At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Are cast into a deep sleep.—The same Hebrew expression is used of Sisera’s profound slumber (Judges 4:21). Deborah’s Song and Exodus 15 are in the poet’s mind, as they were to the author of Isaiah 43:17, and as they have inspired the well-known lines of Byron’s “Sennacherib.”
Both the chariot and horse ... - The Septuagint renders this, "They who are mounted on horses." The word rendered "chariot" here - רכב rekeb - may mean "riders, cavalry," as well as chariot. See the notes at Isaiah 21:7. Hence, there would be less incongruity in the Hebrew than in our translation, where it is said that the "chariots" have fallen into a deep sleep. The idea may be either that horsemen and horses had fallen into a deep slumber, or that the rumbling of the chariot-wheels had ceased, and that there was a profound silence, like a deep sleep.The chariot and horse; the men who rode upon and fought from chariots and horses, who fight with most advantage, and usually have most courage; and much more unable were their footmen to resist or avoid the stroke.
both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep; that is, the riders in chariots and on horses; such there were doubtless in the Assyrian army, it being usual to have such in great armies. Kimchi observes, that the word translated "cast into a dead sleep", is in the singular number, and interprets it of the king, the head of the men of might: but Sennacherib, king of Assyria, was not slain, he departed to his own country; wherefore he applies it to Gog and Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, Ezekiel 39:1 and may very well be understood of the head of the apostasy, the king of the bottomless pit, the beast or false prophet, who being destroyed, the flesh of his captains and horsemen shall be the food of the fowls of the air, at the supper of the great God, Revelation 19:17.At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. At thy rebuke] Cp. Psalm 9:5; Psalm 18:15; Isaiah 17:13.
are cast into a dead sleep] A word which denotes a deep, supernaturally caused slumber. It is usual to say that ‘chariot and horse’ stand by metonymy for charioteers and horsemen: but surely poetry imagines chariots as well as horses to be alive. The “pransing horses” and the “bounding chariots” (Nahum 2:3-4; Nahum 3:2), all the rush and roar of the battle, are still and silent as the grave. Cp. Isaiah 43:17.Verse 6. - At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob. The catastrophe has been God's doing; man has had no part in it (comp. 2 Kings 19:28, 35). Both the chariot and the horse are cast into a dead sleep. Metonymy for the charioteers and the horsemen (comp. Isaiah 43:17). These were the two chief arms of the military service with the Assyrians. 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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