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Psalms 46:1-2

Context
Psalm 46 1 

For the music director; by the Korahites; according to the alamoth style; 2  a song.

46:1 God is our strong refuge; 3 

he is truly our helper in times of trouble. 4 

46:2 For this reason we do not fear 5  when the earth shakes, 6 

and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, 7 

Psalms 46:11

Context

46:11 The Lord who commands armies is on our side! 8 

The God of Jacob 9  is our protector! 10  (Selah)

1 sn Psalm 46. In this so-called “Song Of Zion” God’s people confidently affirm that they are secure because the great warrior-king dwells within Jerusalem and protects it from the nations that cause such chaos in the earth. A refrain (vv. 7, 11) concludes the song’s two major sections.

2 sn The meaning of the Hebrew term עֲלָמוֹת (alamoth, which means “young women”) is uncertain; perhaps it refers to a particular style of music. Cf. 1 Chr 15:20.

3 tn Heb “our refuge and strength,” which is probably a hendiadys meaning “our strong refuge” (see Ps 71:7). Another option is to translate, “our refuge and source of strength.”

4 tn Heb “a helper in times of trouble he is found [to be] greatly.” The perfect verbal form has a generalizing function here. The adverb מְאֹד (mÿod, “greatly”) has an emphasizing function.

5 tn The imperfect is taken in a generalizing sense (cf. NEB) because the situation described in vv. 2-3 is understood as symbolizing typical world conditions. In this case the imperfect draws attention to the typical nature of the response. The covenant community characteristically responds with confidence, not fear. Another option is to take the situation described as purely hypothetical. In this case one might translate, “We will not fear, even though the earth should shake” (cf. NIV, NRSV).

6 tn The Hiphil infinitival form is normally taken to mean “when [the earth] is altered,” being derived from מוּר (mur, “to change”). In this case the Hiphil would be intransitive, as in Ps 15:4. HALOT 560 s.v. II מור emends the form to a Niphal and derives it from a homonymic root מוּר attested in Arabic with the meaning “shake.”

7 tn Heb “heart of the seas.” The plural may be used for emphasis, pointing to the deepest sea. Note that the next verse uses a singular pronoun (“its waters,” “its swelling”) in referring back to the plural noun.

8 tn Heb “the Lord of hosts is with us.” The title “Lord of hosts” here pictures the Lord as a mighty warrior-king who leads armies into battle (see Ps 24:10). The military imagery is further developed in vv. 8-9.

9 tn That is, Israel, or Judah (see Ps 20:1).

10 tn Heb “our elevated place” (see Pss 9:9; 18:2).



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