Psalm 46:5
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
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(5) Right early.—Literally, at the turning of the morning. Evidently metaphorical of the dawn of a brighter day.

46:1-5 This psalm encourages to hope and trust in God; in his power and providence, and his gracious presence with his church in the worst of times. We may apply it to spiritual enemies, and the encouragement we have that, through Christ, we shall be conquerors over them. He is a Help, a present Help, a Help found, one whom we have found to be so; a Help at hand, one that is always near; we cannot desire a better, nor shall we ever find the like in any creature. Let those be troubled at the troubling of the waters, who build their confidence on a floating foundation; but let not those be alarmed who are led to the Rock, and there find firm footing. Here is joy to the church, even in sorrowful times. The river alludes to the graces and consolations of the Holy Spirit, which flow through every part of the church, and through God's sacred ordinances, gladdening the heart of every believer. It is promised that the church shall not be moved. If God be in our hearts, by his word dwelling richly in us, we shall be established, we shall be helped; let us trust and not be afraid.God is in the midst of her - God is in the midst of the "city" referred to above - the "city of God." That is,

(a) he dwelt there by the visible symbol of his presence, the Shekinah;

(b) he was there "actually" as a help and a protector.

It was his chosen abode, and as long as such a Being dwelt in the city, they had nothing to fear.

God shall help her - That is, in her danger, he will interpose to save her. This is language such as would be used in reference to a place that was besieged, and would well apply to the state of things when Jerusalem was besieged by the armies of Assyria under Sennacherib. The language expresses the confidence of the people in the time of the impending danger.

And that right early - Margin, "when the morning appeareth." Literally, "in the faces of the morning," as the word is commonly used; or, more literally, in the "turning" of the morning - for the verb from which the word is derived means properly "to turn," and then "to turn to or from any one." The noun is applied to the face or countenance, because the person is "turned" to us when we see his countenance. The poetic idea here seems to refer to the day as having turned away "from" us at night, and then as turning about "toward" us in the morning, after having gone, as it were, to the greatest distance from us. "Possibly" there may be an allusion here to what occurred in the camp of the Assyrians, when the discovery that the angel of the Lord had smitten them was made early in the morning, or when men arose in the morning: "The angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose in the morning" (that is, when men arose in the morning), "behold, they were all dead corpses," Isaiah 37:36.

5. right early—literally, "at the turn of morning," or change from night to day, a critical time (Ps 30:5; compare Isa 37:36). Heb. as soon as the morning appeareth, i.e. speedily, after a short night of affliction; compare Psalm 30:5; and seasonably, when the danger is greatest, and the enemies prepare to make the assault; which is commonly done in the morning.

God is in the midst of her,.... The church and people of God; not merely by his essence, power, and providence, as he is in the midst of the world; but by his gracious presence, and which always continues, though not always perceived; and is a sufficient antidote against all fear of men and devils;

she shall not be moved; though the earth may; and when it is, Psalm 46:2, neither from the heart of God, on which his people are set as a seal; nor from the hands of Christ, from whence they can never be plucked; nor from the covenant of grace, which is immovable; nor off of the rock Christ, on which they are built; nor from the state of grace, of justification, adoption, and sanctification, in which they stand; nor out of the world, by all the cunning and power of antichrist;

God shall help her, and that right early: or "when the morning looks out" (x). When it is night with the church, it is the hour and power of darkness with the enemies of it; and this is the time of the reign of antichrist, whose kingdom is a kingdom of darkness: but the "morning cometh, and also the night"; the former being about to break forth, and the latter to be at an end; yea, at eventide it shall be light: and the Lord will be a suitable, seasonable, and timely help to his people; for though weeping endures the night, joy comes in the morning.

(x) "respiciente mane", Pagninus; "ad prospectum aurorae", Musculus; "at the looking forth of the morning", Ainsworth; that is, "speedily and quickly", as Suidas interprets it in voce

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that {f} right early.

(f) Always when need requires.

5. God is in the midst of her] Cp. Isaiah 12:6; and Micah 3:11, where we learn how this watchword was abused by those who saw in the Presence of God a pledge of protection but no call to holiness.

she shall not be moved] More stable than the solid mountains (Psalm 46:2): more secure than the kingdoms of the earth (Psalm 46:6).

and that right early] Better, when the morn appeareth, when the dawn of deliverance succeeds the night of distress (Psalm 46:3; Psalm 30:5): but not without a special reference to the morning when they rose to find Sennacherib’s army destroyed (Isaiah 37:36), and a reminiscence of the Exodus, where the same phrase is used (Exodus 14:27).

Verse 5. - God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. While the world is being turned upside down (vers. 2, 3, 6), the Church is unmoved - since "God is in the midst of her." God shall help her, and that right early; literally, at the turning of the morning, or, in other words, "at the break of day" (comp. Psalm 30:6; Psalm 49:14; Isaiah 17:14). The deliverance of Israel from Sennacherib came, it is to be remembered, when it was discovered "early in the morning" that in the camp of the Assyrians were 185,000 "dead corpses" (2 Kings 19:35). Psalm 46:5(Heb.: 46:5-8) Just as, according to Genesis 2:10, a stream issued from Eden, to water the whole garden, so a stream makes Jerusalem as it were into another paradise: a river - whose streams make glad the city of Elohim (Psalm 87:3; Psalm 48:9, cf. Psalm 101:8); פּלגיו (used of the windings and branches of the main-stream) is a second permutative subject (Psalm 44:3). What is intended is the river of grace, which is also likened to a river of paradise in Psalm 36:9. When the city of God is threatened and encompassed by foes, still she shall not hunger and thirst, nor fear and despair; for the river of grace and of her ordinances and promises flows with its rippling waves through the holy place, where the dwelling-place or tabernacle of the Most High is pitched. קדשׁ, Sanctum (cf. el-Ḳuds as a name of Jerusalem), as in Psalm 65:5, Isaiah 57:15; גּדל, Exodus 15:16. משׁכּני, dwellings, like משׁכּנות, Psalm 43:3; Psalm 84:2; Psalm 132:5, Psalm 132:7, equivalent to "a glorious dwelling." In Psalm 46:6 in the place of the river we find Him from whom the river issues forth. Elohim helps her לפנותבּקר - there is only a night of trouble, the return of the morning is also the sunrise of speedy help. The preterites in Psalm 46:7 are hypothetical: if peoples and kingdoms become enraged with enmity and totter, so that the church is in danger of being involved in this overthrow - all that God need to is to make a rumbling with His almighty voice of thunder (נתן בּקולו, as in Psalm 68:34; Jeremiah 12:8, cf. הרים בּמּטּה, to make a lifting with the rod, Exodus 7:20), and forthwith the earth melts (muwg, as in Amos 9:5, Niph. Isaiah 14:31, and frequently), i.e., their titanic defiance becomes cowardice, the bonds of their confederation slacken, and the strength they have put forth is destroyed - it is manifest that Jahve Tsebaoth is with His people. This name of God is, so to speak, indigenous to the Korahitic Psalms, for it is the proper name of God belonging to the time of the kings (vid., on Psalm 24:10; Psalm 59:6), on the very verge of which it occurs first of all in the mouth of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:11), and the Korahitic Psalms have a royal impress upon them. In the God, at whose summons all created powers are obliged to marshal themselves like the hosts of war, Israel has a steep stronghold, משׂגּב, which cannot be scaled by any foe - the army of the confederate peoples and kingdoms, ere it has reached Jerusalem, is become a field of the dead.
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