You did cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 76:8-9. Thou didst cause judgment to be heard, &c. — Thou didst execute judgment upon thine enemies by an angel sent from heaven. The earth feared, and was still — The effect of this terrible judgment was, that the rest of the world was afraid to invade or disturb the land and people of Israel; and chose rather to be still and stay quietly in their own territories. When God — Who had long suffered their insolence; arose to judgment — To execute judgment upon his enemies, and the enemies of his people. Hebrew, בקום, bekum, in his arising, or, after he had risen, or, because he did arise; to save all the meek — The humble, the patient, the mild, and gentle; or, the godly, who are often called meek ones; of the earth — Rather, of the land, for whose sakes, and in answer to whose prayers, God wrought this great deliverance which reached to all the people of the land.
The earth feared - The world itself seemed to hear the voice of God, and to stand in awe.
And was still - It seemed to be profoundly attentive to what God said, and as if it reverently listened to his voice. It is not uncommon in the Scriptures to represent the earth - the hills, the mountains, the streams, the rivers, the plains - as conscious of the presence of God; as either rejoicing or trembling at his voice. Compare Psalm 65:12-13; Psalm 114:3-7; Habakkuk 3:8-11.Matthew 28:2, and elsewhere; or because the fame of it was quickly spread abroad in the land, and in the world. The effect of this terrible judgment was, that the rest of the world were afraid to invade or disturb the land and people of Israel, and chose rather to sit still in their own territories.
the earth feared, and was still: or "trembled, and was quiet" (c); that is, again: some think there was an earthquake when the angel smote the Assyrian camp, but was quickly over. It may regard the panic the other nations were in when they heard of it, and therefore were still and quiet, and never offered to give the Israelites any disturbance. Some understand this of the remainder of the army that escaped with Sennacherib; these were seized with fear, and quickly withdrew, and silently departed into their own land. Aben Ezra observes it as the sense of some, "the earth feared", these are the wicked; "and was still", they are the righteous; so the Targum,
"the land of the people feared, the land of Israel was still;''
reference may be had to the consternation, fear, and dread, that will fall on them that escape the judgments inflicted on the antichristian party, Revelation 11:13 and the fear and silence that will attend the last and awful judgment; see Zechariah 2:13.Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. Thou didst cause judgement to be heard] Or, as R.V., sentence. God pronounced sentence upon the proud Assyrian when He intervened for the rescue of His people. Cp. Psalm 46:6; Isaiah 30:30; 1 Samuel 2:10.
from heaven] For though God has chosen Zion for His earthly dwelling-place, His true abode and seat of judgement is in heaven.
the meek of the earth] Cp. Isaiah 11:4; Zephaniah 2:3. Israel, regarded ideally as ‘the righteous one’ (Psalm 75:10), and contrasted with ‘the wicked of the earth’ (Psalm 75:8), is meant.Verse 8. - Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven. By the destruction of Sennacherib's host, God spoke, as it were, with a voice of thunder, to the whole earth. He delivered a "judgment," or a "sentence" (Revised Version), which could not be ignored. The earth feared, and was still. All the world, i.e. all the Oriental world, feared. The attention of the nations of Western Asia generally was attracted (2 Chronicles 32:23), and their minds were affected with a wholesome fear of Jehovah. The result was that they remained at rest and gave Israel rest. Psalm 76:2, participle, whereas in Psalm 9:17 it is the finite verb), inasmuch as He has made Himself known (cf. דּעוּ, Isaiah 33:13). His Name is great in Israel, inasmuch as He has proved Himself to be a great One and is praised as a great One. In Judah more especially, for in Jerusalem, and that upon Zion, the citadel with the primeval gates (Psalm 24:7), He has His dwelling-place upon earth within the borders of Israel. שׁלם is the ancient name of Jerusalem; for the Salem of Melchizedek is one and the same city with the Jerusalem of Adonizedek, Joshua 10:1. In this primeval Salem God has סוּכּו, His tabernacle ( equals שׂכּו, Lamentations 2:6, equals סכּתו, as in Psalm 27:5), there מעונתו, His dwelling-place, - a word elsewhere used of the lair of the lion (Psalm 104:22, Amos 3:4); cf. on the choice of words, Isaiah 31:9. The future of the result ויהי is an expression of the fact which is evident from God's being known in Judah and His Name great in Israel. Psalm 76:4 tells what it is by which He has made Himself known and glorified His Name. שׁמּה, thitherwards, in that same place (as in fact the accusative, in general, is used both in answer to the question where? and whither?), is only a fuller form for שׁם, as in Isaiah 22:18; Isaiah 65:9; 2 Kings 23:8, and frequently; Arab. ta̱mma (tu̱mma) and תּמּן (from תּמּה) confirm the accusative value of the ah. רשׁפי־קשׁת (with Phe raphatum, cf. on the other hand, Sol 8:6)
(Note: The pointing is here just as inconsistent as in ילדוּת, and on the contrary מרדּוּת.))
are the arrows swift as lightning that go forth (Job 41:20-28) from the bow; side by side with these, two other weapons are also mentioned, and finally everything that pertains to war is gathered up in the word מלחמה (cf. Hosea 2:18). God has broken in pieces the weapons of the worldly power directed against Judah, and therewith this power itself (Isaiah 14:25), and consequently (in accordance with the prediction Hosea 1:7, and Isaiah 10, 14, Isaiah 17:1-14, 29, Isaiah 31:1-9, 33, 37, and more particularly Psalm 31:8) has rescued His people by direct interposition, without their doing anything in the matter.
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