Psalms – Chapter 47

King o' the World!

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

The Psalm continues the theme of the previous one. The sons of Korach call for the nations of the world to clap their hands together and to sing to G-d in joy (or possibly to play the trumpet to Him). G-d is on high, awe-inspiring, and the great King of the whole world. He punishes nations for their evil, but His anger is spent before He judges Israel. The rulers of wicked nations are judged more harshly than their followers. G-d will select Israel and permit them to return to their heritage.

The Temple, where G-d’s Presence is most keenly felt, is the pride of the nation. G-d has chosen Jerusalem as His city and He entered it accompanied by the sounds of the shofar. Make joyful music and compose new songs for G-d, our King, King of the world! (Those who are so skilled should compose, but everyone can clap and sing.) G-d on His metaphorical “throne” rules over all the nations of the Earth. The rulers of these nations gather to acknowledge G-d as their superior. (G-d is referred to here as the G-d of Abraham, since he was the first to recognize G-d on his own and to put his life on the line to defend monotheism.) Everyone will recognize that the only protection in the world comes from G-d, Who is raised above all else.

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