Psalm 76:5
The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
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(5) Are spoiled.—Literally, have let themselves be spoiled. The picture is of men rendered powerless, at a glance, a word, from God.

Slept their sleep.—Better, have sunk into a deep sleep.

None of the men of might have found their hands.—This expression for powerlessness naturally grew into an idiom in a language that used the word hand as a synonym for strength. (Comp. Joshua 8:20, margin; Exodus 14:31, margin; Deuteronomy 32:36, margin.) Delitzsch quotes a Talmudic phrase, “We did not find our hands and feet in the school house.” We may compare the Virgilian use of manus n. 6:688), and Shakespeare’s “a proper fellow of my hands,” and for the use of “find” compare the common phrase “find one’s tongue.”

Psalm 76:5-6. The stout-hearted are spoiled — Of all that glory and advantage which they either had already obtained, or further expected from the success of their present expedition. They became a prey to those on whom they hoped to prey. They have slept their sleep — Even a perpetual sleep, or the sleep of death. They have slept so as never to awake again to life on earth. He terms their death sleep, because they were slain in the night, when they had composed themselves to sleep, and so passed, perhaps insensibly, from one sleep to another. None of the men of might have found their hands — They had no more strength in, or use of their hands, against the destroying angel, than those who have no hands. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob — By a rebuking blast sent from thee; both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep — Are rendered motionless and useless, like persons in a dead sleep. The horses were killed, as well as their riders, and the chariots were of no further service.76:1-6 Happy people are those who have their land filled with the knowledge of God! happy persons that have their hearts filled with that knowledge! It is the glory and happiness of a people to have God among them by his ordinances. Wherein the enemies of the church deal proudly, it will appear that God is above them. See the power of God's rebukes. With pleasure may Christians apply this to the advantages bestowed by the Redeemer.The stout-hearted are spoiled - The valiant men, the men who came so confidently to the invasion. The word "spoiled" here, as elsewhere in the Scriptures, means "plundered," not (as the word is now used) "corrupted." See the notes at Colossians 2:8.

They have slept their sleep - They are dead; they have slept their last sleep. Death, in the Scriptures, as in all other writings, is often compared with sleep.

And none of the men of might - The men who came forth for purposes of war and conquest.

Have found their hands - The Septuagint renders this, "Have found nothing in their hands;" that is, they have obtained no plunder. Luther renders it, "And all warriors must suffer their hands to fall." De Wette, "Have lost their hands?" The idea seems to be, that they had lost the use of their hands; that is, that they had no use for them, or did not find them of any use. They could not employ them for the purpose for which they were intended, but were suddenly stricken down.

5. slept their sleep—died (Ps 13:3).

none … found … hands—are powerless.

Are spoiled of all that glory and advantage which they either had already gotten, or further expected, from the success of their present expedition, which they promised to themselves. They became a prey to those upon whom they hoped to prey.

Their sleep; even a perpetual sleep, as Jeremiah 51:39,57, or the sleep of death, Psalm 13:3; called their sleep emphatically, as being peculiar to them and such-like men, and not that sleep which is common to the good and bad. Their death he seems to call sleep, because they were slain in the night, when they had composed themselves to rest and sleep, and so passed insensibly from one sleep to another. For it is thought by many that this Psalm was composed upon the occasion of that prodigious slaughter of the Assyrians in Judah, 2 Kings 19:35. None have found their hands; they had no more strength in or use of their hands against the destroying angel, than they who have no hands. The stout hearted are spoiled,.... The Assyrian army, its officers and generals, that came up against Jerusalem, with great resolution and courage, and with daring impiety and blasphemy against the God of heaven, as Rabshakeh and others; these were spoiled, and their armour and riches became a prey to those they thought to have made a prey of. So principalities and powers were spoiled by Christ upon the cross, and Satan, the strong man armed, has in the conversion of a sinner his armour taken from him, and his spoils divided by him that is stronger than he; and such as are stouthearted, and far from true righteousness, are stripped of their own, and made willing, in the day of Christ's power upon them, to submit to his; and as for antichrist, whose look is more stout than his fellows, that exalts himself above all that is called God, and opens his mouth in blasphemy against him and his followers, he shall be destroyed with the breath of Christ's mouth, and the brightness of his coming: or "the stout hearted have spoiled themselves" (a); as the Midianites did, or gave themselves for a prey; so the Targum,

