Psalms 47

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

1 [a]Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
2 For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.[b]
5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.
8 God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings[c] of the earth belong to God; he is greatly exalted.

Psalms 47 Commentary

Chapter 47

The people exhorted to praise God.

Verses 1-4 The God with whom we have to do, is a God of awful majesty. The universal and absolute sovereignty of a holy God would be too terrible for us even to think of, were it not exercised by his Son from a mercy-seat; but now it is only terrible to the workers of iniquity. While his people express confidence and joy, and animate each other in serving him, let sinners submit to his authority, and accept his salvation. Jesus Christ shall subdue the Gentiles; he shall bring them as sheep into the fold, not for slaughter, but for preservation. He shall subdue their affections, and make them a willing people in the day of his power. Also it speaks of his giving them rest and settlement. Apply this spiritually; the Lord himself has undertaken to be the inheritance of his people. It shows the faith and submission of the saints. This is the language of every gracious soul, The Lord shall choose my inheritance for me; he knows what is good for me better than I do.

Verses 5-9 Praise is a duty in which we ought to be frequent and abundant. But here is a needful rule; Sing ye praises with understanding. As those that understand why and for what reasons they praise God, and what is the meaning of the service. It is not an acceptable service, if it is not a reasonable service. We are never to forget the end of Messiah's exaltation, so continually do the prophets dwell upon the conversion of the nations to the gospel of Christ. Why do we vainly fancy that we belong to him, unless the Spirit reign in our hearts by faith? Lord, is it not thy glory and delight to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins, now that thou art exalted as a Prince and a Saviour? Set up thy kingdom in our hearts. Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And so sweetly constrain all the powers and faculties of the souls of thy redeemed, into holy love, fear, and delight in thee, that praise with the understanding may rise from every heart, both here and for ever, to Thee, our God.

Cross References 18

  • 1. S 2 Kings 11:12; Psalms 98:8; Isaiah 55:12
  • 2. S Psalms 33:3; Psalms 106:47
  • 3. S Deuteronomy 7:21
  • 4. Genesis 14:18
  • 5. Psalms 2:6; Psalms 48:2; Psalms 95:3; Matthew 5:35; Malachi 1:14
  • 6. Psalms 18:39,47; Isaiah 14:6
  • 7. Psalms 2:8; Psalms 16:6; Psalms 78:55; 1 Peter 1:4
  • 8. Amos 6:8; Amos 8:7
  • 9. Psalms 68:18; Ephesians 4:8
  • 10. S Job 8:21; S Psalms 106:5
  • 11. S Numbers 10:2; S 2 Samuel 6:15; Psalms 68:33; Psalms 98:6
  • 12. S 2 Samuel 22:50; Psalms 68:4; Psalms 89:18
  • 13. Zechariah 14:9
  • 14. 1 Chronicles 16:7; Colossians 3:16
  • 15. S 1 Chronicles 16:31
  • 16. S 1 Kings 22:19; S Psalms 9:4; Revelation 4:9
  • 17. S Job 25:2; Psalms 72:11; Psalms 89:18
  • 18. Psalms 46:10; Psalms 97:9

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 47:1-9 is numbered 47:2-10.
  • [b]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
  • [c]. Or "shields"

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. Thus psalm is thought by some to be written on occasion of the ark being brought from the house of Obededom to the city of David, to the place he had prepared for it; which was attended with singing and dancing, with shouting, and the sound of a trumpet, 2 Samuel 6:12; but it rather seems to be penned on account of the ascension of Christ to heaven, prophetically spoken of in this psalm; and of the spread of the Gospel, and the conquests it made in the Gentile world upon Christ's ascension; as the whole psalm shows: and even Aben Ezra and Kimchi apply it to the times of the Messiah; and so do some of their most ancient writers, who particularly interpret Psalm 47:5 of him, as may be seen in the note upon it.

Psalms 47 Commentaries

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