Psalm 46 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Psalm 46)

Ps 46:1-11. Upon Alamoth--most probably denotes the treble, or part sung by female voices, the word meaning "virgins"; and which was sung with some appropriately keyed instrument (compare 1Ch 15:19-21; see on Ps 6:1, title). The theme may be stated in LUTHER'S well-known words, "A mighty fortress is our God." The great deliverance (2Ki 19:35; Isa 37:36) may have occasioned its composition.

1. refuge--literally, "a place of trust" (Ps 2:12).
strength-- (Ps 18:2).
present help--literally, "a help He has been found exceedingly."
trouble--as in Ps 18:7.

2, 3. The most violent civil commotions are illustrated by the greatest physical commotions.

3. swelling--well represents the pride and haughtiness of insolent foes.

4. God's favor is denoted by a river (compare Ps 36:8; Zec 14:8; Re 22:1).
city of God, the holy place--His earthly residence, Jerusalem and the temple (compare Ps 2:6; 3:4; 20:2; 48:2, &c.). God's favor, like a river whose waters are conducted in channels, is distributed to all parts of His Church.
most High--denoting His supremacy (Ps 17:2).

5. right early--literally, "at the turn of morning," or change from night to day, a critical time (Ps 30:5; compare Isa 37:36).

6. (Compare Ps 46:2).
earth melted--all powers dissolved by His mere word (Ps 75:3; Ho 2:22).

7. with us--on our side; His presence is terror to our enemies, safety to us.
refuge--high place (Ps 9:9; compare also Ps 24:6, 10).

8. what desolations--literally, "who hath put desolations," destroying our enemies.

9. The usual weapons of war (Ps 7:12), as well as those using them, are brought to an end.

10. Be still, &c.--literally, "Leave off to oppose Me and vex My people. I am over all for their safety." (Compare Isa 2:11; Eph 1:22).