|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
48:8-14 We have here the improvement which the people of God are to make of his glorious and gracious appearances for them. Let our faith in the word of God be hereby confirmed. Let our hope of the stability of the church be encouraged. Let our minds be filled with good thoughts of God. All the streams of mercy that flow down to us, must be traced to the fountain of His loving-kindness. Let us give to God the glory of the great things he has done for us. Let all the members of the church take comfort from what the Lord does for his church. Let us observe the beauty, strength, and safety of the church. Consider its strength; see it founded on Christ the Rock, fortified by the Divine power, guarded by Him who neither slumbers nor sleeps. See what precious ordinances are its palaces, what precious promises are its bulwarks, that you may be encouraged to join yourselves to it: and tell this to others. This God, who has now done such great things for us, is unchangeable in his love to us, and his care for us. If he is our God, he will lead and keep us even to the last. He will so guide us, as to set us above the reach of death, so that it shall not do us any real hurt. He will lead us to a life in which there shall be no more death.
Verse 12. - Walk about Zion, and go round about her; tell the towers thereof. Admire, i.e., O Israelites, your glorious city, which God has preserved for you intact. Walk around it, view it on every side; observe its strength and beauty. Nay, count its towers, and see how many they are, that ye may form a true estimate of its defences, which render it well-nigh impregnable. Such a survey would "tend to the glorifying of the God of Israel, and to the strengthening of their faith" (Hengstenberg).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Walk about Zion, and go round about her,.... These words are either an address to the enemies of the church, sarcastically delivered; calling upon them to come, and surround, and besiege Zion, and see what the issue and consequence of it will he, even the same as that of the kings, Psalm 48:4; or to the builders of Zion, as Jarchi observes, to come and take a survey of it, and see what repairs were necessary; or rather to the saints, to the daughters of Judah before mentioned, to take a view of the strength and defence of the church, for their own comfort and encouragement, and to report the same to others for theirs also; for by walking around it may be observed the foundation, the rock and eminence on which it is built, Christ Jesus; the wall of it, the Lord himself, a wall of fire; the entrance into it, Christ the gate of righteousness; the fortress and strong hold of it the same; and the guards about it, the watch men on its walls, the ministers of the Gospel, and an innumerable company of angels, that in a circle surround both ministers and people; see Revelation 7:11;
tell the towers thereof; see 2 Chronicles 26:9; the Lord himself is the tower of his people, high and strong, which secures and defends them from all their enemies, Psalm 18:2; the ministers of the Gospel, who are immovable, and are set for the defence of it, Jeremiah 6:27; the Scriptures of truth, which are like a tower built for an armoury, out of which the saints are furnished and provided with proper armour, whereby they are able to engage with false teachers, and to overcome the evil one, Sol 4:4; and the ordinances of the Gospel, the church's two breasts, said to be as towers, Sol 8:10; some render the words, "tell in the towers" (i); publish on the house tops, declare in the high places of the city, in the most public manner, the great things of the Gospel, which relate to the glory of Christ and his church.
(i) , Sept. "in turribus ejus", V. L.
The Treasury of David
12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
"Walk about Zion;" often beat her bounds, even as Israel marched around Jericho. With leisurely and careful inspection survey her. "And go round about her." Encircle her again and again with loving perambulations. We cannot too frequently or too deeply consider the origin, privileges, history, security, and glory of the church. Some subjects deserve but a passing thought; this is worthy of the most patient consideration. "Tell the towers thereof." See if any of them have crumbled, or have been demolished. Is the church of God what she was in doctrine, in strength and in beauty? Her foes counted her towers in envy first, and then in terror, let us count them with sacred exultation. The city of Lucerne, encircled by its ancient walls, adorned with a succession of towers, is a visible illustration of this figure; and as we have gone around it, and paused at each picturesque tower, we have realised the loving, lingering inspection which the metaphor implies.
"Mark ye well her bulwarks." Consider most attentively how strong are her ramparts, how safely her inhabitants are entrenched behind successive lines of defence. The security of the people of God is not a doctrine to be kept in the background, it may be safely taught, and frequently pondered; only to base hearts will that glorious truth prove harmful; the sons of perdition make a stumbling stone even of the Lord Jesus himself, it is little wonder, that they pervert the truth of God concerning the final perseverance of the saints. We are not to turn away from inspecting Zion's ramparts, because idlers skulk behind them. "Consider her palaces." Examine with care the fair dwellings of the city. Let the royal promises which afford quiet resting places for believers be attentively inspected. See how sound are the defences, and how fair are the pleasaunces of "that ancient city," of which you are citizens. A man should be best acquainted with his own home; and the church is our dear and blest abode. Would to God professors were more considerate of the condition of the church; so far from telling the towers, some of them scarcely know what or where they are; they are too busy counting their money, and considering their ledgers. Freehold and copyhold, and leasehold, men measure to an inch, but heavenhold and gracehold are too often taken at peradventure, and neglected in sheer heedlessness. "That ye may tell it to the generation following." An excellent reason for studious observation. We have received and we must transmit. We must be students that we may be teachers. The debt we owe to the past we must endeavour to repay by handing down the truth to the future.
"For this God is our God for ever and ever." A good reason for preserving a record of all that he has wrought. Israel will not change her God so as to wish to forget, nor will the Lord change so as to make the past mere history. He will be the covenant God of his people world without end. There is no other God, we wish for no other, we would have no other even if other there were. There are some who are so ready to comfort the wicked, that for the sake of ending their punishment they weaken the force of language, and make "for ever and ever," mean but a time; nevertheless, despite their interpretations we exult in the hope of an eternity of bliss, and to us "everlasting," and "for ever and ever" mean what they say. "He will be our guide even unto death." Throughout life, and to our dying couch, he will graciously conduct us, and even after death he will lead us to the living fountains of waters. We look to him for resurrection and eternal life. This consolation is clearly derivable from what has gone before; hitherto our foes have been scattered, and our bulwarks have defied attack, for God has been in our midst, therefore all possible assaults in the future shall be equally futile.
"The church has all her foes defied
And laughed to scorn their rage;
E'en thus for aye she shall abide
Secure from age to age."
Farewell, fear. Comehither, gratitute and faith, and sing right joyously.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12-14. The call to survey Zion, or the Church, as a fortified city, is designed to suggest "how well our God secures His fold." This security is perpetual, and its pledge is His guidance through this life.
Psalm 48:12 Parallel Commentaries
Psalm 48:12 NIV
Psalm 48:12 NLT
Psalm 48:12 ESV
Psalm 48:12 NASB
Psalm 48:12 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible