Study

a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

47. Psalm 47

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

2For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

3He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

4He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

5God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

6Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

7For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

8God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

9The 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.

5. God is gone up with triumph There is here an allusion to the ancient ceremony which was observed under the Law. As the sound of trumpets was wont to be used in solemnising the holy assemblies, the prophet says that God goes up, when the trumpets encourage and stir up the people to magnify and extol his power. When this ceremony was performed in old time, it was just as if a king, making his entrance among his subjects, presented himself to them in magnificent attire and great splendor, by which he gained their admiration and reverence. At the same time, the sacred writer, under that shadowy ceremony, doubtless intended to lead us to consider another kind of going up more triumphant — that of Christ when he “ascended up far above all heavens,” (Ephesians 4:10) and obtained the empire of the whole world, and armed with his celestial power, subdued all pride and loftiness. You must remember what I have adverted to before, that the name Jehovah is here applied to the ark; for although the essence or majesty of God was not shut up in it, nor his power and operation fixed to it, yet it was not a vain and idle symbol of his presence. God had promised that he would dwell in the midst of the people so long as the Jews worshipped him according to the rule which he had prescribed in the Law; and he actually showed that he was truly present with them, and that it was not in vain that he was called upon among them. What is here stated, however, applies more properly to the manifestation of the glory which at length shone forth in the person of Christ. In short, the import of the Psalmist’s language is, When the trumpets sounded among the Jews, according to the appointment of the Law, that was not a mere empty sound which vanished away in the air; for God, who intended the ark of the covenant to be a pledge and token of his presence, truly presided in that assembly. From this the prophet draws an argument for enforcing on the faithful the duty of singing praises to God He argues, that by engaging in this exercise they will not be acting blindly or at random, as the superstitious, who, having no certainty in their false systems of religion, lament and howl in vain before their idols. He shows that the faithful have just ground for celebrating with their mouths and with a cheerful heart the praises of God; 186186     “De faire retentir en leurs bouches et d’un coeur alaigre les louanges de Dieu.” — Fr. since they certainly know that he is as present with them, as if he had visibly established his royal throne among them.


VIEWNAME is study