Ps 48:1-14. This is a spirited Psalm and song
30:1), having probably been
suggested by the same occasion as the foregoing. It sets forth the
privileges and blessings of God's spiritual dominion as the terror of
the wicked and joy of the righteous.
1. to be praised—always: it is an
epithet, as in Ps 18:3.
mountain of his holiness—His Church
(compare Isa 2:2, 3; 25:6, 7, 10); the sanctuary was erected first on
Mount Zion, then (as the temple) on Moriah; hence the figure.
2, 3. situation—literally,
joy of, &c.—source of joy.
sides of the north—poetically for
eminent, lofty, distinguished, as the ancients believed the
north to be the highest part of the earth (compare Isa 14:13).
3. palaces—literally, "citadels."
refuge—(Ps 9:10; 18:3). He was so known in them because they
enjoyed His presence.
4-6. For—The reason is given. Though the
kings (perhaps of Moab and Ammon, compare Ps 83:3-5) combined, a conviction of God's
presence with His people, evinced by the unusual courage with which the
prophets (compare 2Ch 20:12-20) had inspired them, seized on their
minds, and smitten with sudden and intense alarm, they fled
7. ships of Tarshish—as engaged in a
distant and lucrative trade, the most valuable. The phrase may
illustrate God's control over all material agencies, whether their
literal destruction be meant or not.
8. This present experience assures of that
perpetual care which God extends to His Church.
9. thought of—literally, "compared," or
considered, in respect of former dealings.
in the … temple—in acts of
solemn worship (compare 2Ch 20:28).
10. According … praise—that is, As
Thy perfections manifested (compare Ps 8:1; 20:1-7), demand praise, it shall be given,
thy right hand, &c.—Thy righteous
government is displayed by Thy power.
11. the daughters, &c.—the small
towns, or the people, with the chief city, or rulers of the
judgments—decisions and acts of right
12-14. The call to survey Zion, or the Church,
as a fortified city, is designed to suggest "how well our God secures
His fold." This security is perpetual, and its pledge is His guidance
through this life.