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Sunday, April 21st, 2024
the Fourth Sunday after Easter
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 46

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-11

Psalms 46:4 . A river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. This was the Gihon, a very copious fountain on the west of Jerusalem, like St. Winnefrid’s well in Wales, or the spring at Cheddar in Somerset. At this fount, accounted holy, Solomon was consecrated by Zadock and Nathan. King Hezekiah made a subterranean passage for this water under the hills, on the west side of the city of David; foreseeing that in a future siege, the enemy might find it and divert it from the city. Of the great and secret aquƦduct we have a specimen in Procopius 4. Gothicorum. From this fountain a stream was conducted to the temple, and to the pools in the city, making them glad. From this fountain, the life of Jerusalem, many fine ideas were suggested to the prophets concerning the living waters, which replenish the church of God.

It is a very conspicuous blunder in one of our commentators to say, that the psalmist “alludes here to the brook Kidron, and its two streams or rivulets flowing from it, Gihon and Siloah, 2 Chronicles 32:30, whose waters went softly to Jerusalem.

Psalms 46:5 . She shall not be moved. God having put his great name in Jerusalem, the rabbins cherished a fond notion that the city should stand for ever, which promise respected the spiritual, not the secular Zion.

Psalms 46:6 . The heathen raged, as in Psalms 2:1, when David was made king, and when Israel was likely to gain the sovereignty over all Syria.

Psalms 46:8 . Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made. The whole belt of nations, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, and the Syrians subdued, as Psalms 83:0.; and now the reign of peace is come, after a long and stormy time.

Psalms 46:10 . Be still and know that I am God. From the time of David’s conquest of Syria, and during the whole reign of Solomon, the Israelites had peace, which is noticed here as the best time for spiritual improvement, and the exercises of devotion.


This, and the second psalm, should be read by the church when the wicked lift up the voice, and raise a revengeful arm. Amid the raging of war, and scenes of confusion, God sits all serene on his holy hill, and encircles Zion with both his arms. His cloud of glory interposes between his trembling flock, and the alien host. He manages the blind and tumultuous passions of the wicked with reins. He directs the tempest and all its roaring; he suffers a few drops to fall on the church that all may fear, while his thunderbolts descend in sure strokes on the men who have scorned the refuge of his arm.

While the desolations of winter and of vengeance prevail in the outward world, Zion flourishes like a garden in all the charms of spring, being watered by the river of life proceeding from the throne of God. He has presented himself in the midst of his people; and love, peace and joy, abound in every heart. In like manner has the prophet, our Lord, and his apostle, spoken of the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel 47:0. John 7:39. Revelation 22:3.

When the rage of war, and the fury of nations have subsided, the faith of Zion is encreased by a review of God’s works. We see how he gives omens of his peaceful reign, and how he baffles the counsels of the ungodly to establish his pleasure. The Jews, resolved to destroy the christian church, destroyed themselves. The Romans, in about ten successive persecutions, resolved to put it down; they put down their own empire, and from the height of all its pride.

Be still then, oh Zion. Own the perfections of God, and acquaint the nations with his works, particularly with his desolating judgments in all the earth. God is, first and last, thy refuge; thou shalt not be moved. The tempest rolls in thy behalf, and the terrors of vengeance are directed by thy Saviour’ arm.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 46". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/psalms-46.html. 1835.
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