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Psalm 47:1

ESV To the choirmaster. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
NIV For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.
NASB Clap your hands, all you peoples; Shout to God with a voice of joy.
CSB Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with a jubilant cry.
NLT For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!
KJV {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.

What does Psalm 47:1 mean?

The psalmist's joy overflows as he requests applause and songs to worship God. During the era of the Old Testament, God's primary interactions came through the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 14:2; Exodus 19:6; Hebrews 1:1–2). References to "the nations" usually indicate Gentiles (Leviticus 26:33; 1 Samuel 8:5; Psalm 2:1; 79:6; Isaiah 52:10). Here, the phrase "all peoples" could mean the entire world, or simply all the various tribes and persons of Israel. Some scholars connect this psalm to the defeat of Sennacherib during the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:35–37). Others think it might apply to the failed attack on Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:22–26). Another layer of meaning is prophetic, as a description of the Messiah's ultimate victory and rule over earth (Isaiah 55:12).

Similar celebration occurred when Samuel identified Saul as Israel's king. The people shouted, "Long live the king!" (1 Samuel 10:24). When Jehoiada, the priest, presented the boy king Joash to the people, placed the crown on his head, proclaimed him king, and anointed him, the people "clapped their hands and said, 'Long live the king'" (2 Kings 11:12). Because Psalm 47 identifies the Lord as "king over all the earth," it was appropriate for the people to acknowledge God as their Master with applause and loud songs of joy. Someday, Jesus will return to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, and crowds of believers will welcome Him with rejoicing (Revelation 5:11–14; 19:6–8).
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