Psalms 48:2

2 Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon[a] is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.

Psalms 48:2 in Other Translations

2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
2 beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.
2 It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!
2 breathtaking in its heights - earth's joy. Zion Mountain looms in the North, city of the world-King.
2 rising splendidly, is the joy of the whole earth. Mount Zion on the slopes of the north is the city of the great King.

Psalms 48:2 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 48:2

Beautiful for situation
This, and what follows, are said of the city of God, the city of Jerusalem, which was delightfully situated on an eminence, in a wholesome air; the brook Kidron gliding by it, the water of Siloah running through it or at least through some parts of it; fields and gardens adjoining to it, and mountains all around it: and so the church of Christ is built upon him, the Rock; the river of divine love runs by it, the streams whereof make it glad; the green pastures of the word and ordinances are in it; and salvation is as walls and bulwarks about it; and so healthful is it, that the inhabitants have no reason to say they are sick, since the people that dwell therein have their iniquities forgiven, ( Isaiah 33:24 ) ;

the joy of the whole earth:
that is, the city of Jerusalem, ( Lamentations 2:15 ) ; especially it was so when Christ, whose birth near it was matter of great joy to all people; when he who is the desire of all nations was in it; and when the Gospel went out from it unto the whole earth, and caused joy wherever it came in power, and with the Holy Ghost: and the church of Christ, particularly in the latter day, will be an eternal excellency, and a joy of many generations, ( Isaiah 60:15 ) ; and even now the whole world has reason to rejoice and be glad, because of the church of Christ in it, who are the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and on whose account the world continues, and the men of it enjoy the blessings they do;

[is] Mount Zion;
or "by Mount Zion": Jerusalem was near it, and beautifully situated by it;

[on] the sides of the north;
Jerusalem was north of Zion, as Zion was south of Jerusalem; likewise the temple was on the north part of Mount Zion, ( Isaiah 14:13 ) ; the altar and altar gate were on the north side at the temple, and there were the tables on which the sacrifices were slain, ( Ezekiel 8:5 ) ( 40:35-40 ) ; and on the north side of the altar was the creature to be offered killed, ( Leviticus 1:11 ) ; and perhaps some reference is here had to the church of Christ in the latter day, which for many years past has been chiefly in our northern part of the world: hence the Protestant doctrine is by the Papists called the Northern Heresy; and it will be "tidings out of the north" that shall trouble the man of sin, or some agent of his, to come forth with fury, and plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain, ( Daniel 11:44 Daniel 11:45 ) ;

the city of the great King;
of Christ the King of kings; (See Gill on Psalms 47:2); and (See Gill on Psalms 48:1).

Psalms 48:2 In-Context

1 Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain.
2 Beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth, like the heights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King.
3 God is in her citadels; he has shown himself to be her fortress.
4 When the kings joined forces, when they advanced together,
5 they saw her and were astounded; they fled in terror.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Psalms 50:2; Lamentations 2:15; Ezekiel 16:14
  • 2. S Joshua 13:27
  • 3. S Psalms 2:6
  • 4. Matthew 5:35

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. "Zaphon" was the most sacred mountain of the Canaanites.
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