"the stouthearted have cast off from them the weapons of war;''

threw away their armour, and ran away, such of them as were not destroyed by the angel. It is observable, that the Hebrew word, translated "spoiled", is in the Syriac form:

they have slept their sleep: the sleep of death, as did the Assyrians when smitten by the angel, which was done in the night, when probably they were fast asleep, and so never awoke more, as the Babylonians, Jeremiah 51:57. So Jezebel, or the Romish antichrist, shall be cast into a bed, and her children killed with death, Revelation 2:22. Death is often in Scripture signified by a sleep, both the death of the righteous and of the wicked; but there is a difference between the one and the other; wherefore the death of the wicked here is called "their sleep"; the one sleep in Jesus, in his arms, and under his guardianship, the other not; to the one death is a true and proper rest from toil and labour, to the other only a cessation from doing mischief, Job 3:17, the one rests in hopes of a glorious resurrection, the other not; the one will awake in Christ's likeness, and to everlasting life; the other in the image of Satan, and to everlasting shame and contempt:

and none of the men of might have found their hands; none of the valiant soldiers in the Assyrian army could find their hands to fight their enemies, or defend themselves; as men in a deep sleep cannot find their hands to do anything, and are as if they had none, and still less in a dead sleep. The Targum is,

"they were not able to lay hold on their armour with their hands.''

This was the case of them that were killed; and as for those that remained alive, they were struck with such a panic, that their hearts could not endure, nor their hands be strong when God thus dealt with them; and so it will be with the antichristian army at the battle of Armageddon; and so it is with the wicked at death, they cannot find their hands so as to prevent it; and when it has seized upon them, they cannot find their hands to do any more mischief.

(a) "praedae se exposnerunt", Tigurine version, Gejerus; "dediderunt se in praedam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have {d} found their hands.

(d) God has taken their spirits and strength from them as though their hands were cut off.

5. The stouthearted] For illustration cp. Isaiah 10:12 ff.

are spoiled] Lit. have let themselves be spoiled. Cp. Isaiah 17:14; Isaiah 33:1. they have slept their sleep] They slumber their (last) sleep, the sleep of death (Jeremiah 51:39; Jeremiah 51:57; Nahum 3:18).

have found their hands] Their hands refused to act; their strength was paralysed; in spite of all their haughty boastings, Isaiah 10:10; Isaiah 10:13-14; Isaiah 10:32.Verse 5. - The stout hearted are spoiled. A "vivid description of the catastrophe" now follows. The "stout hearted," the aggressors, the great dominant race, that has spoiled all the nations of the earth, and fears no one (comp. Isaiah 10:12-14, "The stout heart of the King of Assyria"), is itself spoiled in turn. They have slept their sleep. They have slept, and, as they slept (2 Kings 19:35), they found it indeed a sleep, even the sleep of death. And none of the men of might have found their hands. The mighty men, suddenly assaulted by the grim destroyer, Death, can make no resistance; they are paralyzed; they cannot even move a hand. The poet now turns back thankfully and cheerfully from the prophetically presented future to his own actual present. With ואני he contrasts himself as a member of the now still oppressed church with its proud oppressors: he will be a perpetual herald of the ever memorable deed of redemption. לעולם, says he, for, when he gives himself up so entirely to God the Redeemer, for him there is no dying. If he is a member of the ecclesia pressa, then he will also be a member of the ecclesia triumphans; for ει ̓ ὑπομένομεν, καὶ συμβασιλεύσομεν (2 Timothy 2:12). In the certainty of this συμβασιλεύειν, and in the strength of God, which is even now mighty in the weak one, he measures himself in v. 11 by the standard of what he expresses in Psalm 75:8 as God's own work. On the figure compare Deuteronomy 33:17; Lamentations 2:3, and more especially the four horns in the second vision of Zechariah, Zechariah 2:1. Zechariah 1:18.. The plural is both קרנות and קרני, because horns that do not consist of horn are meant. Horns are powers for offence and defence. The spiritual horns maintain the sovereignty over the natural. The Psalm closes as subjectively as it began. The prophetic picture is set in a lyric frame.
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