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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 76

Verses 1-12

This is a martial ode, sung, according to the LXX, after the defeat of the Assyrian army. The Latin bible follows the LXX. The words of the psalm concerning the sleeping of the enemy, and the fall of many kings and princes, best agree with that event. The judgment was from heaven, In that case, the psalm was probably composed by Isaiah, or some other prophet.

Psalms 76:1 . In Judah is God known. By the fall of a hundred and eighty five thousand vain, boasting soldiers, who seemed asleep in the morning, and could not use their hands for war, God was known to be in his holy temple throughout all the Assyrian empire, and throughout all the western nations.

Psalms 76:11 . Vow, and pay to the Lord, the vows made in sickness and in war. But they should not be rash and unguarded vows: many such were made while Jerusalem was invested with the Assyrians. Bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. למורא la-mora, The Fear, the terrible one. This is a name, like that of love, which is given absolutely to God. The text requires these oblations to be brought to the Fear, or the terrible One.


As all great actions in the ancient world were celebrated by the bards, and as the wonders of the Lord in his church were sung by prophets, it is not surprising that we should here find a psalm which celebrates the destruction of the Assyrian army, and the liberation of Jerusalem. The description is so clear, that the subject had no need of a title.

The prophet exults in the God of Zion. He brake in pieces all the artillery of war, the bow, the arrow, the shield, the sword. The stout-hearted, yesterday blaspheming the God of Hezekiah, are fallen asleep; their hands are benumbed, the horses are like their riders, the princely chariots are put aside in repose.

Thou alone, oh God, art to be feared: we fear our enemies no more. Thou hast heard prayer in Salem, thy habitation; thou hast risen up in judgment to save the meek of the land. Surely the wrath of man, the impotent rage and blasphemies of man, shall praise thee, as the God of gods dwelling in Zion. Thou wilt gird thyself with majesty and strength, and meet the lurking remains of wrath in every future foe. Yea, if Israel shall hearken, and pay her vows to the Lord, thou wilt still exscind the proud, and cut them off like the purple clusters of the vine, never to be again replaced.

Let the christian church be encouraged. The Messiah of the Hebrews is thy Redeemer in the time of trouble. He is with you always to the end of the world. He is the God, known in Judah, and great in Israel.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 76". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.