Psalms 48

Listen to Psalms 48
1 1Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in 2the city of our God! His 3holy mountain,
2 4beautiful in elevation, is 5the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, 6the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God has made himself known as a fortress.
4 For behold, 7the kings assembled; they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded; they were in panic; they took to flight.
6 8Trembling took hold of them there, anguish 9as of a woman in labor.
7 By 10the east wind you 11shattered the ships of 12Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in 13the city of our God, which God will 14establish forever. Selah
9 We have thought on your 15steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.
10 As your 16name, O God, so your praise reaches to 17the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Let Mount 18Zion be glad! Let 19the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments!
12 Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers,
13 consider well her 20ramparts, go through her citadels, 21that you may tell the next generation
14 that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will 22guide us forever.[a]

Images for Psalms 48

Psalms 48 Commentary

Chapter 48

The glories of the church of Christ.

Verses 1-7 Jerusalem is the city of our God: none on earth render him due honour except the citizens of the spiritual Jerusalem. Happy the kingdom, the city, the family, the heart, in which God is great, in which he is all. There God is known. The clearer discoveries are made to us of the Lord and his greatness, the more it is expected that we should abound in his praises. The earth is, by sin, covered with deformity, therefore justly might that spot of ground, which was beautified with holiness, be called the joy of the whole earth; that which the whole earth has reason to rejoice in, that God would thus in very deed dwell with man upon the earth. The kings of the earth were afraid of it. Nothing in nature can more fitly represent the overthrow of heathenism by the Spirit of the gospel, than the wreck of a fleet in a storm. Both are by the mighty power of the Lord.

Verses 8-14 We have here the improvement which the people of God are to make of his glorious and gracious appearances for them. Let our faith in the word of God be hereby confirmed. Let our hope of the stability of the church be encouraged. Let our minds be filled with good thoughts of God. All the streams of mercy that flow down to us, must be traced to the fountain of His loving-kindness. Let us give to God the glory of the great things he has done for us. Let all the members of the church take comfort from what the Lord does for his church. Let us observe the beauty, strength, and safety of the church. Consider its strength; see it founded on Christ the Rock, fortified by the Divine power, guarded by Him who neither slumbers nor sleeps. See what precious ordinances are its palaces, what precious promises are its bulwarks, that you may be encouraged to join yourselves to it: and tell this to others. This God, who has now done such great things for us, is unchangeable in his love to us, and his care for us. If he is our God, he will lead and keep us even to the last. He will so guide us, as to set us above the reach of death, so that it shall not do us any real hurt. He will lead us to a life in which there shall be no more death.

Cross References 22

  • 1. Psalms 96:4; Psalms 145:3
  • 2. See Psalms 46:4
  • 3. Psalms 2:6; Psalms 87:1; Zechariah 8:3; [Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:1]
  • 4. See Psalms 50:2
  • 5. Lamentations 2:15; [Ezekiel 20:6]
  • 6. Matthew 5:35
  • 7. See 2 Samuel 10:6-19
  • 8. [Exodus 15:15]
  • 9. Isaiah 13:8; Hosea 13:13
  • 10. Jeremiah 18:17
  • 11. 1 Kings 22:48; Ezekiel 27:26
  • 12. 1 Kings 10:22
  • 13. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 14. Psalms 87:5; Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1
  • 15. Psalms 26:3; Psalms 40:10
  • 16. Psalms 113:3; [Exodus 34:5, 6; Deuteronomy 28:58; Malachi 1:11, 14]
  • 17. See Psalms 22:27
  • 18. Psalms 97:8
  • 19. Psalms 97:8
  • 20. Psalms 122:7
  • 21. [Psalms 78:4-6]
  • 22. Psalms 23:3, 4

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Septuagint; another reading is (compare Jerome, Syriac) He will guide us beyond death

Chapter Summary


\\<>\\. This psalm is entitled a "song psalm", a psalm to be sung vocally; or "a song and psalm" to be sung both vocally and instrumentally; and is one of the spiritual songs the apostle speaks of, Eph 5:19; It was occasioned, as some think, by David's spoiling the Philistines, 2Sa 5:17-21; or, as others, by the deliverance of the people from the Moabites and Ammonites in the times of Jehoshaphat, 2Ch 20:27,28; or, as others, by the deliverance of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from Sennacherib in the times of Hezekiah, 2Ki 19:34,35; though as Kimchi, a celebrated Jewish commentator, owns, it belongs to the times of the Messiah, as the other preceding psalms; and treats of his greatness, and of the praise and glory due to him, and gives large encomiums of his church.

Psalms 48 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.