KJV - 1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
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Back when God gave instructions to Moses for building the tabernacle, the work was finished according to the instructions, "and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle" (Exodus 40:35). When Solomon later built a permanent building for the worship of Yahweh, his prayer of dedication made it clear that although no dwelling can contain God (1 Kings 8:27), his presence would be experienced when his people prayed toward the Temple (1 Kings 8:29), and he would hear from heaven and answer (1 Kings 8:30, 32, 34, 36, 39, 43, 45, 49). This Temple was built in the city of Jerusalem, which is located in the southern Cis-Jordan hills. Because it is situated on a hill, with valleys to the east and south of it, it is very strikingly prominent. When David first took the city from the Jebusites, it was smaller, consisting of only the lower portion (The City of David), but the Temple was built on the most prominent part of the city, Mount Zion, north of the lower original city. Psalm 48 celebrates Yahweh, and the great city where his Temple stands. The first two verses exclaim, "Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain. It is beautiful in its loftiness, the joy of the whole earth. Like the utmost hheights of Zaphon is Mount Zion, the city of the Great King." In these verses, "the city of our God" is Jerusalem, and "his holy mountain" is Mount Zion, upon which the Temple sat. In Psalm 48:8 we read of "the city of the LORD Almighty, in the city of our God," and in Psalm 48:9 speaks of being "within your temple." Psalm 48:11 says, "Mount Zion rejoices, the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments," and verse 12 continues, "Walk around Zion, go around her, count her towers." It is clear that in this psalm God's holy mountain is Mount Zion, upon which his Temple sat. There are numerous other references to this in Scripture. A couple of them, also from Psalms, are given below: Psalm 2:6 -- "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill." Psalm 43:3 -- "Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell."
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