Psalm 47:8
God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 47:8. God reigneth over the heathen — Over all heathen nations. He is not only our King, and therefore we owe our homage to him, but he is King of all the earth, Psalm 47:7, and therefore in every place the incense of praise ought to be offered to him. God, as Creator, and the God of nature and providence, reigns even over the heathen, and disposeth of them and all their affairs as he pleaseth, though they know him not, nor have any regard to him. God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness — Namely, as Judge and King, exercising dominion, or reigning, as was now said. Heaven is often called God’s throne, whence God is said to behold and to rule all nations; of which general dominion of God he here speaks. And Christ sits at his Father’s right hand for that purpose.

47:5-9 Praise is a duty in which we ought to be frequent and abundant. But here is a needful rule; Sing ye praises with understanding. As those that understand why and for what reasons they praise God, and what is the meaning of the service. It is not an acceptable service, if it is not a reasonable service. We are never to forget the end of Messiah's exaltation, so continually do the prophets dwell upon the conversion of the nations to the gospel of Christ. Why do we vainly fancy that we belong to him, unless the Spirit reign in our hearts by faith? Lord, is it not thy glory and delight to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins, now that thou art exalted as a Prince and a Saviour? Set up thy kingdom in our hearts. Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And so sweetly constrain all the powers and faculties of the souls of thy redeemed, into holy love, fear, and delight in thee, that praise with the understanding may rise from every heart, both here and for ever, to Thee, our God.God reigneth over the heathen - Over the "nations;" not over the "heathen" in the sense in which that term is understood now. It does not mean that God reigns, or that he has set up his throne over the people that have not the true religion, but that he is exalted over the "nations" of the earth as such; or, that he has universal dominion. See the notes at Psalm 46:10.

God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness - Upon his holy throne, The idea is, that his government is established in holiness or justice.

8, 9. The instruction continued.

throne of … holiness—or, "holy throne" (see on [593]Ps 2:6; [594]Ps 23:4).

8 God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.

Now at this moment, over the most debased idolaters, God holds a secret rule; here is work for faith. How we ought to long for the day when this truth shall be changed in its aspect, and the rule now unrecognized shall be delighted in! The great truth that God reigneth in providence is the guarantee that in a gracious gospel sense his promise shall be fulfilled, and his kingdom shall come. "He sitteth upon the throne of his holiness." Unmoved he occupies an undisputed throne, whose decrees, acts, and commands are holiness itself. What other throne is like this? Never was it stained with injustice, or defiled with sin. Neither is he who sits upon it dismayed, or in a dilemma. He sits in serenity, for he knows his own power, and sees that his purposes will not miscarry. Here is reason enough for holy song.

Over the heathen, i.e. over all heathen nations, as being the King of all the earth, Psalm 47:7; which was not true in David’s time, but; was fulfilled by Christ.

God sitteth upon the throne, to wit, as Judge and King, exercising dominion, or reigning, as he now said; this being only another expression of the same thing. And this holy throne is either,

1. The ark, upon which God was said to sit to govern the Israelites. Or rather,

2. Heaven; which is oft called God’s

throne, Psalm 11:4 Isaiah 66:1, whence God is said to behold and to rule all nations; of which general dominion of God he here speaks. And here Christ sits at his Father’s right hand for that purpose.

God reigneth over the Heathen,.... He reigned over Israel under the former dispensation, and now he reigns over the Gentiles under the Gospel dispensation; as appears by the numerous instances of conversion among them in the first ages of Christianity; and by the many churches that were planted by the means of the apostles; and by the destruction of the Roman Pagan empire under the sixth seal, Revelation 6:12; and which will still more appear by the destruction of Rome Papal, when all the Heathens shall perish out of the land; and by the fulness and forces of the Gentiles being brought into a submission to him; all which are reasons to sing praises to him;

God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness; or his holy throne, which is heaven; on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; on his Father's throne; having done his work on earth he is received up into heaven, and is set down on a throne at the right hand of God, an honour which none of the angels have: he has ceased from his work and entered into his rest, and sits and sees of the travail of his soul; all which is matter of joy to his people, and a reason why they should sing praises; and the rather, since they are set down with him in heavenly places: or this may be understood of his sitting on the throne of judgment to judge the world in righteousness at the last day, it following upon his reign over the Gentiles; though the other sense best agrees with his immediate ascension to heaven.

God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. God hath proclaimed himself king over the nations,

God hath taken his seat upon his holy throne.

The verbs express not merely a fact but an act. God was King, but He has given fresh proof of it. He has caused Himself to be acknowledged King, and taken His seat upon His throne to judge and rule (Psalm 103:19). Cp. Revelation 11:15.

8, 9. The final realisation of Jehovah’s sovereignty over the world.

Verse 8. - God reigneth over the heathen. God had manifested his kingly power over the heathen by subduing great numbers of them, and making them subject to Israel. He would one day manifest it still more by bringing all nations into his Church. God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The throne from which he exercises a just, a righteous, and a holy rule. Psalm 47:8(Heb.: 47:5-9) The ascent of God presupposes a previous descent, whether it be a manifestation of Himself in order to utter some promise (Genesis 17:22; Judges 13:20) or a triumphant execution of judgment (Psalm 7:8; Psalm 68:19). So here: God has come down to fight on behalf of His people. They return to the Holy City and He to His throne, which is above on Zion, and higher still, is above in heaven. On בּתרוּעה and קול שׁופר cf. Psalm 98:6; 1 Chronicles 15:28, but more especially Amos 2:2; for the "shout" is here the people's shout of victory, and "the sound of the horn" the clear sound of the horns announcing the victory, with reference to the celebration of the victory in the Valley of praise and the homeward march amidst the clanging music (2 Chronicles 20:26.). The poet, who has this festival of victory before his mind as having recently taken place, desires that the festive sounds may find an unending and boundless echo unto the glory of God. זמּר is first construed with the accusative as in Psalm 68:33, then with the dative. Concerning משׂכּיל equals ᾠδὴ πενυματική (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), vid., on Psalm 32:1. That which excites to songs of praise is Jahve's dominion of the world which has just been made manifest. מלך is to be taken in just the same historical sense as ἐβασίλευσας, Revelation 11:15-18. What has taken place is a prelude of the final and visible entering upon the kingdom, the announcement of which the New Testament seer there hears. God has come down to earth, and after having obtained for Himself a recognition of His dominion by the destruction of the enemies of Israel, He has ascended again in visible kingly glory. Imago conscensi a Messia throni gloriae, says Chr. Aug. Crusius, tune erat deportatio arcae faederis in sedem regni.
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