Psalm 46:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 46:10, NIV: "He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'"

Psalm 46:10, ESV: "“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”"

Psalm 46:10, KJV: "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

Psalm 46:10, NASB: "'Stop striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted on the earth.'"

Psalm 46:10, NLT: "'Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.'"

Psalm 46:10, CSB: ""Stop fighting, and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.""

What does Psalm 46:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This often-quoted verse comes in a specific context: God's omnipotent power to protect the nation of Israel from the hostile forces which attack her (Psalm 46:1–7). The phrase "be still" uses a Hebrew term which can be rendered as "relax," "let go," or "stop." It implies an act of surrender—a release of striving and hostility. Prior verses pointed out that attempting to fight against God is a losing proposition (Psalm 46:8–9). Those who rage against God (Psalm 2:1) would be better off letting go of frantic anger and accepting His truth instead.

In literal terms, this verse does not mean to "sit quietly and listen for God." That interpretation is not entirely flawed, of course. Where God's enemies need to "be still" by ending their tantrums against Him, God's people can "be still" by faithfully trusting God to be their source of strength (Exodus 14:13).

That trust and submission is key to what it means to "know that I am God." One might imagine a strong, protective parent telling a child, "don't be afraid, keep in mind how I've kept you safe in the past."

Scriptural references to "the nations" often mean the Gentile world: nations other than Israel. That same context also implies a message meant to be heard and understood by the entire world. This psalm calls upon all people to stop squabbling and know that the Lord is God. Psalm 2:10–12 issues similar counsel. The Lord advises the nations to be wise, to be warned, to serve the Lord with fear, to rejoice with trembling, and to kiss the Son. In other words, the Lord summons the nations to repent, throw down their weapons of warfare, and come to friendly terms with Him.

One way or another, God will be properly honored by all people and in all places on earth (Isaiah 45:23; Romans 14:11). Someday, at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess Christ as Lord, giving glory to God the Father (Philippians 2:10–11).