The Meaning of Psalms 48:2 Explained

Psalms 48:2

KJV: Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

YLT: Beautiful for elevation, A joy of all the land, is Mount Zion, The sides of the north, the city of a great king.

Darby: Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

ASV: Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, The city of the great King.

What does Psalms 48:2 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalm 48:1-14 - "the City Of Our God"
This psalm also probably dates from 2 Chronicles 20:20. Tekoa was only three hours' march from Jerusalem and commanded an extensive view, so that Psalms 48:4-5 were literally true.
The psalmist celebrates the beauty and glory of Zion, Psalms 48:1-3. The Church today is the City of the great King. Apart from God, the fairest palace is no refuge; but a cottage becomes a palace if God is known and loved there. Judah's recent deliverance is gratefully commemorated, Psalms 48:4-8. It is a sublime picture: the gathered array, the dismay, flight, and destruction of the foe. Then comes the call to loving thought on God's care and goodness, Psalms 48:9-14. Notice those two sentences-"As we have heard, so we have seen," Psalms 48:8; and, "As is thy name, so is thy praise," Psalms 48:10. Whatever we have been told by our fathers about God, God is prepared to be and do for us; and our aim should be to praise Him worthily. Think of His love till your heart kindles to praise; and remember that this God is yours forever and ever. Let us surrender to Him the guidance of every step, until we pass through death into His immediate presence. [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalm 48

1  The ornaments and privileges of the church

What do the individual words in Psalms 48:2 mean?

Beautiful in elevation the joy of all the earth [Is] Mount Zion [on] the sides of the north the city of the King great
יְפֵ֥ה נוֹף֮ מְשׂ֪וֹשׂ כָּל־ הָ֫אָ֥רֶץ הַר־ צִ֭יּוֹן יַרְכְּתֵ֣י צָפ֑וֹן קִ֝רְיַ֗ת מֶ֣לֶךְ רָֽב

יְפֵ֥ה  Beautiful 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: יָפֶה  
Sense: fair, beautiful, handsome.
נוֹף֮  in  elevation 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: נׄוף  
Sense: elevation, height.
מְשׂ֪וֹשׂ  the  joy 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מָשֹׂושׂ 
Sense: exultation, joy, rejoicing.
כָּל־  of  all 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: כֹּל  
Sense: all, the whole.
הָ֫אָ֥רֶץ  the  earth 
Parse: Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: אֶרֶץ  
Sense: land, earth.
הַר־  [Is]  Mount 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: הַר  
Sense: hill, mountain, hill country, mount.
צִ֭יּוֹן  Zion 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: צִיּׄון  
Sense: another name for Jerusalem especially in the prophetic books.
יַרְכְּתֵ֣י  [on]  the  sides 
Parse: Noun, fdc
Root: יְרֵכָה  
Sense: flank, side, extreme parts, recesses.
צָפ֑וֹן  of  the  north 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: צָפֹון  
Sense: north (of direction), northward.
קִ֝רְיַ֗ת  the  city 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: קִרְיָה 
Sense: city, town.
מֶ֣לֶךְ  of  the  King 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
רָֽב  great 
Parse: Adjective, masculine singular
Root: רַב 
Sense: much, many, great.