3. There He broke, etc. So Ps. 46:8–9 reads: “Come and see the works of the Lord; making wars to cease, He will destroy the bow and break the wars and burn the shields with fire” (that is, their will and plan). For Eph. 6:12 says: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” that is, men who are overcome with material weapons, as experience shows, 2 Cor. 10:4: “Our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual.” In Is. 2:4 and Micah 4:3 we read: “Nation will not lift up the sword against nation, neither will they be exercised anymore for war.” And [so we read] in many other places.
Thus Christ was known in Judah (v. 1) in a threefold way. First, because the saints of the Old Testament had the knowledge and religion of the one true God. Second, and more properly, through the personal presence of the flesh, where He was known and appeared also to the senses. And so this psalm could also be applied to the Feast of the Epiphany, for there He who was born was also made manifest in the flesh, and there He became well known for His whole life through miracles and teachings. In Titus we read: “The humanity of our Savior God has appeared.” Third, and most properly, because then the revealed faith in Christ, the light of the Gospel, truth and righteousness, began to be manifested through the sending of the Holy Spirit. And this latter was and is the manifestation of Christ in the spirit, as the former was His manifestation in the flesh. The latter alone is saving. While the former did not benefit all to whom it was made, the latter is salvation for all to whom it appears. And that the psalm speaks above all about the latter is clear from what follows: And His name is great in Israel.
The name of God is great wherever He is, and He is everywhere. But it is not called great except where it is known to be great, namely, in the mind and heart of one who worships and magnifies Him. Hence “the name is great” is the same as “to have great knowledge concerning it.” But great knowledge is to know its greatness. And this is what it means that God is known in Judah. Then rightly follows:
2. And His place has been made in peace, for through knowledge and love a dwellingplace is prepared for Him. First God and His great name must be known, and then His place will be there in peace. Of course (as I have often said), our translation always moves more toward the spirit. Therefore it has “peace” instead of “Salem,” because it refers not to the literal Jerusalem, but to the spiritual. Yet this was then in the literal sense Jerusalem at the same time. For the church, which is the spiritual Jerusalem, was then and began to be in the literal Jerusalem, which is called “vision of peace” or “the peaceful one.” For there peace is seen, and peace is for those who see formally and objectively.
Luther’s works, vol. 11: First Lectures 2*
*Note: These lectures were from 1513-1515, which is before the posting of the 95 thesis (1517) and his Heidelberg Disputation (1518).