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Mizmor 047 - The Shofar is Calling

(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ לִבְנֵי קֹרַח מִזְמוֹר: (ב) כָּל הָעַמִּים תִּקְעוּ כָף הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹקִים בְּקוֹל רִנָּה:
(1) For the musician, by the sons of Korach. (2) All nations, clap your hands! Sing out to G-d with a joyful cry!
NOTE: For a PDF of this mizmor, please click here. This will enable you to print out the entire text of the article. [Rev 5]
Key Concepts of Mizmor 047 - The Shofar is Calling
The mizmor was composed as a song of praise to Hashem in anticipation of the final Geulah (Redemption). It foresees the time when the nations of the world will recognize their debt of gratitude to the Jewish people for carrying the torch of devotion to the One G-d throughout the centuries. If it were not for our nation the world would have long since been destroyed because of mankind’s sins.
This mizmor of celebration after a time of cataclysmic war (known as the War of Gog and Magog) will be forever associated with the sound of the shofar which signals universal peace and the enthronement of the only universal King.
Each year on Rosh Hashanah we recite this mizmor with great intensity as we prepare to sound the shofar in our communities throughout the world. We remind ourselves that the shofar represents the transformation of G-d’s harsh judgment to mercy. It is only because of that mercy that the world continues to exist.
Navigating Tehillim (1). The mizmor celebrates the enthronement of G-d with the piercing sound of the shofar accompanying the rising up of the long-hidden Holy Ark. This recalls Mizmor 024 (Receiving the King) which celebrates the inauguration of the Bais Hamikdash with the entrance of the Ark into the Holy of Holies.
Navigating Tehillim (2). For a historical background on the sons of Korach who composed this mizmor, see Mizmor 042 (Yearning for Redemption).
Exploring the Mizmor
PART 1. THE END OF WAR. The singer begins by calling upon the nations of the world to celebrate the end of war and universal recognition of the One G-d.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ לִבְנֵי קֹרַח מִזְמוֹר: (ב) כָּל הָעַמִּים תִּקְעוּ כָף הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹקִים בְּקוֹל רִנָּה: (ג) כִּי ה' עֶלְיוֹן נוֹרָא מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ:
(1) For the musician, by the sons of Korach. (2) All nations, clap your hands! Sing out to G-d with a joyful cry! (3) Hashem is the Most High. [His power is] awesome. [He is the] great King over all the earth.
PART 2. AN ETERNAL INHERITANCE. The singer now turns to his fellow Jews and assures them that Hashem will not forget their central role in the new world order. In fact, the Land of their forefathers will be confirmed as the eternal inheritance of Yisrael and Hashem will rebuild the Bais Hamikdash in Yerushalayim, as it was in ancient times.
(ד) יַדְבֵּר עַמִּים תַּחְתֵּינוּ וּלְאֻמִּים תַּחַת רַגְלֵינוּ: (ה) יִבְחַר לָנוּ אֶת נַחֲלָתֵנוּ אֶת גְּאוֹן יַעֲקֹב אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב סֶלָה:
(4) He will gather the nations below us, and governments below our feet. (5) He will choose for us our heritage, the pride of Yaakov, [the city] which He has [always] loved, Selah.
PART 3. THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR. As we visualize the climactic scene in which the long-hidden Holy Ark rises up again, the singer speaks of the penetrating sound of the shofar telling us that the glory of Hashem is ascending.
(ו) עָלָה אֱלֹקִים בִּתְרוּעָה ה' בְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר:
(6) G-d [Elokim] ascended with the teruah blast, [the Name of] Hashem, with the sound of the shofar.
PART 4. CALL TO MANKIND. The singer turns again to the nations of the world and calls upon all mankind to honor the Creator in song.
(ז) זַמְּרוּ אֱלֹקִים זַמֵּרוּ זַמְּרוּ לְמַלְכֵּנוּ זַמֵּרוּ: (ח) כִּי מֶלֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֱלֹקִים זַמְּרוּ מַשְׂכִּיל: (ט) מָלַךְ אֱלֹקִים עַל גּוֹיִם אֱלֹקִים יָשַׁב עַל כִּסֵּא קָדְשׁוֹ:
(7) Sing to G-d with music, sing! Sing to our King, sing! (8) For G-d is King of all the world. Sing, with meaning! (9) He reigns over all the peoples. He sits upon the throne of His sanctity.
PART 5. CONCLUSION. The singer concludes with a vision of universal peace and harmony in exaltation of Hashem.
