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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 47:1

 

 

O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy.

Adam Clarke Commentary

O clap your hands, all ye people - Let both Jews and Gentiles magnify the Lord: the Jews, for being delivered from the Babylonish captivity; the Gentiles, for being called to enter into the glorious liberty of the children of God.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-47.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

O clap your hands, all ye people - A common way of expressing joy, or indicating applause. Compare the notes at Isaiah 55:12. The “people” here referred to are probably the Jewish people, and the call on them is to rejoice, with the customary marks of joy, in view of the great victory which God had gained over their enemies.

Shout unto God - Make a joyful noise in praise of God; that is, in acknowledgment that this victory has been gained by his interposition.

With a voice of triumph - With such a shout as is usually raised when a victory is obtained; such a shout as occurs in a triumphal procession. Compare 2 Samuel 6:15; 1 Chronicles 15:28; Job 39:25; Zechariah 4:7; Exodus 32:18; Isaiah 12:6; Isaiah 42:11; Isaiah 44:23; Jeremiah 50:15. There are doubtless times when loud shouts, as expressive of joy, are proper.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-47.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 47

GOD THE KING OF THE EARTH

THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST

There are three different interpretations for this chapter, listed by Baigent as, (1) "The celebration song of a recent historical victory, (2) a hymn anticipating the future establishment of the kingdom of God, and (3) a cultic enthronement hymn."[1]

The third so-called "interpretation" we reject altogether as being merely a recent device artificially contrived by critics as a means of excluding any reference here to the Messiah. We do not believe there ever was any such "cultic practice" among the Hebrew people, the whole conception of such a thing being founded merely in men's imagination. Kyle Yates, one of the translators of the RSV, is as knowledgeable as anyone in this generation; and he flatly declared that, "There is no direct evidence that such a festival took place in pre-Exilic days."[2] The same scholar added that, "In its prophetic aspect, this Psalm finds its fulfilment in the future reign of Christ on earth."[3]

We accept Yates' statement here as correct, being wrong only in his identifying the reign of Christ as synonymous with the so-called Millennial reign of Christ following the present dispensation.

The current dispensation of the Grace of God is the Millennium. For those interested in a full discussion of this question, we refer to Vol. 12 (Revelation) of our New Testament Series, pp. 449-454.

The so-called "cultic" interpretation is based upon the pagan notion that human nations could "enthrone God" by some ritualistic performance, involving all kinds of pretensions regarding the `magical' power of such ceremonies. As Rhodes said, "In no sense (in this Psalm) is God thought to be enthroned by man through magic ritual."[4] Despite this, Interpreters Bible actually entitled this psalm as, "A Psalm of Yahweh's Enthronement."[5] There never was, even in Babylon, a more pagan notion than this.

For centuries, this Psalm has been sung by the Jews, "In the synagogues on the Feast of Trumpets, the Jewish New Year."[6]

The only organization of the psalm which we find is indicated by the word "Selah," which divides the first four verses from the last five. These two divisions, (1) extol the deliverance of Israel from Sennacherib, and (2) prophecy (a) the ascension of Christ, (b) the kingdom of God, (c) and the inclusion of the Gentiles, along with the Jews, in the kingdom of Christ.

Yes, we accept the theory that this psalm was written to commemorate the special delivery of God's people from Sennacherib in 701 B.C. See introduction to the previous chapter. No other deliverance in Jewish history has a better claim of providing the occasion.

PRAISE OF GOD FOR HIS DELIVERANCE

Psalms 47:1-4

"Oh clap your hands, all ye peoples;

Shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For Jehovah Most High is terrible;

He is a great king over all the earth.

He subdueth peoples under us,

And nations under our feet.

He chooseth our inheritance for us,

The glory of Jacob whom he loved.

(Selah)"

"Jehovah Most High" (Psalms 47:2). It is true that some ancient pagan god is said to have claimed this title; but in the Holy Scriptures, it never refers to a pagan deity, but always to Jehovah Most High, as here.

