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Psalm chapter 47

What does Psalm chapter 47 mean?

Many psalms appear to have been divinely inspired for more than one layer of meaning. Some refer to events which are immediate to the writer while also providing insights into the work of the Messiah. Psalm 47 might have been composed to celebrate a victory over Israel's enemies. A strong candidate for this is the rescue of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:22–26). A multi-nation army intended to attack Israel, but was defeated without God's people needing to fight at all. Language from that account closely resembles some phrases in this psalm (2 Chronicles 20:6–7, 21, 24–30). Another possibility is the defeat of Sennacherib during the rule of Hezekiah (2 Kings 19).

The song opens with a call for all people to praise God with applause and loud singing. The writer makes note of the Lord's victory over "peoples" and "nations," which are often used in the Bible as a reference to Gentiles (Leviticus 26:33; 1 Samuel 8:5; Psalm 2:1; 79:6; Isaiah 52:10). In the end times, the Messiah will defeat every enemy (Revelation 19:11–15) and overcome evil forever (Revelation 22:5). Those who enjoy this kingdom are the adopted people of His kingdom (1 Peter 1:3–4; Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:16–17; Revelation 21:7) (Psalm 47:1–4).

The end of this short song continues to extol God's place as the sovereign King of the entire earth. His position is not merely that of a deity concerned with one people. He is the Master of the entire world. Here, again, imagery suggests all the people and cultures of the world coming to loyal worship of the God of Abraham (Revelation 7:9). In the end times, the entire world will be united under the rule of the Messiah (Psalm 47:5–9).
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