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Psalms 48:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.]] Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, in his holy mountain.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[A Song [and] Psalm for the sons of Korah.]] Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, [in] the mountain of his holiness.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.]] Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[A Song [and] Psalm for the sons of Korah.]] Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, [in] the mountain of his holiness.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[A Song; a Psalm. Of the sons of Korah.]] Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the hill of his holiness.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[A Melodious Song. For the Sons of Korah.]] Great is Yahweh, and worthy to be mightily praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Song, a Psalm, by sons of Korah. Great [is] Jehovah, and praised greatly, In the city of our God—His holy hill.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— A psalm of a canticle, for the sons of Core, on the second day of the week. Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, in his holy mountain.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A song, [and] Psalme for the sonnes of Korah.]] Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to bee praised in the citie of our God, in the mountaine of his holinesse.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A Psalm of praise for the sons of Korah{gr.Core} on the second [day] of the week.]] Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in his holy mountain.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[A Song [and] Psalm for the sons of Qorach.]] Great [is] Yahweh, and greatly to be praised in the city of our Elohim, [in] the mountain of his holiness.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[A Song 7892
{7892} Prime
The second form being feminine; from H7891; a song; abstractly singing.
[and] Psalm 4210
{4210} Prime
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes.
for the sons 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Kra קֹרַח.]] 7141
{7141} Prime
From H7139; ice; Korach, the name of two Edomites and three Israelites.
Great 1419
{1419} Prime
From H1431; great (in any sense); hence older; also insolent.
[is] Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
and greatly 3966
{3966} Prime
From the same as H0181; properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially when repeated).
to be praised 1984
{1984} Prime
A primitive root; to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show; to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively to celebrate; also to stultify.
<8794> Grammar
Stem - Pual (See H8849)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 194
in the city 5892
{5892} Prime
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
of our lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
[in] the mountain 2022
{2022} Prime
A shortened form of H2042; a mountain or range of hills (sometimes used figuratively).
of his holiness. 6944
{6944} Prime
From H6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstractly sanctity.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 48:1

_ _ Psalms 48:1-14. This is a spirited Psalm and song (compare Psalms 30:1), having probably been suggested by the same occasion as the foregoing. It sets forth the privileges and blessings of God’s spiritual dominion as the terror of the wicked and joy of the righteous.

_ _ to be praised — always: it is an epithet, as in Psalms 18:3.

_ _ mountain of his holiness — His Church (compare Isaiah 2:2, Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 25:6, Isaiah 25:7, Isaiah 25:10); the sanctuary was erected first on Mount Zion, then (as the temple) on Moriah; hence the figure.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 48:1-7

_ _ The psalmist is designing to praise Jerusalem and to set forth the grandeur of that city; but he begins with the praises of God and his greatness (Psalms 48:1), and ends with the praises of God and his goodness, Psalms 48:14. For, whatever is the subject of our praises, God must be both the Alpha and Omega of them. And, particularly, whatever is said to the honour of the church must redound to the honour of the church's God.

_ _ What is here said to the honour of Jerusalem is,

_ _ I. That the King of heaven owns it: it is the city of our God (Psalms 48:1), which he chose out of all the cities of Israel to put his name there. Of Zion he said kinder things than ever he said of place upon earth. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it, Psalms 132:13, Psalms 132:14. It is the city of the great King (Psalms 48:2), the King of all the earth, who is pleased to declare himself in a special manner present there. This our Saviour quotes to prove that to swear by Jerusalem is profanely to swear by God himself (Matthew 5:35), for it is the city of the great King, who has chosen it for the special residence of his grace, as heaven is of his glory. 1. It is enlightened with the knowledge of God. In Judah God is known, and his name is great, but especially in Jerusalem, the head-quarters of the priests, whose lips were to keep this knowledge. In Jerusalem God is great (Psalms 48:1) who in other places was made little of, was made nothing of. Happy the kingdom, the city, the family, the heart, in which God is great, in which he is uppermost, in which he is all. There God is known (Psalms 48:3) and where he is known he will be great; none contemn God but those that are ignorant of him. 2. It is devoted to the honour of God. It is therefore called the mountain of his holiness, for holiness to the Lord is written upon it and all the furniture of it, Zechariah 14:20, Zechariah 14:21. This is the privilege of the church of Christ, that it is a holy nation, a peculiar people; Jerusalem, the type of it, is called the holy city, bad as it was (Matthew 27:53), till that was set up, but never after. 3. It is the place appointed for the solemn service and worship of God; there he is greatly praised, and greatly to be praised, Psalms 48:1. Note, The clearer discoveries are made to us of God and his greatness the more it is expected that we should abound in his praises. Those that from all parts of the country brought their offerings to Jerusalem had reason to be thankful that God would not only permit them thus to attend him, but promise to accept them, and meet them with a blessing, and reckon himself praised and honoured by their services. Herein Jerusalem typified the gospel church; for what little tribute of praise God has from this earth arises from that church upon earth, which is therefore his tabernacle among men. 4. It is taken under his special protection (Psalms 48:3): He is known for a refuge; that is, he has approved himself such a one, and as such a one he is there applied to by his worshippers. Those that know him will trust in him, and seek to him, Psalms 9:10. God was known, not only in the streets, but even in the palaces of Jerusalem, for a refuge; the great men had recourse to God and acquaintance with him. And then religion was likely to flourish in the city when it reigned in the palaces. 5. Upon all these accounts, Jerusalem, and especially Mount Zion, on which the temple was built, were universally beloved and admired — beautiful for situation, and the joy of the whole earth, Psalms 48:2. The situation must needs be every way agreeable, when Infinite Wisdom chose it for the place of the sanctuary; and that which made it beautiful was that it was the mountain of holiness, for there is a beauty in holiness. This earth is, by sin, covered with deformity, and therefore justly might that spot of ground which was thus beautified with holiness he called the joy of the whole earth, that is, what the whole earth had reason to rejoice in, that God would thus in very deed dwell with man upon the earth. Mount Zion was on the north side of Jerusalem, and so was a shelter to the city from the cold and bleak winds that blew from that quarter; or, if fair weather was expected out of the north, they were thus directed to look Zion-ward for it.