"Is terrible" (Psalms 47:2). "This word has a misleading connotation in our day. It does not mean anything repulsive, but something most marvelous and attractive, calling forth our richest praises. `Awe-inspiring' is what is meant."[7]

"He is a great king over all the earth" (Psalms 47:2). No event in the history of Israel any more demonstrated this truth than the unqualified destruction of the army of Sennacherib. This truth is one that gets overlooked today; but the hand of God continually moves in human history. He rules in the kingdom of men, exalting whom he will (Daniel 4:25). God has even determined the appointed seasons of nations and "the boundaries of their dwelling places" (Acts 17:26). Men may not like this, or accept it as a fact; but it is true anyway. It was the Providence of God alone, for example, that gave Babylon the victory over Assyria. An unexpected flood made the difference, just as an untimely rain ruined Napoleon at Waterloo.

"He subdueth peoples under us... under our feet" (Psalms 47:3). The Jewish attitude toward the Gentiles surfaces in this, namely, their desire to control and rule over them; but the Holy Spirit overruled this error on their part to prophesy the conversion of the Gentiles and their reception into God's kingdom upon full parity with the Jews, in the very next paragraph.

"He chooseth our inheritance for us" (Psalms 47:4). This, of course, was the land of Canaan which God gave to the posterity of Abraham as their inheritance. Although this psalm makes no mention of any conditions, there were nevertheless stern and binding conditions laid down by God Himself, indicating that their "inheritance" would be taken away from them, that they would be removed from it, and scattered all over the world, unless they remained faithful to God. Anyone doubting that should read the last two or three chapters of Deuteronomy.

"The glory of Jacob whom he loved" (Psalms 47:4). Another rendition of `glory' here is `pride'; but either way it is a reference to Canaan the possession of Israel.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-47.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

O clap your hands, all ye people, Meaning the Gentiles more especially; see Psalm 117:1 compared with Romans 15:9; who had reason to rejoice and be glad, since the ascended Lord and King here spoken of was given to be their Saviour, was the propitiation for their sins, and had given himself a ransom price for them; and now the Gospel was preached among them, by an order from him after his resurrection; and upon his ascension gifts were bestowed on his apostles, qualifying them for it; when many of them were converted by it, and were made partakers of the same grace and privileges with the Jews that believed in Christ, and were formed into Gospel churches. Wherefore they are called upon to declare their joy and gladness by "clapping their hands"; which is a gesture expressive of exultation and joy; see Psalm 98:8, Nahum 3:19. It was used at the unction and coronation of a king, 2 Kings 11:12; and so very proper to be used on occasion of the Messiah being made or declared Lord and Christ, as he was at his ascension, Acts 2:36;

shout unto God with the voice of triumph; as when triumphs are made on account of victories obtained, which was now the case; Christ having conquered sin, Satan, and the world, by his sufferings and death, and having spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them, openly triumphing over them, when he ascended on high, and led captivity captive; and he having sent his apostles into the Gentile world with his Gospel, they were caused to triumph in him wherever they came. And now these external actions of clapping hands, and shouting with the voice, are expressive of inward spiritual joy; which those among the people who were conquered by the grace of God, and had a sight of their ascended Lord and Saviour, were filled with: and who are exhorted to express it in this manner, unto God: not to angels, nor to men, no, not to ministers, who brought the joyful tidings to them; but to God, either to God the Father, for all their temporal and spiritual blessings; especially for the unspeakable gift of his Son, to suffer and die for them: or to the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh; God that was gone up with a shout, Psalm 47:5; and was now at the right hand of God, crowned with glory and honour; who, by the sufferings of death, had obtained eternal redemption for them.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-47.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

"To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah." O a clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

(a) Here is figured Christ to whom all his should give willing obedience, and who would show himself terrible to the wicked.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-47.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalm 47:1-9. Praise is given to God for victory, perhaps that recorded (2 Chronicles 20:20-30); and His dominions over all people, Jews and Gentiles, is asserted.

