18:49; 98:9).

2, 3. His universal sovereignty now exists, and will be made known.

3. under us—that is, His saints; Israel's temporal victories were types of the spiritual conquests of the true Church.

4. He shall … inheritance—the heathen to be possessed by His Church (Ps 2:8), as Canaan by the Jews.

excellency of Jacob—literally, "pride," or, that in which he glories (not necessarily, though often, in a bad sense), the privileges of the chosen people—

whom he loved—His love being the sole cause of granting them.

5-7. God, victorious over His enemies, reascends to heaven, amid the triumphant praises of His people, who celebrate His sovereign dominion. This sovereignty is what the Psalm teaches; hence he adds,

sing … praises with understanding—literally, "sing and play an instructive (Psalm)." The whole typifies Christ's ascension (compare Ps 68:18).

8, 9. The instruction continued.

throne of … holiness—or, "holy throne" (see on Ps 2:6; Ps 23:4).

9. princes—who represent peoples. For—

even—supply, "as," or, "to"—that is, they all become united under covenant with Abraham's God.

shields—as in Ho 4:18, "rulers" [Margin].