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Psalms 47:1-2

Context
Psalm 47 1 

For the music director; by the Korahites; a psalm.

47:1 All you nations, clap your hands!

Shout out to God in celebration! 2 

47:2 For the sovereign Lord 3  is awe-inspiring; 4 

he is the great king who rules the whole earth! 5 

Psalms 47:8-9

Context

47:8 God reigns 6  over the nations!

God sits on his holy throne!

47:9 The nobles of the nations assemble,

along with the people of the God of Abraham, 7 

for God has authority over the rulers 8  of the earth.

He is highly exalted! 9 

1 sn Psalm 47. In this hymn the covenant community praises the Lord as the exalted king of the earth who has given them victory over the nations and a land in which to live.

2 tn Heb “Shout to God with [the] sound of a ringing cry!”

3 tn Heb “the Lord Most High.” The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן, ’elyon) pictures the Lord as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked.

4 tn Or “awesome.” The Niphal participle נוֹרָא (nora’), when used of God in the psalms, focuses on the effect that his royal splendor and powerful deeds have on those witnessing his acts (Pss 66:3, 5; 68:35; 76:7, 12; 89:7; 96:4; 99:3; 111:9). Here it refers to his capacity to fill his defeated foes with terror and his people with fearful respect.

5 tn Heb “a great king over all the earth.”

6 tn When a new king was enthroned, his followers would acclaim him king using this enthronement formula (Qal perfect 3ms מָלַךְ, malakh, “to reign,” followed by the name of the king). See 2 Sam 15:10; 1 Kgs 1:11, 13, 18; 2 Kgs 9:13, as well as Isa 52:7. In this context the perfect verbal form is generalizing, but the declaration logically follows the historical reference in v. 5 to the Lord’s having ascended his throne.

7 tc The words “along with” do not appear in the MT. However, the LXX has “with,” suggesting that the original text may have read עִם עַם (’imam, “along with the people”). In this case the MT is haplographic (the consonantal sequence ayin-mem [עם] being written once instead of twice). Another option is that the LXX is simply and correctly interpreting “people” as an adverbial accusative and supplying the appropriate preposition.

8 tn Heb “for to God [belong] the shields of the earth.” Perhaps the rulers are called “shields” because they are responsible for protecting their people. See Ps 84:9, where the Davidic king is called “our shield,” and perhaps also Hos 4:18.

9 tn The verb עָלָה (’alah, “ascend”) appears once more (see v. 5), though now in the Niphal stem.



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