Psalm 48

1 Great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised,
In the city of our God, in his holy mountain.

1 See Psalm xviii. i. R. 279.

1-4, 9. The spiritual kingdom of the Lord, how admirable! P. P.

2 Cities signify doctrines or doctrinal tenets. R. 194.

2, 3. The north stands for those who are more remote from the light of good and truth, and the right hand — Psalm lxxxix. 12-13 — for those who are nearer thereto. A. 3708.

The reason why Jerusalem was called the city of God was because by God in the Word of the Old Testament is understood the Divine truth proceeding from the Lord. E. 223.

2 Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth,
Is mount Zion, on the sides of the north,
The city of the great King.
3 God hath made himself known in her palaces for a
4 For, lo, the kings assembled themselves,
They passed by together.
5 They saw it, then were they amazed;
They were dismayed, they hasted away.

2-4. By these words is described the worship of the Lord from truths originating in good. The worship of the Lord from spiritual truths and goods, and the pleasure of the soul thence derived is signified by verse 2, and by “beautiful in elevation” in verse 3. Worship is understood by being “great and greatly to be praised.” Spiritual truth which is from spiritual good is understood by “the city of our God.” The mountain of His holiness, and the pleasure of the soul thence derived is understood by “beautiful in elevation,” or for situation. Worship from celestial good is understood by “the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion.” Truths from that good are understood by, “on the sides of the north the city of a great king.” The sides of the north mean truths from celestial good, and the city of the great king, the doctrine of truth thence derived. E. 405.

3, 4. By Zion in the Word is not meant Zion, but heaven and the church where the Lord reigns by His Divine truth. E. 850.

3, 4, 12-15. See Psalm ii. 6-8, 12. R. 612.

6 Trembling took hold of them there,
Pain, as of a woman in travail.
With the east wind
7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish.
As we have heard, so have we seen
8 In the city of Jehovah of hosts, in the city of our God:
God will establish it for ever. [Selah]

5-8. Here is described the terror and confusion occasioned by an east wind, the description being taken from what passes in the world of spirits, which is involved in the internal sense of the Word. A. 842.

It will dissipate all falsities. P. P.

5, 7. Despair or extremity of pain is also described in the Word by the pain of a woman in travail. A. 8313.

5, 7, 8. The knowledges of truth and good are also described by ships. Ships cross the sea and bring back the necessaries which supply the natural man for every use, and the knowledges of good and truth are the necessaries which supply the spiritual man for its uses, for from them is the doctrine of the church, and according to this is life. R. 406.

8 Tarshish stands for rituals or doctrinal teachings. A. 1156.

By the east wind is signified what is of lusts and their fantasies. A. 5215.

Falsities from evil are signified by ships. See also Isaiah ii. 11-16; xxiii. 1, 14. A. 6385.

An east wind signifies means of destruction, because it was dry and tempestuous, hence also it signifies means of devastation. A. 7679.

See Psalm xi. 6. R. 343.

It is evident what effect is produced by the wind coming from the east which is called the east wind, namely, that with the evil it disperses all the goods and truths which they exhibited in an external form before the world, and which they assumed for the sake of appearances. Hence it is that withering and drying up are ascribed to this wind. The east wind also destroys all things where the evil are, their earths, their habitations, and their treasures, for the reason that in the spiritual world these are correspondences of the states of those who dwell there, wherefore when they perish the things which correspond perish also. E. 410.

By the east wind are signified devastation and desolation, for by the wind which comes from the east in the spiritual world the abodes of the evil are overturned from their foundations, and they themselves with the treasures in which they had placed their hearts are cast out into the hells. E. 514.

9 We have thought on thy lovingkindness, O God,
In the midst of thy temple.
10 As is thy name, O God,
So is thy praise unto the ends of the earth:
Thy right hand is full of righteousness.
11 Let mount Zion be glad,
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice,
Because of thy judgments.

9 Since Zion signifies the celestial church, and Jerusalem the church with regard to the doctrine of truth, therefore Zion is called the city of Jehovah, and Jerusalem the holy city, the city of God, and the city of a great king. E. 223.

10 See Psalm v. 10. R. 44.
10 11. By temple is here signified the church which is in truths from good, which is called the spiritual church, in the midst thereof signifies in the inmost and thence in the whole thereof, wherefore it is said, according to thy name, so is thy praise to the ends of the earth. To the ends of the earth means even to the ultimates of the church, the earth denoting the church. E. 313.

This is the Divine Human. P. P.

11 See Psalm xv. 1. E. 405.
See Psalm xl. 17. E. 660.

12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her;
Number the towers thereof;
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks;
Consider her palaces:
That ye may tell it to the generation following
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever:
He will be our guide even unto death.

12, 13. Towers stand for the interior truths which defend what is of love and charity. A. 4599.

12-14. To number means to know of what quality they are. The Lord alone knows the quality of the affection of each, and arranges all into order according to it. R.364.

By “mount Zion” which is here called on to rejoice is signified the celestial church which consists of those who are in love to the Lord. By “the daughters of Judah” who are exhorted to be glad are signified the affections of good and truth with those who are of that church. Because of thy judgments signifies because of the Divine truths which are with them from the Lord. “Walk about Zion and go round about her” signifies to embrace from love the things pertaining to that church. To ” number her towers ” signifies to ponder on the superior or interior truths of that church, to number meaning to see and consider the quality of them, and towers superior and interior truths. “Mark ye well her bulwarks” signifies to love the exterior truths which defend the church against falsities. “Consider her palaces” signifies to perceive the goods of truth, for houses stand for goods, and palaces the more noble goods of truth. “That ye may tell it to the generation following” means the permanence of them to eternity. E. 453.

From this are all things of heaven and of the church. P. P.

12-15. See Psalm xlviii. 3, 4. E. 850.

15 Because the Lord reigns there. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)