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Psalms 46:1

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 

Psalms 46:5

Context

46:5 God lives within it, 5  it cannot be moved. 6 

God rescues it 7  at the break of dawn. 8 

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 Heb “God [is] within her.” The feminine singular pronoun refers to the city mentioned in v. 4.

6 tn Another option is to translate the imperfect verbal form as future, “it will not be upended.” Even if one chooses this option, the future tense must be understood in a generalizing sense. The verb מוֹט (mot), translated “upended” here, is used in v. 2 of the mountains “tumbling” into the seas and in v. 6 of nations being “upended.” By way of contrast, Jerusalem, God’s dwelling place, is secure and immune from such turmoil and destruction.

7 tn Or “helps her.” The imperfect draws attention to the generalizing character of the statement.

8 tn Heb “at the turning of morning.” (For other uses of the expression see Exod 14:27 and Judg 19:26).

sn At the break of dawn. The “morning” is viewed metaphorically as a time of deliverance and vindication after the dark “night” of trouble (see Ps 30:5; Isa 17:14). There may be an allusion here to Exod 14:27 (where the Lord destroyed the Egyptians at the “break of dawn”) or, more likely, to the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from the Assyrian siege, when the people discovered the dead bodies of the Assyrian army in the morning (Isa 37:36).



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