Psalm 76:7
Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
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Psalm 76:7. Thou, even thou, art to be feared — Thy majesty is to be reverenced, thy sovereignty to be submitted to, and thy justice to be dreaded, by those that have offended thee. Let all the world learn, by this event, to stand in awe of the great God. Who may stand in thy sight — Namely, to contend with thee? Standing is here opposed to flight from, or falling before, the enemy. Surely, “neither the wisdom of the wise, nor the power of the mighty, no, nor the world itself, can stand a single moment before him when once he is angry.” If God be a consuming fire, how can the chaff and the stubble stand before him, though his wrath be kindled but a little? “Yet men continue to dread any frowns but those of heaven; and one poor, vain, sinful man shall, through a course of sixty or seventy years, incessantly and undauntedly tempt and provoke him who destroyed one hundred and eighty-five thousand in a night. What is this but madness?” — Horne.

76:7-12 God's people are the meek of the earth, the quiet in the land, that suffer wrong, but do none. The righteous God seems to keep silence long, yet, sooner or later, he will make judgment to be heard. We live in an angry, provoking world; we often feel much, and are apt to fear more, from the wrath of man. What will not turn to his praise, shall not be suffered to break out. He can set bounds to the wrath of man, as he does to the raging sea; hitherto it shall come, and no further. Let all submit to God. Our prayers and praises, and especially our hearts, are the presents we should bring to the Lord. His name is glorious, and he is the proper object of our fear. He shall cut off the spirit of princes; he shall slip it off easily, as we slip off a flower from the stalk, or a bunch of grapes from the vine; so the word signifies. He can dispirit the most daring: since there is no contending with God, it is our wisdom, as it is our duty, to submit to him. Let us seek his favour as our portion, and commit all our concerns to him.Thou, even thou, art to be feared - To be had in reverence or veneration. The repetition of the word "thou" is emphatic, as if the mind paused at the mention of God, and remained in a state of reverence, repeating the thought. The particular "reason" suggested here why God should be had in reverence, was the display of his power in overthrowing by a word the mighty hosts that had come against the holy city.

And who may stand in thy sight - Who can stand before thee? implying that no one had the power to do it. "When once thou art angry." If such armies have been overcome suddenly by thy might, then what power is there which could successfully resist thee?

7. may … sight—contend with Thee (De 9:4; Jos 7:12). Stand in thy sight, to wit, to contend with thee. Standing is here opposed to flight or failing before the enemy. See Joshua 7:12 Daniel 8:4.

Thou, even thou, art to be feared,.... By his own people with reverence and godly fear, because of his greatness and goodness; and to be dreaded by his enemies; which seems to be the sense here, as appears by what follows:

and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? or "from the moment thou art angry" (b); so the Targum, from the "time", and Jarchi, from the "hour": that is, as soon as ever his anger begins, when it is kindled but a little, and how much less when it burns in its full strength? there is no standing before his justice, and at his judgment seat, with boldness and confidence, and so as to succeed, or come off acquitted, without having on his righteousness; and much less is there any standing before his wrath and fury, when his hand takes hold on judgment to execute it; see Nahum 1:6.

(b) "ex quo irasceris", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "a momento, vel tempore irae tuae", Michaelis.

Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy {e} sight when once thou art angry?

(e) God with a look is able to destroy all the power and activity of the enemies, no matter how many or mighty.

7. to be feared] The same word as in Psalm 76:12, and in Psalm 47:2.

who may stand] Cp. Nahum 1:6; Psalm 1:5; Psalm 130:3.

7–9. It was the irresistible judgement of God.

Verse 7. - Thou, even thou, art to be feared. God is to he feared as well as loved. Only "perfect love casteth out fear" (1 John 4:18), and "perfect love" is not for mortals. And who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? literally, from the time of thine anger (comp. Exodus 5:23; Joshua 14:10). Psalm 76:7Nahum also (Psalm 1:6) draws the same inference from the defeat of Sennacherib as the psalmist does in Psalm 76:8. מאז אפּך (cf. Ruth 2:7; Jeremiah 44:18), from the decisive turning-point onwards, from the אז in Psalm 2:5, when Thine anger breaks forth. God sent forth His judiciary word from heaven into the midst of the din of war of the hostile world: immediately (cf. on the sequence of the tenses Psalm 48:6, and on Habakkuk 3:10) it was silenced, the earth was seized with fear, and its tumult was obliged to cease, when, namely, God arose on behalf of His disquieted, suffering people, when He spoke as we read in Isaiah 33:10, and fulfilled the prayer offered in extreme need in Isaiah 33:2.
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