(י) נְדִיבֵי עַמִּים נֶאֱסָפוּ עַם אֱלֹקֵי אַבְרָהָם כִּי לֵאלֹקִים מָגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ מְאֹד נַעֲלָה:
(10) The virtuous nobles among the nations have gathered [to acknowledge] the people of Avraham’s G-d. For [in their devotion] to G-d, [the Jewish people have been] the “shields of the earth.” He will be exceedingly exalted.
 
Learning the Mizmor
PART 1. THE END OF WAR.
(א) לַמְנַצֵּחַ לִבְנֵי קֹרַח מִזְמוֹר:
This mizmor — מִזְמוֹר  was prepared by the sons of Korach for the musician — לַמְנַצֵּחַ לִבְנֵי קֹרַח  who will perform it.
(ב) כָּל הָעַמִּים תִּקְעוּ כָף 
הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹקִים בְּקוֹל רִנָּה:
Rejoice with us, all you nations  כָּל הָעַמִּים  of the world; let us celebrate the end of war. Clap your hands in joy — תִּקְעוּ כָף  as you join us in acknowledging Hashem as King over mankind! Sing out to G-d in unison  הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹקִים  with a joyful cry  בְּקוֹל רִנָּה !
(ג) כִּי ה‘ עֶלְיוֹן נוֹרָא
I call upon you to joyfully acknowledge Him for you now have seen that Hashem is the Most High  כִּי ה‘ עֶלְיוֹן . His power is awesome  נוֹרָא  and so He is to be greatly feared. But at the same time He generously lavishes love, life and blessings upon all His creatures.
מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ:
He is the great King who reigns over all the nations of the earth — מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ , for none can escape His control and there is nothing that happens without His knowledge.
PART 2. AN ETERNAL INHERITANCE.
(ד) יַדְבֵּר עַמִּים תַּחְתֵּינוּ
In their arrogance the nations of the world have looked down upon us in the past and Hashem has tolerated their persecution of the Jewish people. But now He will gather the nations — יַדְבֵּר עַמִּים  to take their place below us  תַּחְתֵּינוּ  in the ranking of spiritual leadership. For they will join together to follow our example in recognizing the One G-d.
וּלְאֻמִּים תַּחַת רַגְלֵינוּ:
And He will gather the emissaries of their governments  וּלְאֻמִּים  to pay their respects to Hashem below our feet — תַּחַת רַגְלֵינוּ  in our own Land, which Hashem has given us as our inheritance.
(ה) יִבְחַר לָנוּ אֶת נַחֲלָתֵנוּ
Inspired by our example, each nation will happily submit to the authority of Hashem within its own land. And as for our Land, the nations will see that He will choose for us — יִבְחַר לָנוּ  to take permanent possession of our own heritage — אֶת נַחֲלָתֵנוּ , the Land which was originally our land in former times. Now He will return us to it. When we were driven from the Land because of our sins He continued to watch over it and never allowed another nation to take permanent possession of it.
אֶת גְּאוֹן יַעֲקֹב 
אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב סֶלָה:
That Land is the pride and glory of Yaakov — אֶת גְּאוֹן יַעֲקֹב , because the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt there. Its location was first shown to Yaakov in his dream of the heavenly ladder. Yaakov was the third of the Avos (Patriarchs) and the third Beis Hamikdash will forever be associated with his name.
The majesty of G-d will continue to dwell in Yerushalayim, the city where His greatness is recognized by all the nations. It is the city which Hashem has always loved — אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב  and which He will forever — סֶלָה  treasure.
PART 3. THE SOUND OF THE SHOFAR.
The Holy Ark is rising! With it the shofar is being sounded and G-d’s Name is being exalted! In His Name we see how the harshness of Divine judgment (middas hadin) is being transformed into mercy (middas harachamim)! Initially, Elokim, His Name of Judgment, ascended  עָלָה אֱלֹקִים  with the broken teruah blast  בִּתְרוּעָה . But now Hashem, His Name of loving mercy, is ascending with the steady, calming tekiah sound of the shofar  ה‘ בְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר . 
PART 4. CALL TO MANKIND.
(ז) זַמְּרוּ אֱלֹקִים זַמֵּרוּ
I call upon all peoples: Sing with music in praise to G-d, sing with joyful enthusiasm!  זַמְּרוּ אֱלֹקִים זַמֵּרוּ  Show your appreciation of the wonderful world that He has created for mankind.
זַמְּרוּ לְמַלְכֵּנוּ זַמֵּרוּ:
And especially to all who have come to recognize His glory in our midst, sing to our King, sing!  זַמְּרוּ לְמַלְכֵּנוּ זַמֵּרוּ  For He governs the world and we owe Him our devotion as His loyal subjects.
