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Psalms 76:1-5

Context
Psalm 76 1 

For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of Asaph, a song.

76:1 God has revealed himself in Judah; 2 

in Israel his reputation 3  is great.

76:2 He lives in Salem; 4 

he dwells in Zion. 5 

76:3 There he shattered the arrows, 6 

the shield, the sword, and the rest of the weapons of war. 7  (Selah)

76:4 You shine brightly and reveal your majesty,

as you descend from the hills where you killed your prey. 8 

76:5 The bravehearted 9  were plundered; 10 

they “fell asleep.” 11 

All the warriors were helpless. 12 

1 sn Psalm 76. The psalmist depicts God as a mighty warrior who destroys Israel’s enemies.

2 tn Or “God is known in Judah.”

3 tn Heb “name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.

4 sn Salem is a shorter name for Jerusalem (see Gen 14:18).

5 tn Heb “and his place of refuge is in Salem, and his lair in Zion.” God may be likened here to a lion (see v. 4).

6 tn Heb “flames of the bow,” i.e., arrows.

7 tn Heb “shield and sword and battle.” “Battle” probably here stands by metonymy for the weapons of war in general.

sn This verse may allude to the miraculous defeat of the Assyrians in 701 b.c. (see Isa 36-37).

8 tn Heb “radiant [are] you, majestic from the hills of prey.” God is depicted as a victorious king and as a lion that has killed its victims.

9 tn Heb “strong of heart.” In Isa 46:12, the only other text where this phrase appears, it refers to those who are stubborn, but here it seems to describe brave warriors (see the next line).

10 tn The verb is a rare Aramaized form of the Hitpolel (see GKC 149 §54.a, n. 2); the root is שָׁלַל (shalal, “to plunder”).

11 tn Heb “they slept [in] their sleep.” “Sleep” here refers to the “sleep” of death. A number of modern translations take the phrase to refer to something less than death, however: NASB “cast into a deep sleep”; NEB “fall senseless”; NIV “lie still”; NRSV “lay stunned.”

12 tn Heb “and all the men of strength did not find their hands.”



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