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Psalms 47:5-7

Context

47:5 God has ascended his throne 1  amid loud shouts; 2 

the Lord has ascended his throne amid the blaring of ram’s horns. 3 

47:6 Sing to God! Sing!

Sing to our king! Sing!

47:7 For God is king of the whole earth!

Sing a well-written song! 4 

1 sn God ascended his throne. In the context of vv. 3-4, which refer to the conquest of the land under Joshua, v. 5 is best understood as referring to an historical event. When the Lord conquered the land and placed his people in it, he assumed a position of kingship, as predicted by Moses (see Exod 15:17-18, as well as Ps 114:1-2). That event is here described metaphorically in terms of a typical coronation ceremony for an earthly king (see 2 Sam 15:10; 2 Kgs 9:13). Verses 1-2, 8-9 focus on God’s continuing kingship, which extends over all nations.

2 tn Heb “God ascended amid a shout.” The words “his throne” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The Lord’s coronation as king is described here (see v. 8). Here the perfect probably has a present perfect function, indicating a completed action with continuing effects.

3 tn Heb “the Lord amid the sound of the ram horn.” The verb “ascended” is understood by ellipsis; see the preceding line.

4 tn The meaning of the Hebrew term מַשְׂכִּיל (maskil) is uncertain. The word is derived from a verb meaning “to be prudent; to be wise.” Various options are: “a contemplative song,” “a song imparting moral wisdom,” or “a skillful [i.e., well-written] song.” The term also occurs in the superscriptions of Pss 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142. Here, in a context of celebration, the meaning “skillful, well-written” would fit particularly well.



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