“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Psalm 48, “Great Is The Lord, And Greatly To Be Praised”

Christian Living

“Be Still,” Yolanda Adams

Psalm 48 unites with Psalm 46 and 47 to form three Great Psalms of Praise to God For His Kinship And His Love For The Holy City of Jerusalem.  This emphasis on Jerusalem has led many scholars to speak of these Psalms as “Songs of Zion.”  Attributed to the sons of Korah, this Psalm calls the people to Reverent Praise To Their (Our) Lord.  Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary.

A Song And Psalm for the sons of Korah

Sons of Korah (84:title)  A choir of Levites that king David appointed to serve in The Temple Worship.  These were descendants of Korah, who was the grandson of Levi, the head of one of The Twelve Tribes of Israel.  The Levites were responsible for The Temple Worship.  Korah got into a dispute with Moses and was eventually swallowed alive by the ground (Numbers 16:1-33).  Quest Study Bible.

“Great Is The Lord, And Greatly To Be Praised,” Psalm 48:1) Great Is The Lord, And Greatly To Be Praised In The City Of Our God, In The Mountain Of His Holiness.  Isaiah 2:2; Obadiah 17; Micah 4:1.  2) Beautiful For Situation (or, In Its Loftiness), The Joy Of The Whole Earth, Is Mount Zion, on the sides of the north, The City Of The Great King.  3) God Is Known In Her Palaces For A Refuge.  4) For, lo the kings were assembled, they passed by together.  5) They saw It, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.  6) Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail (labor).  7) Thou Breakest The Ships of Tarshish With An East Wind.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, Great is used often in the Psalms to describe The Person Of God (21:5; 77:13; 95:3; 96:4; 145:3; 147:5).  City of our God:  The City Of Jerusalem had a particularly Dear Place in the heart of God’s People (see 1 Kings 14:21).  The City Was Holy Because Of The Presence Of God In The Temple.  v2, 3 The Joy Of The Whole Earth:  The Purpose Of God’s Work In Israel Was To Draw All Nation’s To Himself (117:1).  sides of the north:  This phrasing is likely borrowed from Canaanite poetry.  In Canaanite thought, the great gods resided in some remote northern location.  For Israel, God’s Dwelling Was The Physical City Of Jerusalem.  The City Of The Great King:  Jesus Quoted These Words In Matthew 5:35 And Identified The City As Jerusalem.  God Is In Her Palaces:  These words express a Prayer for the Present and Hope For The Future.  The Beauty Of The City Of Jerusalem Comes From THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, WHO HAS MADE HIS DWELLING THERE.  v4-7, This section describes from a different point of view The Final Battle Referred To In Psalm 2 and 110.  Psalm 48 describes the approach and hasty retreat of the errant (guilty) kings.  The connection between This Text and Psalm 2 is heightened by the use of an unusual Hebrew word for fear–a term meaning “trembling” or “quaking terror”—which is found in both places (2:11, Serve The Lord With Fear And Celebrate His Rule With Trembling, NIV).

Quest Study Bible – v1, “City Of Our God.”   See “The City Of God,” (46:4).  v1, “Holy Mountain.”  See “Where Was God’s Holy Mountain?” (43:3, The psalmists often refer to Mount Zion as a Holy Hill or Holy Mountain (see 2:6; 3:4; 15:1; 48:2).  Mount Zion Was The Site Of The Jerusalem Temple, God’s Dwelling.  It was thought that this was the same mountain where God Tested Abraham And Provided A Sacrifice (Genesis 22:13-14).)  v7, “Ships of Tarshish,”  The phrase most likely describes a type of ship, not the home port.  They were large, seaworthy ships capable of long voyages.  As such, they symbolized the wealth and power of God’s enemies.  Tarshish is also thought to be a specific location, possibly in Spain.  Some suggest Tarshish may also refer to the type of cargo such ships carried, perhaps copper ore.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v1-7, Jerusalem Is The City Of Our God:  None On Earth Render HIM Due Honor 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 (Grow) In Our 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.  Amen.   

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