Psalm 47

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Psalm 47, is one of the Songs of Yahweh‘s Enthronement[1] (Pss 47; 93; 96–99). These Psalms sing of a universal kingship of Yahweh[2] and of the advent of an entirely new world order with Zion as the centre (Ps 47,5-8). The nations are summoned to clap their hands and shout with joy to God. There follows the procession to do homage to this enthroned God (Ps 47,1-2). What is important is who forms the procession and how they are described (Ps 47,9). The peoples of the world are represented by their leaders. These people are further specified in the parallelism as ‘the people of the God of Abraham.’ Their acknowledgement of the one God makes them the fruit of Abraham’s blessing for all families of the earth.[3] It also makes them deserving of the title “people of God,” usually reserved for Israel. Such universalistic views appear in the prophets, especially in Deutero-Isaiah; but whereas the prophets spoke of the future, these Psalms speak of the present.


[1] Cf. M. Dahood, Psalms I 1-50: Introduction, Translation and Notes, AB, Vol. 16, Doubleday and Company, Inc., New York, (1966), 283.

[2] Cf. P. C. Craigie, Psalms 1-50, WBC, Vol. 19, Word Books Publishers, Texas, (1983), 348-350.

[3] Cf. J. Goldingay, Psalms Volume 2: Ps 42-89, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms, T. Longman III (ed.), Baker Academic, Michigan, (2007), 80-81.

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