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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

  • Faye
    Just because people have different views on the word terrible doesn't give anyone the right if not by God's standard to say we want to change the truth of God's word we sometimes need help in understanding why would he use the word terrible? It's logical today to ask such questions. Question is do you have the Godly attitude and reaction that were suppose to have, after they asked them.
  • Portia
    Just what I needed for today. God is truly in control.
  • Bruce
    Cee: Yes,another word could've been used. Back when The Word was written the Word terrible was correct for them because they understood what it meant, today not quite the same. Fearful or dreadful can be used. They come from The same Hebrew word. Revelation6:8 some say dale or gray horse, but in The Greek it's green horse. They never heard of a green horse. So they used pale or gray.
  • Lu2677
    Cee; Read Job 23:8-17. Job is afraid of God, Job knows what is happening to him is caused by God. Psalms 47:2 is telling you God is "terrible." Why do you request another word? His word is living and powerful. Those who do not believe Him will perish.
  • Cee'
    I need a better word for "terrible" 'cause that's throwing me a loop.
  • Irene123
    V. 2 - For the Lord most high is terrible - means He is GLORIOUS, MAJESTIC, ALL-POWERFUL, MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS, MIGHTY GOD, .................; but - He's not macho nor top dog or any non biblical terms; the Bible does more than enough justice to Him. Let's not try to bring Him down to our level; let's let HIM raise us to His level - Acts 2:37-38
  • Irene123
    V. 1 - " ..... shout unto God with the voice of triumph." Amen to that; Acts 2:38
  • Doreen
    This is just the most encouraging Psalm for me today. I needed this. I am going to continue forging ahead until I am victorious. I am Never letting go of his hand. God is awesome, wonderful and amazing!

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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