Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 47:1-9. Praise is given to God for victory, perhaps that recorded (2Ch 20:20-30); and His dominions over all people, Jews and Gentiles, is asserted.
1. clap … hands … people—literally, "peoples," or "nations" (compare De 32:43; Ps 18:49; 98:9).
For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth.
2, 3. His universal sovereignty now exists, and will be made known.
He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.
3. under us—that is, His saints; Israel's temporal victories were types of the spiritual conquests of the true Church.
He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.
4. He shall … inheritance—the heathen to be possessed by His Church (Ps 2:8), as Canaan by the Jews.
excellency of Jacob—literally, "pride," or, that in which he glories (not necessarily, though often, in a bad sense), the privileges of the chosen people—
whom he loved—His love being the sole cause of granting them.
God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
5-7. God, victorious over His enemies, reascends to heaven, amid the triumphant praises of His people, who celebrate His sovereign dominion. This sovereignty is what the Psalm teaches; hence he adds,
sing … praises with understanding—literally, "sing and play an instructive (Psalm)." The whole typifies Christ's ascension (compare Ps 68:18).
Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.
God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
8, 9. The instruction continued.
throne of … holiness—or, "holy throne" (see on Ps 2:6; Ps 23:4).
The princes of the people are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.
9. princes—who represent peoples. For—
even—supply, "as," or, "to"—that is, they all become united under covenant with Abraham's God.
shields—as in Ho 4:18, "rulers" [Margin].