_ _ II. That the kings of the earth were afraid of it. That God was known in their palaces for a refuge they had had a late instance, and a very remarkable one. Whatever it was, 1. They had had but too much occasion to fear their enemies; for the kings were assembled, Psalms 48:4. The neighbouring princes were confederate against Jerusalem; their heads and horns, their policies and powers, were combined for its ruin; they were assembled with all their forces; they passed, advanced, and marched on together, not doubting but they should soon make themselves masters of that city which should have been the joy, but was the envy of the whole earth. 2. God made their enemies to fear them. The very sight of Jerusalem struck them into a consternation and gave check to their fury, as the sight of the tents of Jacob frightened Balaam from his purpose to curse Israel (Numbers 24:2): They saw it and marvelled, and hasted away, Psalms 48:5. Not Veni, vidi, viciI came, I saw, I conquered; but, on the contrary, Veni vidi victus sumI came, I saw, I was defeated. Not that there was any thing to be seen in Jerusalem that was so very formidable; but the sight of it brought to mind what they had heard concerning the special presence of God in that city and the divine protection it was under, and God impressed such terrors on their minds thereby as made them retire with precipitation. Though they were kings, though they were many in confederacy, yet they knew themselves an unequal match for Omnipotence, and therefore fear came upon them, and pain, Psalms 48:6. Note, God can dispirit the stoutest of his church's enemies, and soon put those in pain that live at ease. The fright they were in upon the sight of Jerusalem is here compared to the throes of a woman in travail, which are sharp and grievous, which sometimes come suddenly (1 Thessalonians 5:3), which cannot be avoided, and which are effects of sin and the curse. The defeat hereby given to their designs upon Jerusalem is compared to the dreadful work made with a fleet of ships by a violent storm, when some are split, others shattered, all dispersed (Psalms 48:7): Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind; effects at sea lie thus exposed. The terrors of God are compared to an east wind (Job 27:20, Job 27:21); these shall put them into confusion, and break all their measures. Who knows the power of God's anger?

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 48:1

The city — In Jerusalem. Mountain — In his holy mountain.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 48:1

"(a) A Song [and] Psalm for the sons of Korah." Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the (b) city of our God, [in] the mountain of his holiness.

(a) Some put this difference between a song and psalm, saying that it is called a song when there is no instrument but the voice, and the song of the psalm is when the instruments begin and the voice follows.

(b) Even though God shows his wonders through all the world, yet he will be chiefly praised in his Church.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
or, of,
Psalms 46:1 [[To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth.]] God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.


Psalms 86:10 For thou [art] great, and doest wondrous things: thou [art] God alone.
Psalms 99:3-4 Let them praise thy great and terrible name; [for] it [is] holy. ... The king's strength also loveth judgment; thou dost establish equity, thou executest judgment and righteousness in Jacob.
Psalms 145:3 Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable.
Psalms 147:5 Great [is] our Lord, and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite.


Psalms 89:1-7 [[Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.]] I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. ... God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all [them that are] about him.
Nehemiah 9:5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, [and] Pethahiah, said, Stand up [and] bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
Revelation 15:3-4 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. ... Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
Revelation 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.


Psalms 46:4 [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psalms 65:1 [[To the chief Musician, A Psalm [and] Song of David.]] Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.
Psalms 78:68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.
Psalms 87:3 Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.
Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Revelation 21:10-22 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, ... And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.


Psalms 47:8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
Psalms 99:9 Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the LORD our God [is] holy.
Isaiah 2:2-3 And it shall come to pass in the last days, [that] the mountain of the LORD'S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. ... And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Isaiah 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 31:23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The LORD bless thee, O habitation of justice, [and] mountain of holiness.
Obadiah 1:17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, [that] the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.
Zechariah 8:3 Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
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Ne 9:5. Ps 46:1, 4; 47:8; 65:1; 78:68; 86:10; 87:3; 89:1; 99:3, 9; 145:3; 147:5. Is 2:2; 27:13. Jr 31:23. Ob 1:17. Mi 4:1. Zc 8:3. Mt 24:15. He 12:22. Rv 15:3; 19:5; 21:2, 10.

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