(ח) כִּי מֶלֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֱלֹקִים 
זַמְּרוּ מַשְׂכִּיל:
Sing His praises for G-d is King of all the world  כִּי מֶלֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֱלֹקִים . Think about your relationship with Him and let your song reflect your thoughts. Sing, with meaning  זַמְּרוּ מַשְׂכִּיל  to inspire others to appreciate that He alone is King!
(ט) מָלַךְ אֱלֹקִים עַל גּוֹיִם 
אֱלֹקִים יָשַׁב עַל כִּסֵּא קָדְשׁוֹ:
Until now, G-d only ruled over Yisrael because the other nations did not know Him, but now He reigns over all the peoples  מָלַךְ אֱלֹקִים עַל גּוֹיִם . And even though He is recognized by all mankind, He sits upon the throne of His sanctity  אֱלֹקִים יָשַׁב עַל כִּסֵּא קָדְשׁוֹ  in Yerushalayim, which He has chosen as the resting place of the Shechinah on earth.
PART 5. CONCLUSION.
(י) נְדִיבֵי עַמִּים נֶאֱסָפוּ 
עַם אֱלֹקֵי אַבְרָהָם
I can foresee the time when there will be universal recognition of the essential benefit that Yisrael has brought to the world. In this vision I see the virtuous nobles among the nations — נְדִיבֵי עַמִּים . They have gathered  נֶאֱסָפוּ  to acknowledge the people of Avraham’s G-d  עַם אֱלֹקֵי אַבְרָהָם .
כִּי לֵאלֹקִים מָגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ 
מְאֹד נַעֲלָה:
For in their devotion to G-d  כִּי לֵאלֹקִים  the Jewish people have been the shields of the earth — מָגִנֵּי אֶרֶץ . And so through universal fellowship in honor of G-d, He will be known as exceedingly exalted — מְאֹד נַעֲלָה .
 
Living the Mizmor
Listed below are some of the lessons that you can draw from this mizmor, as well as some of the thoughts you might have in mind when you say the words of the mizmor as a tefillah, expressing your devotion to Hashem.
Tehillos for Life - Public Acclaim.
[47:2] ACKNOWLEDGING THE KING. – כָּל הָעַמִּים תִּקְעוּ כָף הָרִיעוּ לֵאלֹקִים בְּקוֹל רִנָּה – “All nations, clap your hands! Sing out to G-d with a joyful cry!” Let all nations join us in acknowledging Hashem as King over mankind.
[47:3] – כִּי ה' עֶלְיוֹן נוֹרָא מֶלֶךְ גָּדוֹל עַל כָּל הָאָרֶץ – “Hashem is the Most High. [His power is] awesome. [He is the] great King over all the earth.
[47:7] APPRECIATION. – זַמְּרוּ אֱלֹקִים זַמֵּרוּ זַמְּרוּ לְמַלְכֵּנוּ זַמֵּרוּ – “Sing to G-d with music, sing! Sing to our King, sing!” Let all nations join us in loyal devotion and enthusiastic appreciation of Hashem’s kindness to His creatures.
[47:8] – כִּי מֶלֶךְ כָּל הָאָרֶץ אֱלֹקִים זַמְּרוּ מַשְׂכִּיל – “For G-d is King of all the world. Sing, with meaning!
[47:10] RECOGNITION. – נְדִיבֵי עַמִּים נֶאֱסָפוּ עַם אֱלֹקֵי אַבְרָהָם – “The virtuous nobles among the nations have gathered [to acknowledge] the people of Avraham’s G-d.” There will be universal recognition of the essential benefit that Yisrael has brought to the world.
Tehillos for Life - Contemplation of Hashem.
[47:6] THE SHOFAR. – עָלָה אֱלֹקִים בִּתְרוּעָה ה' בְּקוֹל שׁוֹפָר – “G-d [Elokim] ascended with the teruah blast, [the Name of] Hashem, with the sound of the shofar.” Hashem’s Name of loving mercy is ascending with the steady, calming tekiah sound of the shofar.
 
 
Sources
The primary sources used in the interpretation of the verses of this mizmor are listed below.
א - רד"ק, בן־רמוך, רשר"ה
ב - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, מלבי"ם
ג - בן־רמוך, ספורנו, אבן יחייא, מצודות, באר אברהם, רשר"ה, נר לרגלי
ד - אבן עזרא, ספורנו, באר אברהם, רשר"ה
ה - רש"י, רד"ק, בן־רמוך, אלשיך, מלבי"ם
ו - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, ספורנו, אבן יחייא
ז - אבן עזרא, רשר"ה
ח - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, המאירי, אבן יחייא
ט - רד"ק, ספורנו, מלבי"ם
י - אבן עזרא, רד"ק, רשר"ה