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1 (To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.) O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.

3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

9 The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

Commentary for Psalms 47

The people exhorted to praise God.

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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 47

  • Pastor Shirley
    Everyone's comments really blessed me. God is in charge!
  • Debbie
    I love this!! It's letting us know God is ruler not only in the heavely but in the Earth! Whatever your facing, he is telling you he is the boss! All is subject to him! Even the worldly people that you face, and oppose you are subject to God. Praise him with understanding is to know why you praise him!! So, if all you had to go by today was psalms 47..I'm got this!! Trust me!!
  • Georgette
    I got up 2 days ago with this psalm I dreamed about, and after reading it's telling me to don't give up hope, continue to pray and give GOD praise no matter what I'm going thru.. but, right now I feel like Job...
  • Star Jackson
    If He is the king over all the earth, then that means He is all powerful. Greatly indeed to be feared.
  • Quansto
    The word terrible should be translated Awe-inspiring. Or fearful.
  • Larry w glass
    What does Psalms 47 verse 2 mean when it says ( for the lord most high is terrible ? )

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Bible Trivia

In Psalm 47, God is referred to as the king of what?
  • Earth
  • Israel
  • The West
  • The Stars
  • Believers