|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 13. - Mark ye well her bulwarks (or, her ramparts), consider her palaces. Note the height and fine masonry of her outer wall, which no people could destroy except the Romans (Nehemiah 1:3; Nehemiah 2:13-17; Nehemiah 4:6). And note also the grand houses of her princes and nobles (Amos 6:11), which show themselves even above the ramparts. That ye may tell it to the generation following. That ye may let them know "how splendid Jerusalem appeared on the morrow of its great danger" (Cheyne).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Mark ye well her bulwarks,.... Such as the free favour of God in Christ; which is not only as a shield, but as a bulwark to the church; his everlasting love, electing grace, the covenant of grace, with its blessings and promises, all which are more immovable than rocks and mountains; and especially the power of God, which surrounds his church, as the mountains did Jerusalem; and by which they are kept and preserved as in a garrison, Psalm 125:2. Also salvation by Christ; his righteousness, sacrifice, and satisfaction, which God has appointed for walls and bulwarks, and which make the city, the church, a strong and impregnable one, Isaiah 26:1. Likewise the Spirit of God, and his operations and influences, which are a standard against the enemy's flood of opposition and persecution; and who being in his church and people, is greater than he that is in the world, Isaiah 59:19, 1 John 4:4. Some render the words, set "your hearts on her strength", as the Vulgate Latin version; that is, on Christ, who is the strength of the poor and needy in their distress; the strength of their hearts, of their lives, and of their salvation, and the security of the church. Others readier them, "set your hearts on her armies"; as the Targum is; her volunteers, her soldiers, who endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, fight the Lord's battles, and are more than conquerors through him; and a lovely sight it is to behold them, with Christ at the head of them; see Revelation 19:14;
consider her palaces; for Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, have their dwelling places in Zion; and here, besides apostles, prophets, evangelists, and ordinary ministers of the word, who are rulers and officers set in the first place, every saint is a prince and a king; and has a place and a name here, better than that of sons and daughters of the greatest potentate on earth; every dwelling place in Mount Zion is a palace.
that ye may tell it to the generation following: that is, the beauty and glory, strength and safety of the church; and even all that is spoken of her in this psalm, as well as what follows: this is the end proposed by taking a circuit round Zion, and making the above observations on it.
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