Psalms 47


לַמְנַצֵּחַ לִבְנֵי־קֹרַח מִזְמוֹר׃   47:1

Psal. 47:1   A psalm for the leader for the sons of Korach:

כָּל־הָעַמִּים תִּקְעוּ־כָף הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹהִים בְּקוֹל רִנָּה׃   47:2

Psal. 47:2   Clap hands, all the peoples,

                             shout to God with a voice of praise.

כִּי־יְהוָה עֶלְיוֹן נוֹרָא מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל־כָּל־הָאָרֶץ׃   47:3

Psal. 47:3   For the Lord, awesome Most High,

                              is the great King over all the earth.

יַדְבֵּר עַמִּים תַּחְתֵּינוּ וּלְאֻמִּים תַּחַת רַגְלֵינוּ׃   47:4

Psal. 47:4   He would just speak:  Peoples would be under us,

                              and nations under our feet.

I believe this verse is frequently mistranslated and misunderstood.  Most other translations are variations of the following:  “He subdues the people under us and nations under our feet.”  The translation I provide speaks more to the awesome power of the Lord.  He simply speaks, and His will is done.  It also is more poetic than the alternative, besides the fact that the translation of the first Hebrew word as subdues is a mistake on two counts.  First the word cannot be translated as to subdue except only by the wildest stretch of imagination, and second, the word is in the imperfect (future) tense.

יִבְחַר־לָנוּ אֶת־נַחֲלָתֵנוּ אֶת גְּאוֹן יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר־אָהֵב סֶלָה׃   47:5

Psal. 47:5   He will have chosen our inheritance for us,

                               the pride of Jacob whom He loves.            Selah.

עָלָה אֱלֹהִים בִּתְרוּעָה יְהֹוָה בְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר׃   47:6

Psal. 47:6   God ascends at the blast,

                               the Lord, at the sound of the horn.

זַמְּרוּ אֱלֹהִים זַמֵּרוּ זַמְּרוּ לְמַלְכֵּנוּ זַמֵּרוּ׃   47:7

Psal. 47:7   Sing of God, sing praises,

                               sing praises to our King, sing!

כִּי מֶלֶךְ כָּל־הָאָרֶץ אֱלֹהִים זַמְּרוּ מַשְׂכִּיל׃   47:8

Psal. 47:8   Certainly God is the King of all the earth.

                               Sing a poem!

מָלַךְ אֱלֹהִים עַל־גּוֹיִם אֱלֹהִים יָשַׁב עַל־כִּסֵּא קָדְשׁוֹ׃   47:9

Psal. 47:9   God reigns over the nations;

                               God sits on His holy throne.

נְדִיבֵי עַמִּים נֶאֱסָפוּ עַם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם כִּי לֵאלֹהִים מָגִנֵּי־אֶרֶץ מְאֹד נַעֲלָה׃   47:10

Psal. 47:10   The nobles of the peoples are gathered,

                               countrymen of the God of Abraham.

                        For the shields of the earth are God's;

                               it is greatly exalted.

This is another verse I believe is frequently mistranslated and misunderstood.  Most other translations are variations of the following:  “The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.”  This makes it seem as if the nobles are separate from the people of the God of Abraham, and they are the kings referred to next, and that God is greatly exalted (by this assembly).  In my interpretation, the nobles, the countrymen, and the shields (or “kings” -- another mistranslation) are all the Jews -- Israel.  And it is Israel that is exalted, by the Lord’s attention to it.  This whole psalm is praise to the Lord and also to Israel, His chosen one.  And this verse completes the picture presented here.


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