Bible Commentaries
Psalms 46

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-11

Psalms 46:1-11. Title. As the sons of Korah were principal singers in the sanctuary through successive generations, the title alone does not determine the date of this Psalm. It is not known by whom, or when, it was writen : but the ancient opinion, that it was composed on occasion of the deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib’s invasion, is very probable ; though some think it was composed by David, after his victories over the Ammonites and Syrians. (Note, Psalms 48:1.) It is however, well adapted to the use of the church, especially on great emergencies, in every age. When Luther received any discouraging news, he used to say, ’ Come, let us sing the forty-sixth Psalm. Alamoth.] (Note, 1 Chronicles 15:20-21.) Alamoth is thought to be either some tune in common use, or some ’kind of. musical instrument, unknown to us; in which ’ young virgins, as some fancy, took a peculiar delight, and were wont to learn to play upon it, which they make

the reason and original of its name.’ Bp. Patrick.

Alamoth " signifies virgins.

V 1-3 Note Psalms 27:1-3 the clause a very present Help in trouble," may be rendered more literally, " found exceedingly a Help in troubles ; " or, " a " Help most readily to be found in troubles. The Psalmist’s experience, and that of all believers from the beginning, evinced it ; and this encouraged his present unshaken confidence : whereas all who call on idols, or on any creature, to help them in trouble, are invoking the absent, as well as the helpless. Earthquakes, and other terrible convulsions in nature, are often made emblems of great commotions in nations, the fall of empires, revolutions, and other public calamities. But if imagination should be employed to conceive of such desolations, as are not likely to be realized, in the full literal import of the terms here used, till the consummation of all things ; still the presence and power of an almighty Protector and Upholder would suffice to secure the church and every true member of it : and strong faith would exclude terror even in the prospect of such tremendous scenes.

(Notes, Is. 25: 9. 26: 3, 4. 20- 21; 32: 16-20. Luke 21:25-28. 2 Peter 3:10-13.)

V. 4. Perhaps, the gentle streams which watered Jerusalem may be alluded to : (Note, Is. Psalms 8:6-9:) but " the " River of the water of life," the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which pervade every part of the church, the city of our God ; and through which his sacred ordinances revive and rejoice the hearts of afflicted believers, are particularly intended. (Notes, Exodus 17:5,

Ezekiel 47:1-10. John 4:10-15; John 7:37-39. Revelation 22:1.)

V. 5. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Is. 12: 4-6. Zephaniah 3:14-17. Zechariah 2:10-13. Matthew 28:19-20.) Right early.] Or, " When the morning appeareth : " (marg.) that is, ’ In good time, when the help shall be most honourable to God and profitable to his people.’ l God, when there is ’ any danger, will send us seasonable and speedy relief ’ against those that invade us.’ Bp. Patrick.

(Notes, Psalms 125:1-2.)

V. 6. Nothing can be more concise, energetic, and sublime than this verse. (Note, Exodus 15:9-10.) Many dliverances afforded to Israel answer the description, especially that under Hezekiah : but the success of the gospel notwithstanding all opposition of every kind, and from every quarter, which melted away before the blessing of God on the preaching of the apostles and evangelists, was a singular accomplishment of it ; (Marg. Ref. Notes,Psalms 2:1-6 ;) and it shall ere long have a still more glorious completion, in the destruction of every antichrist, and the universal prevalence of genuine Christianity.

V. 7 The LORD of armies, the God of Jacob, who redeemed him from all evil, is with us his descendants, according to his promise : what then have we to fear ? ’ EMMANUEL, GOD WITH us, is in every age the Refuge and Protector of his church. (Marg. Ref.)

V. 8, 9. The Psalmist here calls on all people, to contemplate the wonders which God had wrought for his people, and the desolations which he had made among their powerful enemies : for he had made wars to cease to the ends of the earth, by disabling all who had delighted in them, and utterly destroying all their weapons and preparation of war.

(Notes, 2 Kings 19:35-37 - 2 Chronicles 20:21-30.) He will hereafter put an end to all wars, by the universal success of the gospel of peace ; and this event also may be foretold. (Notes, Is. 2: 2- 5. Micah 4:1-4. Revelation 20:4-6.)

V. 10. God himself here speaks, and demands silent and adoring attention, and submission from the whole earth ; and that they all should acknowledge, and bow down to, his universal, everlasting, and absolute sovereignty, if they would escape his awful vengeance. (Notes 2 Kings 19:14-19; 2 Kings 5:19. Isaiah 2:22. Psalms 33:10-13. Habakkuk 2:20.)


Those who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and live in grateful obedience to him, make the power, wisdom, truth, and love of God, their " refuge and " strength ; " and in every urgent danger and trouble, they will find him a ready and a present Help. If our faith were as strong as our security is good, we need fear no combination of enemies, no revolutions in kingdoms, and no convulsions in nature; but in the most tremendous dangers, might triumph in the fullest assurance of security and victory. Were we literally to behold the deep-rooted mountains torn from their foundations, and cast into the ocean, while its impetuous waves overflowed the banks, and deluged the earth ; we should not only be safe, but might be happy, if, in communion with God, we drank of the river of divine consolations, which he has communicated to his holy church on earth, as an earnest of heavenly joys. Let us then pray for increase of faith, and be careful to lay up our treasures in heaven : thus, when the earth and all its works shall be burnt up, we shall have nothing to fear, or to lose. Happy are they, in every case, who are enrolled citizens of the holy city of our God, in which he dwells as a Father, a Defender, and a Comforter of his people. While the heathen rage, their faith and patience will indeed be tried; yet He will utter his voice, their enemies will perish, and they shall triumph in praise. But let the ungodly tremble at beholding the destruction of those, who have opposed the cause and people of God : ere long the Lord will convert or destroy every adversary ; and " the nations shall beat their swords into " plow-shares and learn war no more." Let us pray for the speedy approach of these glorious days ; and, in silent reverence and submission, worship and trust in our almighty Sovereign. And through life and death, let us answer every fear by the believing consideration, that " the " LORD of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our Refuge.

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 46". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.