Psalm 48:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When the kings joined forces, when they advanced together,

New Living Translation
The kings of the earth joined forces and advanced against the city.

English Standard Version
For behold, the kings assembled; they came on together.

New American Standard Bible
For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together.

King James Bible
For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Look! The kings assembled; they advanced together.

International Standard Version
Behold, when the kings assembled together, when they traveled together,

NET Bible
For look, the kings assemble; they advance together.

New Heart English Bible
For, look, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For behold, Kings were prepared and they passed by together

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The kings have gathered. They marched together.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They came onward together.

New American Standard 1977
For, lo, the kings assembled themselves,
            They passed by together.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For, behold, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

King James 2000 Bible
For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

American King James Version
For, see, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

American Standard Version
For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For behold the kings of the earth assembled themselves: they gathered together.

Darby Bible Translation
For behold, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together;

English Revised Version
For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together.

Webster's Bible Translation
For lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

World English Bible
For, behold, the kings assembled themselves, they passed by together.

Young's Literal Translation
For, lo, the kings met, they passed by together,
Study Bible
Great is the Lord, and Greatly to Be Praised
3God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold. 4For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together. 5They saw it, then they were amazed; They were terrified, they fled in alarm.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 10:6
Now when the sons of Ammon saw that they had become odious to David, the sons of Ammon sent and hired the Arameans of Beth-rehob and the Arameans of Zobah, 20,000 foot soldiers, and the king of Maacah with 1,000 men, and the men of Tob with 12,000 men.

2 Kings 7:7
Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life.

Psalm 2:2
The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
Treasury of Scripture

For, see, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

Psalm 83:2-8 For, see, your enemies make a tumult: and they that hate you have …

2 Samuel 10:6,14,16-19 And when the children of Ammon saw that they stank before David…

Isaiah 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son …

Isaiah 8:8-10 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he …

Isaiah 10:8 For he said, Are not my princes altogether kings?

Isaiah 29:5-8 Moreover the multitude of your strangers shall be like small dust…

Revelation 17:12-14 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received …

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked …

Revelation 20:8,9 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters …

(4) The kings.--With the striking picture of the advance and sudden collapse of a hostile expedition that follows, comp. Isaiah 10:28-34; possibly of the very same event.

The kings.--Evidently known to the writer, but, alas! matter of merest conjecture to us. Some suppose the kings of Ammon, Moab, and Edom, who attacked Jehoshaphat (2Chronicles 20:25); others, the tributary princes of Sennacherib. In his annals, as lately deciphered, this monarch speaks of setting up tributary kings or viceroys in Chalda, Phoenicia, and Philistia, after conquering these countries. (See Assyrian Discoveries, by George Smith, p. 303.) Others again, referring the psalm to the time of Ahaz, understand Pekah and Rezin (2Kings 15:37). The touches, vivid as they are, of the picture, are not so historically defined as to allow a settlement of the question.

Assembled.--Used of the muster of confederate forces (Joshua 11:5).

Passed by--i.e., marched by. So, according to the time reading, the LXX. A frequent military term (Judges 11:29; 2Kings 8:21; Isaiah 8:8). Others, "passed away," but it is doubtful if the verb can have this meaning.

Together.--Notice the parallelism, they came together, they passed by together.

Verse 4. - For lo, the kings were assembled; they passed by together. Some see in these "kings" Sennacherib's princes, who, according to him (Isaiah 10:8), were "altogether kings." But actual monarchs, each leading his own army, seem rather to be intended. For, lo, the kings were assembled,.... As the princes of the Philistines to seek for David, when in the strong hold of Zion, 2 Samuel 5:17; as the Ethiopians in the time of Asa, 2 Chronicles 14:9; and the Moabites and Ammonites in the times of Jehoshaphat, 2 Chronicles 20:1; and the kings of Syria and Israel in the times of Ahaz, Isaiah 7:1; and Sennacherib with his princes, who, in his esteem, were kings, in the times of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:17; which are instances of the kings, of the nations' gathering together against Zion, the city of Jerusalem, and people of the Jews, who were typical of the church of Christ; and that without success, and to their own confusion and destruction; though this seems to refer to the latter day of the Gospel dispensation, when all the kings of the earth, Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan, will be gathered together at the instigation of Satan, to the battle of the great day of the Lord God Almighty, in a place called Armageddon, where they will be defeated by Christ the King of kings, Revelation 16:13. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret the passage of Gog and Magog gathering together to fight against Jerusalem, with which compare Revelation 20:8;

they passed by together; either to the battle, as Jarchi explains it; or they passed by Jerusalem, the city of our God, the church, without entering into it, or doing it any harm. 4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.