clap … hands … people — literally, “peoples,” or “nations” (compare Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 18:49; Psalm 98:9).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-47.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Clap your hands, all ye peoples As the Psalmist requires the nations, in token of their joy and of their thanksgiving; to God, to clap their hands, or rather exhorts them to a more than ordinary joy, the vehemence of which breaks forth and manifests itself by external expressions, it is certain that he is here speaking of the deliverance which God had wrought for them. Had God erected among the Gentiles some formidable kingdom, this would rather have deprived all of their courage, and overwhelmed them with despair, than given them matter to sing and leap for joy. Besides, the inspired writer does not here treat of some common or ordinary blessings of God; but of such blessings as will fill the whole world with incredible joy, and stir up the minds of all men to celebrate the praises of God. What he adds a little after, that all nations were brought into subjection to Israel, must, therefore, necessarily be understood not of slavish subjection, but of a subjection which is more excellent, and more to be desired, than all the kingdoms of the world. It would be unnatural for those who are subdued and brought to submit by force and fear to leap for joy. Many nations were tributary to David, and to his son Solomon; but while they were so, they ceased not, at the same time, to murmur, and bore impatiently the yoke which was imposed upon them, so far were they from giving thanks to God with joyful and cheerful hearts.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-47.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 47:1 « To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah. » O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

A Psalm for the sons of Korah] Carmen triumphale, saith Mollerus; a panegyrical oration, saith Beza, written by David when topful of most ardent zeal, and sung by the Korites in that stately solemnity, whereat he brought at length the Lord’s holy ark into the city of David; which gallant history is lively set forth, 2 Samuel 6:1-23, 1 Chronicles 15:1-29 And the use that David doth here make of it, viz. concerning Christ’s kingdom, and the benefits thereby, concerneth us as much, or rather more than that ancient people. The Rabbis with one consent say, that this psalm is to be understood De diebus Christi, of the days of the Messiah, who was prefigured by the ark, and should be the joy of all nations.

Ver. 1. O clap your hands, all ye people] As they used to do at their king’s coronation, 2 Kings 11:12, show your joy for and interest in Christ your King, by manifesting your righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Other joys are mixed and dearly bought, but this is sincere and gratuitous, as the prophet Isaiah setteth forth elegantly, Psalms 9:3; Psalms 9:5-7.

Shout unto God, with the voice of triumph] Heb. of shrilling. God’s praises are to be celebrated with all manner of cheerfulness; and we are to be vexed at the vile dulness of our hearts, that are no more affected and enlarged hereunto; seeing all causes of joy are found eminently in God, and he is so well worthy to be praised, Psalms 18:3. Jews and Gentiles are here jointly called upon joyfully to praise their Redeemer.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-47.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 47.

The nations are exhorted cheerfully to entertain the kingdom of Christ.

To the chief musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.

Title. מזמר קרח לבני למנצח lamnatseach libnei korach mizmor. This psalm, says Bishop Patrick, is thought by some to have been composed by David, when he translated the ark to mount Sion: Others think that it was composed by some of the sons of Korah, when the ark was brought from mount Sion to Solomon's temple. The psalm, however, is supposed to have a higher sense; for, as the ark was a figure of Christ, and mount Sion of the heavens, the translation or carrying back of the ark thither may be looked upon as a figure of Christ's ascension into the high and holy place.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-47.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

In this Psalm the prophet seems to have an eye to the bringing up the ark of God to Zion. But as the ark itself was well understood by the faithful to be a type of the Messiah, surely we may conclude that the one great object of this Psalm which engaged the prophet's mind and pen, was to point to the ascension of the Lord Jesus. And in this point of view it is a beautiful prophecy of a glorious event.

