Ancient tradition suggests that this psalm was composed after the destruction of Sennacherib's army outside Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:35). The psalm's main theme develops in the opening and closing stanzas (vv. 1-3, 11-12; st. 1, 4): God defends Zion and makes his name known; God requires commitment, worship, and praise, even from the kings of the earth. The seven Hebrew lines (vv. 4-10) that link the psalm's framing verses celebrate God's awesome act of judgment that brought relief to Zion: God's unequaled power overcomes human might (st. 2), and not even human hostility can frustrate the plans of the God who pronounces judgment from heaven (st. 3). The theme of God's protection of Zion links this psalm with 46 and 48 (see also 84, 87, 122, 125, and 137). The versification is significantly revised from that in the 1912 Psalter.
Psalter Hymnal Handbook