Psalm 47

The Word Made Fresh

(For the worship leader: a psalm of the sons of Korah.)

1Applaud the LORD, everyone!
Loudly sing joyful songs to God.
2How awe-inspiring is the LORD most high,
a great ruler over the whole world.
3The LORD restrained the nations around us
and put other nations under our power.
4The LORD selected our inheritance for us,
and for love of Jacob this land was given.
5God has ascended amidst the noise of cheering,
and with the sound of a trumpet blast.
6Sing praise to God,
and sing praise to our king. Sing!
7God is king of the entire world –
sing a song of praise!
8God is king over all the nations,
and is seated on the sacred throne.
9The princes of all the peoples gather together
for they are the people of the God of Abraham.
The chariots of the earth belong to God
whose praise is lifted high.


Superscription: the 5th Korahite psalm.

1-4: A worship service is described: the people applaud. God is praised and acknowledged for subduing the Canaanites and giving the land to Israel as an inheritance.

5-7: The people shout. The psalmist imagines God mounting the throne as ruler of all the earth.

8-9: The worship climaxes as the “princes of the people,” likely a reference to military heroes, lay their shields before the altar, acknowledging God’s lordship over everyone.


The presenting occasion for this psalm is verse 3, which reports a victory over an unnamed enemy. We, too, have “enemies” – illness, poverty, depression, dishonest people with whom we do business, and so forth. Psalm 47 is a good psalm of praise to turn to when one of these foes invades our serenity.