Psalms 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song.

1 [a][b]God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.[c]
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see what the LORD has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

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Psalms 46 Commentary

Chapter 46

Confidence in God. (1-5) An exhortation to behold it. (6-11)

Verses 1-5 This psalm encourages to hope and trust in God; in his power and providence, and his gracious presence with his church in the worst of times. We may apply it to spiritual enemies, and the encouragement we have that, through Christ, we shall be conquerors over them. He is a Help, a present Help, a Help found, one whom we have found to be so; a Help at hand, one that is always near; we cannot desire a better, nor shall we ever find the like in any creature. Let those be troubled at the troubling of the waters, who build their confidence on a floating foundation; but let not those be alarmed who are led to the Rock, and there find firm footing. Here is joy to the church, even in sorrowful times. The river alludes to the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which flow through every part of the church, and through God's sacred ordinances, gladdening the heart of every believer. It is promised that the church shall not be moved. If God be in our hearts, by his word dwelling richly in us, we shall be established, we shall be helped; let us trust and not be afraid.

Verses 6-11 Come and see the effects of desolating judgments, and stand in awe of God. This shows the perfect security of the church, and is an assurance of lasting peace. Let us pray for the speedy approach of these glorious days, and in silent submission let us worship and trust in our almighty Sovereign. Let all believers triumph in this, that the Lord of hosts, the God of Jacob, has been, is, and will be with us; and will be our Refuge. Mark this, take the comfort, and say, If God be for us, who can be against us? With this, through life and in death, let us answer every fear.

Cross References 38

  • 1. Psalms 9:9; Psalms 14:6; Psalms 37:39; Psalms 61:3; Psalms 73:26; Psalms 91:2,9; Psalms 142:5; Isaiah 33:16; Jeremiah 16:19; Jeremiah 17:17; Joel 3:16; Nahum 1:7
  • 2. Psalms 18:1
  • 3. Psalms 34:18; Lamentations 3:57; Deuteronomy 4:7
  • 4. Psalms 18:6; Luke 1:54
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 4:30; Psalms 25:17
  • 6. S Genesis 4:7; Psalms 3:6; Psalms 23:4
  • 7. Psalms 82:5; Isaiah 13:13; Isaiah 24:1,19,20; Jeremiah 4:23; Daniel 11:19; Amos 8:14; S Revelation 6:14
  • 8. ver 6; Psalms 18:7; Psalms 97:5; Isaiah 54:10; Amos 9:5; Micah 1:4; Nahum 1:5; Habakkuk 3:6
  • 9. Exodus 15:8
  • 10. Psalms 93:3; Isaiah 17:13; Jeremiah 5:22; Ezekiel 1:24; Revelation 19:6
  • 11. S Job 9:26
  • 12. S Judges 5:5
  • 13. S Genesis 2:10; Revelation 22:1
  • 14. S Psalms 1:3
  • 15. Psalms 48:1,8; Psalms 87:3; Psalms 101:8; Revelation 3:12; Isaiah 60:14
  • 16. Genesis 14:18
  • 17. S 2 Samuel 15:25
  • 18. Deuteronomy 23:14; S Psalms 26:8; Isaiah 12:6; Ezekiel 43:7; Zechariah 2:5
  • 19. Psalms 125:1
  • 20. S 1 Chronicles 5:20; Psalms 37:40
  • 21. S Job 12:23; Psalms 2:1
  • 22. Psalms 74:23; Isaiah 5:30; Isaiah 17:12
  • 23. Psalms 68:32; Psalms 102:22; Isaiah 13:4,13; Isaiah 23:11; Ezekiel 26:18; Matthew 4:8
  • 24. S Psalms 29:3; Isaiah 33:3
  • 25. S ver 2; Micah 1:4
  • 26. S 1 Samuel 1:11
  • 27. S Genesis 21:22; 2 Chronicles 13:12
  • 28. S Psalms 20:1
  • 29. ver 11; Psalms 18:2; Psalms 9:9
  • 30. Psalms 66:5
  • 31. Isaiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:10; Daniel 9:26; Luke 21:20; Isaiah 61:4
  • 32. Isaiah 2:4
  • 33. S Psalms 37:15; S Isaiah 22:6; Psalms 76:3
  • 34. Isaiah 9:5; Ezekiel 39:9; Hosea 2:18
  • 35. Deuteronomy 4:35; 1 Kings 18:36,39; Psalms 100:3; Isaiah 37:16,20; Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:21; Ezekiel 36:23
  • 36. Psalms 18:46; Isaiah 2:11
  • 37. S Psalms 20:1
  • 38. S ver 7

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 46:1-11 is numbered 46:2-12.
  • [b]. Title: Probably a musical term
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 7 and 11.
  • [d]. Or "chariots"

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. The word "Alamoth" is thought by some, as Aben Ezra, to be the beginning of a song, to which this psalm was set; and by others a high tune, such as virgins express; and by others the name of musical instruments, as Jarchi and Kimchi; which seems most likely, since it is mentioned with other instruments of music in 1 Chronicles 15:19; and may not unfitly be rendered "virginals," from the sound of them being like the shrill voice of virgins, which this word signifies; though others choose to render it "of hidden things," {s}, making it to design the subject matter of the psalm, the secret counsels and purposes of God, both in a way of love and grace to his people, and of judgment to his enemies. Some think this psalm was occasioned by the victories which David obtained over the Ammonites and Moabites, and other neighbouring countries; and others are of opinion that it was penned on account of the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib being raised, in the times of Hezekiah: but it seems rather to be a prophecy of the church in Gospel times, and is applicable to any time of confusion and distress the nations of the world may be in through any kind of calamity, when those that trust in the Lord have no reason in the least to be afraid. Kimchi says this psalm belongs to future times; either to the gathering of the captives, or to the war of Gog and Magog; to which also R. Obadiah refers it, and Jarchi interprets it of time to come; according to the Targum it was written by the sons of Korah, when their father was hid from them, and they were delivered.

{s} twmle le upev twn krufiwn, Sept. "pro arcanis," V. L.

Psalms 46 Commentaries

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