Psalm 48:1-14

A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

1 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain.

Beautiful in elevation,
The joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.

God is in her palaces;
He is known as her refuge.

For behold, the kings assembled,
They passed by together.

They saw it, and so they marveled;
They were troubled, they hastened away.

Fear took hold of them there,
And pain, as of a woman in birth pangs,

As when You break the ships of Tarshish
With an east wind.

As we have heard,
So we have seen
In the city of the Lord of hosts,
In the city of our God:
God will establish it forever. Selah

We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness,
In the midst of Your temple.

10 According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness.

11 Let Mount Zion rejoice,
Let the daughters of Judah be glad,
Because of Your judgments.

12 Walk about Zion,
And go all around her.
Count her towers;

13 Mark well her bulwarks;
Consider her palaces;
That you may tell it to the generation following.

14 For this is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will be our guide
Even to death.

Psalm 48 is descriptive of the Millennial or Kingdom Age, and proclaims the complete victory of King Messiah over all enemies, who are naturally the enemies of His people.

Verses 1 to 3 describe Jerusalem as the city of God, and begins by praising the King who came in majesty to occupy the throne of David. Jerusalem means “the habitation of peace,” but it will be known by two other names during the Kingdom Age; in Jeremiah 33:16 it will be called “Jehovah our righteousness,” and in Ezekiel 48:35 the prophet has described the boundaries of the city and the temple, and concludes by saying, “and the name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah is there.” — Phillips, pages 135-136.

Thematically and structurally, this psalm is closely linked to Psalm 47. During the period of the Second Temple (ca. 530 BC -70 BC) this psalm was recited by the Levites in the temple during the daylight hours of the Sabbath. — Wechsler, page 136.

greatly (v.1) — The Hebrew word translated “greatly” is found also in Psalm 46:1 (“very”) and Psalm 47:9 (“highly”). The basic meaning is “muchness,” “force,” or “abundance.”

Mount Zion (v.2) — The preeminence of Zion (another name for Jerusalem) among all “places” in creation is tied to its being the city of God, the preeminent King. More precisely, the preeminence of Zion derives from His holy mountain (lit. “the mountain of His holiness) — i.e., Mount Moriah (see 2 Chronicles 3:1), where God’s tangible presence “dwelt” historically and where the throne of His physical presence will once again be established for all eternity. It is here, centered in Mount Moriah, the earthly focal point of His gracious provision, that God has made Himself known. — Wechsler, page 136.

on the sides of the north (v.2) — possibly a Hebrew expression meaning “supremacy”

palaces (v.3) = citadel, fortification

the kings assembled (v.4) — Anti-Christ and the ten kings assemble and march against Jerusalem. They meet there an unexpected power (Matthew 24:30). They are amazed; they are terror-stricken; they flee. Their anguish is compared to that of a woman in child-birth, and their impotence to that of ships in a hurricane. A ship of Tarshish meant an ocean-going vessel. — Williams, page 336.

God will establish it forever (v.8) — Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1

daughters of Judah (v.11) — the neighboring dependent villages delivered in the deliverance of Jerusalem

Count her towers (v.12) — The enemy being defeated, the joyful inhabitants can issue from the city and walk about Zion and observe that no damage has been done to her towers, bulwarks, or palaces; and they are enjoined to recount the fact to succeeding generations. — Williams, page 336.

to death (v.14) = should be “over death”

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