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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Psalms 76

Verse 1

Psalms 76:1 « To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm [or] Song of Asaph. » In Judah [is] God known: his name [is] great in Israel.

A Psalm or Song of Asaph ] Or, for Asaph; either made prophetically, by Asaph himself, or by some other psalmist, who committed it to Asaph’s successors, to be played and sung. The Hebrews say it is made de bello Gogi, of the war with Gog and Magog, that is, the Eastern and Western antichrists. The Greeks say De Assyriis ( περι των Aσσυριων . In Hexaplo), of Sennacherib and his host; and surely the matter of the psalm is such as very well agreeth with that overthrow. Confer Psa 46:1-11 Psalms 48:1-14

Ver. 1. In Judah is God known ] Nobilis est, saith Tremellius; Notior est, saith another interpreter; i.e. Better known he is now than ever; not by his word only, which is preached in Judah, but by his wondrous works; this especially of destroying the Assyrians at Lachish, in the tribe of Judah.

His name is great in Israel ] Greater now than ever, God having made himself a glorious name, Isaiah 63:14 . Egypt rang of this slaughter of the Assyrians, as Herodotus testifieth; so did all other countries doubtless.

Verse 2

Psa 76:2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.

Ver. 2. In Salem also is his tabernacle ] i.e. In Jerusalem, which was first called Salem, Gen 14:18 Hebrews 7:1 . Secondly, Jebus, 1 Chronicles 11:4 Joshua 15:8 ; Joshua 18:28 . Thirdly, Jerusalem, Joshua 15:63 2 Samuel 5:6 , not as if ιερον Sολυμων , or Sολομωντος , Solomon’s temple (as Hegesippus would have it, and hence likely came the aspiration Hierusalem), but from that famous Jehovahjireh, Genesis 22:14 ; Genesis 22:2 ; which Jireh being added to Salem, maketh it Jerusalem, the vision of peace. Here God was pleased to pitch his tabernacle, movable, and mean, in respect of God’s greatness, 1 Kings 8:27 .

And his dwellingplace in Zion ] Which therefore will save and see to, as every man doth to the place of his habitation. Lustrum eius, q.d. In Zion desidet ut leo ad praedam paratus (Metaph.).

Verse 3

Psa 76:3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.

Ver. 3. There brake he the arrows of the bolt, ] There? Where? Surely in Zion, in the holy assemblies where the saints were praying, there the arrow, shield, spear, &c., were broken. This made the queen-mother of Scotland say, that she more feared the prayers of John Knox than an army of thirty thousand fighting soldiers. The king of Sweden, as soon as he set foot in Germany, fell down to prayer, and what great things did he in a little time! Now for the fruit of prayer, cried those great gallants at Edgehill fight, and did great exploits. The word here rended arrows signifieth fiery darts, see Ephesians 6:16 ; a burning coal, Job 5:7 ; a lightening bolt, Psalms 78:48 ; the plague, or carbuncle, Deu 32:24 Habakkuk 3:5 . Strabo saith that Orites, Gynmetes, and Ethiopians shot fiery arrows: so might the Assyrians. Confer Psalms 120:4 .

The shield, and the sword, and the battle ] Both the men and the munition. This Herodotus had heard of, but misrelates the history, lib. 2.

Verse 4

Psa 76:4 Thou [art] more glorious [and] excellent than the mountains of prey.

Ver. 4. Thou art more glorious and excellent ] Or, more bright and magnificent. Glorious God was before, but now more glorious by this late deliverance, illuminating his people with his marvellous light.

Than the mountains of prey ] Those vast hosts of Assyrians lying now upon the mountains around Jerusalem, and plundering the country at their pleasure. Thou, Lord, art far more illustrious and admirable than all those Grassatores populi, ac reges quantumvis elati, those mountains of lions and leopards, Song of Solomon 4:8 , the kingdoms of this world, enemies to the Church.

Verse 5

Psa 76:5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.

Ver. 5. The stout-hearted are spoiled ] Heb. have yielded themselves up for prey: those that escaped the stroke of the angel, fled as fast as they could for their lives, leaving all behind them. The Rabbis expound it, they are spoiled of their understanding, infatuated.

They have slept their sleep ] Their long ironsleep (as the poets call it) of death. The destroying angel hath laid them fast enough and safe enough.

And none of the men of might ] Viri divitiarum, the Vulgate rendereth it, men of riches, such as are all worldlings, but men of might is better; these men of their hands could not find their hands, when God’s angel took them to do.

Verse 6

Psa 76:6 At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.

Ver. 6. At thy rebuke, O God, &c. ] i.e. With thy mighty word of command, and without any more ado. God can nod men to destruction, Psalms 80:16 , blow them into hell, Job 4:9 , rebuke them to death, as here; do it with as much ease as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim, Isaiah 25:11 ,

The chariot and horse ] The chieftains of the army.

Verse 7

Psa 76:7 Thou, [even] thou, [art] to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?

Ver. 7. Thou, even thou, art to be feared ] Herodotus saith, that under Sennacherib’s statue in Egypt, was written, Let him that looketh upon me learn to fear God, Eμε τις εσορεων ευσεβης εστω .

And who may stand in thy sight? ] Thou canst look them to death.

Verse 8

Psa 76:8 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,

Ver. 8. Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven ] From thence is God’s wrath revealed plainly and plentifully, Romans 1:18 , and thence he oft appeareth for his people as out of an engine.

The earth feared ] All was hushed, as after a thunder clap.

Verse 9

Psa 76:9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.

Ver. 9. When God arose to judgment ] Being stirred up, as it were, by the prayers of his people, as Psalms 76:2-3 .

To save all the meek of the earth ] Who cease not to seek the Lord, to seek righteousness and judgment, Zephaniah 2:3 .

Verse 10

Psa 76:10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

Ver. 10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee ] As when Sennacherib’s army was destroyed, the Israelites sang praise, yea, the Egyptians built altars, as Isaiah 19:19 . God by his wisdom ordereth and draweth the blind and brute motions of the worst creatures unto his own honour; as the huntsman doth the rage of the dog to his pleasure; or the mariner the blowing of the wind to his voyage; or the artist, the heat of the fire to his work; or the physician, the bloodthirstiness of the leech to a cure, saith a reverend man.

The remainder of wrath shall thou restrain ] Heb. shall thou gird; that is, curb and keep within compass. The Greek hath it, εορταζει σοι , it shall keep holy day to thee; that is, cease from working, or acting outwardly, how restless soever it be within.

Verse 11

Psa 76:11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.

Ver. 11. Vow, and pay to the Lord ] A plain precept; and yet Bellarmine saith, Vovere nusquam est praeceptum. As for vowing to saints, he granteth, that when the Scriptures were written the Church had no such custom (Lib. ii. de Monach. cap. 17; De Cult. Sanetor. cap. 9). Saint worship then is but new worship.

Let all that be round about him ] All the neighbouring nations; and so they did, after Assyria’s overthrow, 2 Chronicles 32:21 ; 2 Chronicles 32:23 .

To him that ought to be feared ] Heb. to fear, that is, to God, the proper object of fear, called therefore fear, by an appellative property.

Verse 12

Psa 76:12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes: [he is] terrible to the kings of the earth.

Ver. 12. He shall cut off the spirit of princes ] Vindemiabit, he shall slip them off as one would do a bunch of grapes, or a flower between one’s fingers; easily, suddenly, as he dealt by Sennacherib’s princes, Auferet de vita, ut de vite botros.

He is terrible to kings ] Enemies to his Church, as most kings are.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.