PSALM 76#A song glorifying Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem where God destroyed Israel’s enemies. Zion is thus the appropriate site to celebrate the victory (Ps 76:3–4), a victory described in parallel scenes (Ps 76:5–7, 8–11). Israel is invited to worship its powerful patron deity (Ps 76:12).
God Defends Zion
1For the leader; a psalm with stringed instruments. A song of Asaph.
2Renowned in Judah is God,#a. [76:2] Heb 3:2.
whose name is great in Israel.
3On Salem#Salem: an ancient name for Jerusalem, used here perhaps on account of its allusion to the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, cf. Gn 14:18; Heb 7:1–3. is God’s tent, his shelter on Zion.
4There the flashing arrows were shattered,
shield, sword, and weapons of war.#b. [76:4] Ps 46:10; 122:6–9.Selah
5Terrible and awesome are you,
stronger than the ancient mountains.#Ancient mountains: conjectural translation of a difficult Hebrew phrase on the basis of Gn 49:26. The mountains are part of the structure of the universe (Ps 89:12–13).
6Despoiled are the stouthearted;
they sank into sleep;
the hands of all the men of valor have failed.#c. [76:6] 2 Kgs 19:35; Jer 51:39; Na 3:18.
7At your roar, O God of Jacob,
chariot and steed lay still.
8You, terrible are you;
who can stand before you and your great anger?#d. [76:8] Dt 7:21; 1 Sm 6:20; Na 1:6; Mal 3:2.
9From the heavens you pronounced sentence;
the earth was terrified and reduced to silence,
10When you arose, O God, for judgment
to save the afflicted of the land.Selah
11Surely the wrath of man will give you thanks;
the remnant of your furor will keep your feast.
12Make and keep vows to the Lord your God.#e. [76:12] Nm 30:3.
May all around him bring gifts to the one to be feared,
13Who checks the spirit of princes,
who is fearful to the kings of earth.