Psalm 48:3
God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
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(3) Refuge.—See Note, Psalm 46:1. Prominence should be given to the idea of security from height. We might render, “God among her castles is known as a high and secure tower.”

Psalm 48:3. God is known — To his people, by sensible and long experience; in her palaces — In the habitations of the city, and not only in the cottages, or meaner dwellings, but in the palaces: the princes and great men have recourse to God, and seek help from him. Possibly he may point at the king’s palace and the temple, which was the palace of the King of heaven; which two palaces God did in a singular manner protect, and, by protecting them, protected the whole city and people. For a refuge — Under whose shadow his people are more safe and secure than other cities are with their great rivers and impregnable fortifications. “Thus the great Founder of the church is also her protector and defender. The dependance of the new Jerusalem, like that of the old, is not in man, or in the arm of flesh, but in God, who resideth in the midst of her. For, surely, unless he kept the city, the watchmen in the towers would wake but in vain.” — Horne.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.God is known in her palaces - The word rendered "palaces" here means properly a fortress, castle, or palace, so called from its height, from a verb, ארם 'âram, meaning to elevate, to lift up. It may be applied to any fortified place, and would be particularly applicable to a royal residence, as a castle or stronghold. The word "known" here means that it was well understood, or that the point had been fully tested and determined that God had chosen those abodes as his special residence - as the place where he might be found.

For a refuge - See the notes at Psalm 46:1. That is, there was safety or security in the God who had chosen Jerusalem as his special abode.

3. palaces—literally, "citadels."

refuge—(Ps 9:10; 18:3). He was so known in them because they enjoyed His presence.

God is known to his people by sensible and long experience, and to all neighbouring nations by their own observation.

In her palaces, i. e in the habitations, or to the inhabitants of that city. Possibly he may here point at the king’s palace and the temple, which was the palace of the King of heaven; which two palaces God did in a singular manner protect, and by protecting them he protected the whole city and people.

For a refuge; under whose shadow we are more safe and secure, than other cities are with their great rivers and impregnable fortifications. God is known in her palaces for a refuge. As there were palaces in Jerusalem; see Psalm 48:13; so there are in the church of Christ; every place in it is a palace fit for a king; and everyone that has truly a name and a place there are kings and priests unto God: and here God is a "refuge" both for saints and sinners to fly unto; See Gill on Psalm 46:1; and is "known" to be so; the ministers of the Gospel being here appointed to direct and encourage souls to flee to Christ for refuge, who is the hope set before them in the everlasting Gospel, preached by them to lay hold upon; and all that do flee to him know, by experience, that he is a refuge for them; and as all the people of God do in every time of distress, and when all refuge fails them elsewhere. God is known in her palaces for a {d} refuge.

(d) Unless God is the defence of it, neither situation nor munition can prevail.

3. More exactly:

God hath made himself known in her palaces for a high fortress.

This verse is commonly connected with Psalm 48:1-2. But Psalm 48:1-2 describe the relation of Zion to Jehovah generally, while Psalm 48:3 first alludes to the recent deliverance, which is further described in Psalm 48:4 ff.

in her palaces] The stately palaces of Zion which the Assyrians threatened to plunder and destroy. Cp. Psalm 48:13; Micah 5:5. High fortress (A.V. refuge) is the same word as that in Psalm 46:7; Psalm 46:11.

3–8. Jehovah’s revelation of Himself as Zion’s protector in the recent discomfiture of her enemies.Verse 3. - God is known in her palaces for a Refuge; or, in her castles. The palaces of the king and his chief nobles are, no doubt, intended. (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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