To time chief Musician. A Psalm for the sons of Korah


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-47.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PSALM 47

THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm may seem to have been composed upon the occasion of that great solemnity of carrying the ark from the house of Obed-edom into the city of Zion; of which see 2Sa 6$ 1Ch 13$ 1Ch 16$. But as Zion was a type of the church, and the ark a type of Christ; so this hath a further reference, even to Christ’s ascension into heaven, and, as consequent thereunto, to the spreading of his kingdom in all the parts and nations of the world; which is the chief scope and design of the psalmist. or at least of the Holy Ghost, in this Psalm; as will plainly appear from the words and matter of it.

The church is exhorted to praise God, who subdueth her enemies, Psalms 47:1-3, and giveth her an excellent inheritance, Psalms 47:4-7. A promise of calling and gathering the Gentiles, Psalms 47:8,9.

All ye people; either,

1. All the tribes of Israel; for the several tribes are sometimes called several people. See Jude 5:14 Ezekiel 2:3 Acts 4:27. Or,

2. All nations, not only Jews, but Gentiles; for all of them either had or might have benefit by the ark, upon their addresses to God there, and especially by Christ and his ascension.

Shout unto God, in the worship and unto the glory of the God of Israel.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-47.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

On the, &c., is not in Hebrew nor Eusebius, &c. It means Sunday, (St. Ambrose; Worthington) or rather Monday, being sung on that day. (St. Jerome, &c.) (Haydock) --- The subject of the former canticle is continued, in thanksgiving to God, for some signal victory, or for the peace which God afforded to his people, after the death of Cambyses. (Calmet) --- The Fathers explain it of the propagation and peace of the Church. (Haydock)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-47.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Title. A Psalm. Hebrew. mizmor. See App-65. Referring to the time of Hezekiah. One of three Psalms (46, 47, 48) in praise of Zion, delivered from Sennacherib"s siege.

for the sons of Korah. The fourth of nine so ascribed. See note on 42, and App-65.

people = peoples.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-47.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Psalms 47:1-9.-Call to the nations to join Israel in thanksgiving for deliverance Psalms 47:1-9.-The victory (Psalms 47:1-4); the kingdom of God established over the earth, beginning with the people of the God of Abraham (Psalms 47:5-9). The occasion was Jehoshaphat's bloodless victory over Moab, Ammon, Edom, and the Arabians, who combined to drive Judah out of their "inheritance" (Psalms 47:4; 2 Chronicles 20:11; Psalms 83:3-12). The Title ascribes the psalm to "the sons of Korah," just as, in 2 Chronicles 20:19, the Korahites are in front of the Jews' army "to praise the Lord God of Israel with a loud voice on high." So Psalms 47:5 corresponds to 2 Chronicles 20:26. Perhaps this Psalms 47:1-9 was sung in the valley of Berechah (i:e., blessing); Psalms 48:1-14 in the temple-service on their return. As Jehoshaphat was "in the forefront" of the returning people (2 Chronicles 20:27), so "Yahweh with the sound of a trumpet went up" to His earthly temple (Psalms 47:5). So "the fear of God was on all the kingdoms" (cf. Psalms 47:8-9, with 2 Chronicles 20:28-29).

O clap your hands, all ye people - for joy. Hebrew, 'peoples' (Isaiah 55:12).

Shout unto God with the voice of triumph. The heart's exultation toward Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) is to be expressed with the hands and the voice.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-47.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-47.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.
(Title
&) A Psalm. This Psalm is supposed to have been composed by Solomon on the removal of the ark into the temple, 2 Ch ch. 7.
for
or, of.
46:1; *title
clap
98:4; 2 Kings 11:12; Isaiah 55:12
shout
5; 98:4; 1 Samuel 10:24; 2 Samuel 6:15; 2 Chronicles 13:15; Ezra 3:11-13; Jeremiah 31:7; Zephaniah 3:14; Zechariah 4:7; 9:9; Luke 19:37-40; Revelation 19:1,2

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 47:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-47.html.

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