Psalm 46 – “Proclamations of Confidence”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist praises God and places his trust in him.

II. Photo
The psalmist praises God: “Nations rage, kingdoms topple; at the sound of his thunder the earth dissolves!” (v. 7)

III. Select Verses    
2-4: God is our refuge and stronghold, a help in trouble, very near. Therefore we are not afraid though the earth reels, though mountains topple into the sea — its waters rage and foam; in its swell mountains quake. Selah.
7-8: Nations rage, kingdoms topple; at the sound of His thunder the earth dissolves. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our haven. Selah.
9-10:  Come and see what the LORD has done, how He has wrought desolation on the earth. He puts a stop to wars throughout the earth, breaking the bow, snapping the spear, consigning wagons to the flames.
11: “Desist! Realize that I am God! I dominate the nations; I dominate the earth.”

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2-4. Proclamation of confidence #1
5-8. Proclamation of confidence #2
9-10. Pedagogic praise
11. Oracle
12. Proclamation of confidence #3

V. Comment
Psalm 46 is categorized by many scholars as a “Psalm of Confidence.” In terms of its structure, Craigie writes: “The psalm falls into three units, each of approximately equivalent length, each separated by the word SELAH. (1) God’s refuge in the context of natural phenomena (vv 2–4); (2) God’s refuge in the context of the nations of the world (vv 5–8); (3) God’s refuge in the context of both natural and national powers (vv 9–12). It is possible that the twice repeated refrain (vv 8, 12) originally occurred also after v 5 (cf BHS, note).”

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Psalms 1-50” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 19 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1983).
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
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