Psalm 48[a]

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah.

Great is the Lord,(A) and most worthy of praise,(B)
    in the city of our God,(C) his holy mountain.(D)

Beautiful(E) in its loftiness,
    the joy of the whole earth,
like the heights of Zaphon[b](F) is Mount Zion,(G)
    the city of the Great King.(H)
God is in her citadels;(I)
    he has shown himself to be her fortress.(J)

When the kings joined forces,
    when they advanced together,(K)
they saw her and were astounded;
    they fled in terror.(L)
Trembling seized(M) them there,
    pain like that of a woman in labor.(N)
You destroyed them like ships of Tarshish(O)
    shattered by an east wind.(P)

As we have heard,
    so we have seen
in the city of the Lord Almighty,
    in the city of our God:
God makes her secure
    forever.[c](Q)

Within your temple, O God,
    we meditate(R) on your unfailing love.(S)
10 Like your name,(T) O God,
    your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;(U)
    your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Mount Zion rejoices,
    the villages of Judah are glad
    because of your judgments.(V)

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
    count her towers,(W)
13 consider well her ramparts,(X)
    view her citadels,(Y)
that you may tell of them
    to the next generation.(Z)

14 For this God is our God for ever and ever;
    he will be our guide(AA) even to the end.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 48:1 In Hebrew texts 48:1-14 is numbered 48:2-15.
  2. Psalm 48:2 Zaphon was the most sacred mountain of the Canaanites.
  3. Psalm 48:8 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.

24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel,(A) he did not resort to divination(B) as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness.(C) When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him(D) and he spoke his message:

“The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
    the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,(E)
the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,(F)
    who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a](G)
    who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:

“How beautiful are your tents,(H) Jacob,
    your dwelling places, Israel!

“Like valleys they spread out,
    like gardens beside a river,(I)
like aloes(J) planted by the Lord,
    like cedars beside the waters.(K)
Water will flow from their buckets;
    their seed will have abundant water.

“Their king will be greater than Agag;(L)
    their kingdom will be exalted.(M)

“God brought them out of Egypt;
    they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
    and break their bones in pieces;(N)
    with their arrows they pierce them.(O)
Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
    like a lioness(P)—who dares to rouse them?

“May those who bless you be blessed(Q)
    and those who curse you be cursed!”(R)

10 Then Balak’s anger burned(S) against Balaam. He struck his hands together(T) and said to him, “I summoned you to curse my enemies,(U) but you have blessed them(V) these three times.(W) 11 Now leave at once and go home!(X) I said I would reward you handsomely,(Y) but the Lord has kept you from being rewarded.”

12 Balaam answered Balak, “Did I not tell the messengers you sent me,(Z) 13 ‘Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord(AA)—and I must say only what the Lord says’?(AB) 14 Now I am going back to my people, but come, let me warn you of what this people will do to your people in days to come.”(AC)

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Footnotes

  1. Numbers 24:4 Hebrew Shaddai; also in verse 16

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel(A) to Nazareth,(B) a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,(C) a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,(D) Mary; you have found favor with God.(E) 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.(F) 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.(G) The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,(H) 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom(I) will never end.”(J)

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you,(K) and the power of the Most High(L) will overshadow you. So the holy one(M) to be born will be called[a] the Son of God.(N) 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child(O) in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”(P)

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

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Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:35 Or So the child to be born will be called holy,