Psalms 47:0 ¶ To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.
This is another psalm not specifically attributed to David, but is very similar to the writings of David. Personally, I think all the psalms reflect if not David’s authorship, his influence.
Chuck Smith: “This psalm is read seven times before the blowing of the trumpet to announce the holy day, the beginning of the Jewish New Year.”
Psalms 47:1 ¶ O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
Psalms 47:2 For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
The psalmist opens this song by encouraging the people to join him by clapping hands and loudly praising God with hearts of joy (from Hebrew for “triumph”). Why? Because the LORD, the self-existent, eternal, supreme God is one to be reverenced (from Hebrew for “terrible”); He is awesome! He is not only the LORD God of Israel, He is King over the whole earth.
The LORD set apart the people of Israel to testify to the nations of the world the blessing of serving Him as LORD. When they failed, He set apart the body of believers we call the church, to take on that responsibility. Frankly, we haven’t lived up to our responsibility either. One day soon He will return in the person of His Son Jesus to establish His kingdom on earth and allow mankind to experience the rich blessings firsthand of serving Him as LORD.
Psalms 47:3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
The psalmist was well aware of God’s covenants with Abraham and David. He knew that the Messiah would one day rule over the whole earth from the throne of David.
Genesis 12:1–3 “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
2 Samuel 7:5&12–13 “Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the Lord….And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”
The prophets affirmed this truth.
Isaiah 2:1–4 “The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
Amos 9:11–12 “In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.”
Micah 4:1–2 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Zechariah 14:9 & 16 “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one….And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.”
Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Psalms 47:4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
God set apart the nation of Israel and chose the land of their inheritance, the land of Israel, the excellency of Jacob. The LORD will affirm that choice in the future when He establishes His rule on the throne of David. At that time, the full land inheritance promised to Abraham will be their portion.
“Selah” – A pause, an opportunity to meditate on this first part of the psalm.
Psalms 47:5 ¶ God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Psalms 47:6 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
In context, I think exalt is the better choice from the Hebrew for “gone up.” God is exalted when we praise Him with rejoicing by singing songs of praise to Him as our King, the One who reigns over us. In light of that truth, the psalmist urges us multiple times to sing His praises!
Psalms 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
Psalms 47:8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
The psalmist boldly declares that God is the King of the whole earth. Our praise of Him should acknowledge that truth. His throne is a throne of holiness; He rules with perfect moral integrity, purity and righteousness. Whether people choose to believe it or not, Our God Reigns!
Psalms 47:9 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.
The people of Israel know that Lordship of the whole earth belongs to God. He is greatly exalted and will one day be recognized for that truth by all in His creation.
Isaiah 45:22–23 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.”
Philippians 2:5–11 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”