A feeling that the true God is “our” God - that he is ours and that we are his - always carries with it the idea that this is to be “forever;” that what is true now in this respect, will be true to all eternity. They were troubled - They were filled with anxiety and confusion. Or, perhaps, the meaning may be, that they were discomfited and overthrown as suddenly “as if” the mere sight of the city had filled their minds with dread, and had made them desist from their intended assault. '"[15], GOD'S GLORY TO BE MADE KNOWN TO POSTERITY. In the mountain of his holiness - His holy mountain; either Mount Zion, if the psalm was composed before the building of the temple - or more probably here Mount Moriah, on which the temple was reared. They saw it, and so they marveled; they were troubled, and hasted away.” At the thought of it the royal psalmist again bursts forth in triumph: “Walk about Zion, and go round about her; tell the towers thereof; mark ye well her bulwarks; consider her palaces, that ye may tell it to the generation following.” Alas! For this God is our God forever and ever - The God who has thus made his abode in the city, and who has manifested himself as its prorector. All that had ever been said of the city in this respect had been found, in this trial when the kings assembled against it, to be true. The circumstances of the case best agree with the former of these suppositions, though it is not possible to ascertain this with absolute precision. was the occasion. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? On the sides of the north - That is, probably, the houses, the palaces, on the north sides of the Mount Zion. It is the indwelling of God in his chosen city that glorifies and secures the city as nothing else in heaven or upon earth could accomplish. For this God is our God forever and ever: "Number the towers ... mark her bulwarks" (Psalms 48:12-13). The Day of Pentecost was the occasion when, "with a rushing sound of a mighty wind, and with cloven tongues of fire," the Spirit of God descended upon the apostles who were the nucleus of God's Messianic kingdom; and every child of God on earth also has his measure of the token indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And go round about her - The word used here - from נקף nâqaph - to fasten together, to join together, means to move round in a circle, as if persons joined together (see the notes at Job 1:5), and would refer here properly to a solemn procession moving round the city, and taking a deliberate survey of its entire circuit. The word used here literally means “to compare, to liken;” and this idea is perhaps always implied when it is used in the sense of thinking on, or meditating on. The following remarks of Dr. Thomson (Land and the Book, vol. Furthermore, it is extremely unlikely that the terminology here is influenced by mythological traditions of pagan peoples surrounding Israel. Israel's rejection of Messiah resulted in the most terrible destruction the city ever experienced; and yet in the sense of its eternal continuity as "The New Jerusalem," the promise was absolutely and unconditionally fulfilled. We have here the improvement which the people of God are to make of his glorious and gracious appearances for them. IV. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. 1983-1999. It may have been, however, that they approached the city, and were dismayed by its strength, so that they turned away before the internal conflict occurred which ended in their ruin. Let mount Zion rejoice - Let Jerusalem, the holy city, rejoice or be glad. There God is known. The allusion here is to Jerusalem as it would appear to one approaching it, and especially as it appeared to the “kings” Psalm 48:4 who came to invest it, and who were so impressed with its marvelous beauty and strength, that they were afraid to attack it, and turned away Psalm 48:5. He will so guide us, as to set us above the reach of death, so that it shall not do us any real hurt. (Gesenius, Lexicon) The Septuagint translates it here: δύναμις dunamis power; the Vulgate, “virtus,” courage; Luther, “Mauern” - walls. © 2020 Christianity.com. It has been shown that God is its protector; that he dwells in the midst of it; that it is safe from the assaults of man; that it is permanent and abiding. He is able to defend his people; he has shown his great power in overthrowing the mighty forces that were gathered together against the city where he dwells. "[23] This, of course, also supports the LXX rendition. Let our hope of the stability of the church be encouraged. Rising high above the deep valley of Gihon and Hinnom on the west and south, and the scarcely less deep one of the Cheesemongers on the east, it could only be assailed from the northwest; and then “on the sides of the north” it was magnificently beautiful, and fortified by walls, towers, and bulwarks, the wonder and terror of the nations: “For the kings were assembled; they passed by together. Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish - On the ships of Tarshish, see the notes on Isaiah 2:16. Cities, surrounded by walls, had always “towers” or elevated portions as posts of observation, or as places from which missiles might be discharged with advantage on those who should attempt to scale the walls. Most probably the former is the meaning; and the idea is that, as a place of beauty and strength, and as a place where the worship of God was celebrated, and where the people of the land were accustomed to assemble, it was a source of national joy. EXHORTATION TO PRAISE GOD FOR HIS JUDGMENTS. We might also add, that, `in no other sense whatever could the statement be viewed as the truth. Words marked with a *star are described in the word list at the end. Go to, To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient, "In the city of our God ... in his holy mountain", "In mount Zion on the sides of the north", "With the east wind thou breakest the ships of Tarshish", "Thy right hand is full of righteousness", "Number the towers ... mark her bulwarks", Commentary Critical and Explanatory - Unabridged, Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the Bible, Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. Our preference for the Septuagint (LXX) here is founded upon the evident fact that the New Testament here sheds light upon the Old Testament. For, lo, the kings were assembled - There is evidently allusion here to some fact that had occurred; some gathering together of kings and their armies, with a view to besiege or attack Jerusalem. "The Word of God went forth from Jerusalem," as the prophets declared; and, in the sense of the old Israel's providing the nucleus and the original membership of the Messianic Kingdom of God, - in this sense, Jerusalem is indeed "the joy of the whole earth." "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". In his own nature, he is worthy of adoration; in interposing to save the city from its foes, he has shown that he is worthy of exalted praise. "For, lo, the kings assembled themselves. The city of the great King - That is, of God; the place where he has taken up his abode. This psalm, along with Psalms 46 and Psalms 47, forms a trilogy. Unto the ends of the earth - In every part of the world. It may be applied to any fortified place, and would be particularly applicable to a royal residence, as a castle or stronghold. The word rendered “bulwarks” - חיל chêyl - means, properly, a host or army, and then a fortification or entrenchment, especially the “ditch” or “trench,” with the low wall or breastwork which surrounds it: 2 Samuel 20:15; Isaiah 26:1.


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