New American Standard Bible
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
King James Bible
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Darby Bible Translation
There is a river the streams whereof make glad the city of God, the sanctuary of the habitations of the Most High.
World English Bible
There is a river, the streams of which make the city of God glad, the holy place of the tents of the Most High.
Young's Literal Translation
A river -- its rivulets rejoice the city of God, Thy holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.
Psalm 46:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
There is a river - There is no allusion here to any particular stream or river, but the image is designed to represent a state of peace and calm security in contrast with the rough and troubled ocean. While the ocean rages, and foams, and dashes against the mountains as if it would overturn them, the state of Jerusalem, the city of God, was well represented by a calm and gently-flowing river; a river of full banks, diffusing joy and fertility and beauty wherever it flowed. This image, to represent happiness, abundance, peace, joy, is one that is often employed in the Scriptures. Compare Isaiah 32:2; Isaiah 33:21; Isaiah 41:18; Psalm 1:3; Revelation 22:1; Psalm 36:8. The "idea" here is simply that Jerusalem would be calm and serene amidst all the external agitations in the world - calm as a gently-flowing stream. The streams - the canals - the water-courses of such a river flowing around each dwelling and along each garden, would diffuse happiness and beauty everywhere.
The streams whereof - The allusion here is undoubtedly to the canals, watercourses, or rivulets that were led off from the main stream for the purpose of supplying fountains and watering gardens. Thus the city of Damascus is watered by streams or canals cut from the river Barrady, that flows down from the regions of Anti-Libanus. The greenness - the beauty - the fertility - of Damascus is owing wholly to the waters of the river thus conducted to every house and garden in the city. Compare introduction to Isaiah 17:1-14. So here, the flowing river of divine mercy and goodness is conveyed, as in smaller canals or streams, to each home and heart, producing peace, calmness, joy - while the world around is full of commotion and trouble.
Shall make glad the city of God - Jerusalem, considered as the place where God was worshipped, and where he was supposed especially to dwell: Psalm 48:1.
The holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High - Of the "tent" where the Most High is supposed to abide. The word is applicable to any habitation or dwelling-place; but in the Scriptures it is applied especially to the sacred tent erected by Moses in the wilderness, and ultimately removed to Mount Zion by David, as the divine abode on earth. It is sometimes, also, applied to the temple; and if this psalm was written, as I have supposed, in the time of Hezekiah, it would be applicable to that. Compare Psalm 84:2; Psalm 132:5. The tabernacle and the temple were alike divided into two parts - the holy and the most holy place - and hence the "plural" term is sometimes applied to them. Compare the notes at Hebrews 9:2-3.
LibraryThe City and River of God
'There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 7. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.'--PSALM xlvi 4-7. There are two remarkable events in the history of Israel, one or other of which most probably supplied the historical …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Of the Presence of God
The Ambassadors from Babylon
'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,
Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers.
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.
O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places.
Jump to PreviousCity Dwelling Dwelling-Place Dwells Glad Habitation Habitations High Holiest Holy Places Resting-Place River Rivulets Sanctuary Streams Tabernacles Tents Whereof
Jump to NextCity Dwelling Dwelling-Place Dwells Glad Habitation Habitations High Holiest Holy Places Resting-Place River Rivulets Sanctuary Streams Tabernacles Tents Whereof
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