Ps 47:1-2 Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!Shout to God with the voice of triumph (Shout to God with loud songs 0r TEV “Praise God with loud songs”)! For the Lord Most High (‘elohiym (el-o-heem’commonly designates the one true God)is awesome;He is a great King over all the earth. NKJV
O clap your hands, etc. Such expressions of pious and devout affection as to some may seem indecent and imprudent, yet ought not to be hastily censured and condemned, much less ridiculed; because if they come from an upright heart, God will accept the strength of the affection, and excuse the weakness of the expressions of it. — Matthew Henry.
John Gill (23 November 1697 – 14 October 1771) was an English Baptist pastor said of these verses -O clap your hands, all ye people, Meaning the Gentiles more especially; see Psalm 117:1 compared with Romans 15:9; who had reason to rejoice and be glad, since the ascended Lord and King here spoken of was given to be their Saviour, was the propitiation for their sins, and had given himself a ransom price for them; and now the Gospel was preached among them,…
shout unto God with the voice of triumph; as when triumphs are made on account of victories obtained, which was now the case; Christ having conquered sin, Satan, and the world, by his sufferings and death, and having spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them, openly triumphing over them, when he ascended on high, and led captivity captive; and he having sent his apostles into the Gentile world with his Gospel, they were caused to triumph in him wherever they came. And now these external actions of clapping hands, and shouting with the voice, are expressive of inward spiritual joy; which those among the people who were conquered by the grace of God, and had a sight of their ascended Lord and Saviour, were filled with: and who are exhorted to express it in this manner, unto God: not to angels, nor to men, no, not to ministers, who brought the joyful tidings to them; but to God, either to God the Father, for all their temporal and spiritual blessings; especially for the unspeakable gift of his Son, to suffer and die for them: or to the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh; God that was gone up with a shout, Psalm 47:5; and was now at the right hand of God, crowned with glory and honour; who, by the sufferings of death, had obtained eternal redemption for them.
For the Lord most high is terrible,…. Christ is not only the Son of the Highest, but he himself is the most high God, God over all, blessed for ever. He is higher than the highest, than the angels in heaven, or any of the sons of men on earth. He is the high and lofty One, that dwells in the high and lofty place. And even this character agrees with him as the ascended Lord and King in his human nature; he is ascended on high, is set down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. He is highly exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour; he is made higher than the heavens, and than the kings of the earth are; angels, authorities, and powers, are subject to him. And this is a reason exciting all the people to joy and gladness. And he is “terrible” to his enemies, being the Lion of the tribe of Judah; who will rule the nations with a rod of iron, and break them in pieces as a potter’s vessel: and so he will be when he shall come in the clouds of heaven, land descend from thence, in flaming fire, to take vengeance on those who have despised and rejected him; and at the same time will be glorious to and admired by them that believe in him. His appearance, which will be terrible to others, will be matter of joy to them. Though the word used may be rendered as it is in Psalm 111:9; “reverend” or “to be feared”F2, as he is; see Isaiah 8:13; both on account of his goodness, as the Redeemer and Saviour of his people, Hosea 3:5; and of his greatness, being equal with God, and King of saints. As it follows;
he is a great King over all the earth; as he must needs be, since he is the great God and our Saviour; and is King of kings, and Lord of lords. He is now King of Zion, and head over all things to the church; and before long the kingdoms of this world will become his, and he will take to himself his great power and reign, and shall be King over all the earth openly and visibly; he shall be one, and his name One,Zechariah 14:9; which is another reason for joy and gladness among the people.