Psalm 47 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 47)

Verse 3

[3] He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

Subdue — He speaks this in the name of the whole church, to which all particular believers were to submit themselves in the Lord.

Verse 4

[4] He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. /*Selah*/.

Chuse — He will appoint and bestow upon us.

Inheritance — The presence and worship, and blessing of God. This God had chosen for the Israelites and resolved to chuse or set apart for the Gentiles.

Of Jacob — Of the people of Jacob or Israel, who are frequently called Jacob, for these did actually enjoy the presence of God in his sanctuary.

Loved — Not for any peculiar worth in them, but for his free love to them, as he declareth, Deuteronomy 7:7,8.

Verse 5

[5] God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

God — This is meant literally of the ark: but mystically of Christ's ascension into heaven, as may be gathered by comparing this with Ephesians 4:8, where the like words uttered concerning the ark upon the same occasion, Psalms 68:18, are directly applied to Christ's ascension.

Verse 7

[7] For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

The king — Not only ours, but of all the nations of the world.

Sing — Not formally and carelessly, but seriously, considering the greatness of this king whom you praise, and what abundant cause you have to praise him.

Verse 8

[8] God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

The throne — Heaven is often called God's throne, whence God is said to behold and to rule all nations; of which general dominion of God, he here speaks. And Christ sits at his father's right-hand, for that purpose.

Verse 9

[9] The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.

The princes — The Gentiles, who were divided in their principles, and interests, and religions, are now united and gathered together to Christ, laying their scepters at his feet, and jointly owning his worship and service. And altho' he mentions their conversion only, yet the conversion of their people might reasonably be supposed.

Of the God — He doth not say the people of Abraham, lest this should be appropriated to the Israelites; but the people of the God of Abraham who worship the God of Abraham, whether they be Jews or Gentiles.

The Shields — The princes or rulers, who are called shields, Hosea 4:18, because by their office they are the common prosecutors of all their people. These are the Lord's, at his disposal, or subject to his dominion, both as to their hearts and kingdoms.

Exalted — By this means God shall be greatly glorified.