5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.

6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.

7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.

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 it for ever. Selah.

Psalm 48:4

"The kings were assembled, they passed by together." They came and they went. No sooner together than scattered. They came one way and fled twenty ways. Boastful the gathering hosts with their royal leaders, despairing the fugitive bands, with their astonished captains. They came like foam on the angry sea, like foam they melted away. This was so remarkable that the Psalmist puts in a note of exclamation, "Lo!" What! have they so suddenly fled! Even thus shall the haters of the church vanish from the field, Papists, Ritualists, Arians, Sceptics, they shall each have their day, and shall pass on to the limbo of forgetfulness.

Psalm 48:5

"They saw it, and so they marvelled." They came, they saw, but they did not conquer. There was no veni, vidi, vici for them. No sooner did they perceive that the Lord was in the Holy City, than they took to their heels. Before the Lord came to blows with them, they were faint-hearted, and beat a retreat. "They were troubled and hasted away." The troublers were troubled. Their haste in coming was nothing to their hurry in going. Panic seized them, horses were not fleet enough; they would have borrowed the wings of the wind. They fled ignominiously, like children in a fright. Glory be to God, it shall be even thus with the foes of his church; when the Lord cometh to our help, our enemies shall be as nothing. Could they foresee their ignominious defeat, they would not advance to the attack.

Psalm 48:6

"Fear look hold upon them there." They were in Giant Despair's grip. Where they hoped to triumph, there they quivered with dismay. They did not take the city, but fear took hold on them. "And pain, as of a woman in travail." They were as much overcome as a woman whose fright causes premature delivery; or as full of pain as a poor mother in her pangs - a strong expression, commonly employed by Orientals to set forth the extremity of anguish. When the Lord arises for the help of his church, the proudest of his foes shall be as trembling women, and their dismay shall be but the beginning of eternal defeat.

Psalm 48:7

"Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind." As easily as vessels are driven to shipwreck, dost thou overturn the most powerful adversaries; or it may mean the strength of some nations lies in their ships, whose wooden walls are soon broken; but our strength is in our God, and therefore, it fails not; or there may be another meaning, though thou art our defence, yet thou takest vengeance on our inventions, and while thou dost preserve us, yet our ships, our comforts, our earthly ambitions, are taken from us that we may look alone to thee. God is seen at sea, but he is equally present on land. Speculative heresies, pretending to bring us wealth from afar, are constantly assailing the church, but the breath of the Lord soon drives them to destruction. The church too often relies on the wisdom of men, and these human helps are soon shipwrecked; yet the church itself is safe beneath the care of her God and King.

Psalm 48:8

continued...4-6. For—The reason is given. Though the kings (perhaps of Moab and Ammon, compare Ps 83:3-5) combined, a conviction of God's presence with His people, evinced by the unusual courage with which the prophets (compare 2Ch 20:12-20) had inspired them, seized on their minds, and smitten with sudden and intense alarm, they fled astonished.48:1-7 Jerusalem is the city of our God: none on earth render him due honour except the citizens of the spiritual Jerusalem. Happy the kingdom, the city, the family, the heart, in which God is great, in which he is all. There God is known. The clearer discoveries are made to us of the Lord and his greatness, the more it is expected that we should abound in his praises. The earth is, by sin, covered with deformity, therefore justly might that spot of ground, which was beautified with holiness, be called the joy of the whole earth; that which the whole earth has reason to rejoice in, that God would thus in very deed dwell with man upon the earth. The kings of the earth were afraid of it. Nothing in nature can more fitly represent the overthrow of heathenism by the Spirit of the gospel, than the wreck of a fleet in a storm. Both are by the mighty power of the Lord.
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