PSALM 46#A song of confidence in God’s protection of Zion with close parallels to Ps 48. The dominant note in Ps 46 is sounded by the refrain, The Lord of hosts is with us (Ps 46:8, 12). The first strophe (Ps 46:2–4) sings of the security of God’s presence even in utter chaos; the second (Ps 46:5–8), of divine protection of the city from its enemies; the third (Ps 46:9–11), of God’s imposition of imperial peace.
God, the Protector of Zion
1For the leader. A song of the Korahites. According to alamoth.#Alamoth: the melody of the Psalm, now lost.
2God is our refuge and our strength,
an ever-present help in distress.#a. [46:2] Ps 48:4; Is 33:2.
3#Figurative ancient Near Eastern language to describe social and political upheavals.Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken
and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,
4Though its waters rage and foam
and mountains totter at its surging.#b. [46:4] Ps 93:3–4; Jb 9:5–6; Is 24:18–20; 54:10.Selah
5#Jerusalem is not situated on a river. This description derives from mythological descriptions of the divine abode and symbolizes the divine presence as the source of all life (cf. Is 33:21; Ez 47:1–12; Jl 4:18; Zec 14:8; Rev 22:1–2).Streams of the river gladden the city of God,
the holy dwelling of the Most High.#c. [46:5] Ps 48:2–3; 76:3.
6God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken;
God will help it at break of day.#d. [46:6] Is 7:14.
7Though nations rage and kingdoms totter,
he utters his voice and the earth melts.#e. [46:7] Ps 2:1–5; 48:5–8; 76:7–9; Is 17:12–14.
8#The first line of the refrain is similar in structure and meaning to Isaiah’s name for the royal child, Emmanuel, With us is God (Is 7:14; 8:8, 10).The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.Selah
9Come and see the works of the Lord,
who has done fearsome deeds on earth;#f. [46:9] Ps 48:9–10.
10Who stops wars to the ends of the earth,
breaks the bow, splinters the spear,
and burns the shields with fire;#g. [46:10] Ps 76:4.
11#h. [46:11] Ps 48:11.“Be still and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
exalted on the earth.”
12The Lord of hosts is with us;
our stronghold is the God of Jacob.Selah