To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song.
46 God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains be shaken and slip into the heart of the seas, 3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains tremble at its roaring. Selah.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her [His city], she will not be moved; God will help her when the morning dawns. 6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He raised His voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah.
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has brought desolations and wonders on the earth. 9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. 10 “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower]. Selah.
God the King of the Earth.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
47 O clap your hands, all you people; Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy. 2 For the Lord Most High is to be feared [and worshiped with awe-inspired reverence and obedience]; He is a great King over all the earth. 3 He subdues peoples under us And nations under our feet. 4 He chooses our inheritance for us, The glory and excellence of Jacob whom He loves.Selah.
5 God has ascended amid shouting, The Lord with the sound of a trumpet. 6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. 7 For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises in a skillful psalm and with understanding. 8 God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. 9 The princes of the people have gathered together as the people of the God of Abraham, For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted.
The Beauty and Glory of Zion.
A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.
48 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain. 2 Fair and beautiful in elevation, the joy of all the earth, Is Mount Zion [the City of David] in the far north, The city of the great King. 3 God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold.
4 For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They [came and] passed by together. 5 They saw it, then they were amazed; They were stricken with terror, they fled in alarm. 6 Panic seized them there, And pain, as that of a woman in childbirth. 7 With the east wind You shattered the ships of Tarshish. 8 As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish her forever. Selah.
9 We have thought of Your lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of Your temple. 10 As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness (rightness, justice). 11 Let Mount Zion be glad, Let the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your [righteous] judgments. 12 Walk about Zion, go all around her; Count her towers, 13 Consider her ramparts, Go through her palaces, That you may tell the next generation [about her glory]. 14 For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even until death.
The Folly of Trusting in Riches.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
49 Hear this, all peoples; Listen carefully, all inhabitants of the world, 2 Both low and high, Rich and poor together: 3 My mouth will speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart will be understanding. 4 I will incline my ear and consent to a proverb; On the lyre I will unfold my riddle.
5 Why should I fear in the days of evil, When the wickedness of those who would betray me surrounds me [on every side], 6 Even those who trust in and rely on their wealth And boast of the abundance of their riches? 7 None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him— 8 For the ransom of his soul is too costly, And he should cease trying forever— 9 So that he should live on eternally, That he should never see the pit (grave) and undergo decay.
10 For he sees that even wise men die; The fool and the stupid alike perish And leave their wealth to others. 11 Their inward thought is that their houses will continue forever, And their dwelling places to all generations; They have named their lands after their own names [ignoring God]. 12 But man, with all his [self] honor and pomp, will not endure; He is like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who are foolishly confident, And of those after them who approve [and are influenced by] their words. Selah. 14 Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead); Death will be their shepherd; And the upright shall rule over them in the morning, And their form and beauty shall [a]be for Sheol to consume, So that they have no dwelling [on earth]. 15 But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me. Selah.
16 Be not afraid when [an ungodly] man becomes rich, When the wealth and glory of his house are increased; 17 For when he dies he will carry nothing away; His glory will not descend after him. 18 Though while he lives he counts himself happy and prosperous— And though people praise you when you do well for yourself— 19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; They shall never again see the light. 20 A man [who is held] in honor, Yet who lacks [spiritual] understanding and a teachable heart, is like the beasts that perish.
50 The mighty One, God, the Lord, has spoken, And summoned the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting [from east to west]. 2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shone forth. 3 May our God come and not keep silent; Fire devours before Him, And around Him a mighty tempest rages. 4 He summons the heavens above, And the earth, to judge His people: 5 “Gather My godly ones to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” 6 And the heavens declare His righteousness, For God Himself is judge. Selah.
7 “Hear, O My people, and I will speak; O Israel, I will testify against you: I am God, your God. 8 “I do not reprove you for your sacrifices; Your burnt offerings are continually before Me. 9 “I will accept no young bull from your house Nor male goat from your folds. 10 “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 “I know every bird of the mountains, And everything that moves in the field is [c]Mine. 12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, For the world and all it contains are Mine. 13 “Shall I eat the flesh of bulls Or drink the blood of male goats? 14 “Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; 15 Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite My statutes Or to take My covenant on your lips? 17 “For you hate instruction and discipline And cast My words behind you [discarding them]. 18 “When you see a thief, you are pleased with him and condone his behavior, And you associate with adulterers. 19 “You give your mouth to evil And your tongue frames deceit. 20 “You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother’s son. 21 “These things you have done and I kept silent; You thought that I was just like you. Now I will reprimand and denounce you and state the case in order before your eyes.
22 “Now consider this, you who forget God, Or I will tear you in pieces, and there will be no one to rescue [you]. 23 “He who offers a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way rightly [who follows the way that I show him], I shall show the salvation of God.”
Psalm 49:14The ancient rabbis read this as “will wear out Sheol,” which also matches the Hebrew, and interpreted it as referring to unending punishment, i.e. punishment even outlasting Gehinnom (hell).
Psalm 50:1Asaph was a Levite and one of the leaders of David’s choir. He was the head of one of the three families permanently in charge of the temple music. His family formed a guild that bore his name and is frequently mentioned (2 Chr 20:14; 29:13, 30). Twelve psalms (50; 73-83) are attributed in the titles to the family of Asaph. A hundred and twenty-eight of Asaph’s family members, all singers, came back from Babylon and took part when the foundations of Zerubbabel’s temple were laid (Ezra 2:41; 3:10).
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