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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 76:7

 

 

You, even You, are to be feared; And who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry?

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou, even thou, art to be feared - The Hebrew is simple, but very emphatic: אתה נורא אתה attah nora attah, "Thou art terrible; thou art." The repetition of the pronoun deepens the sense.

When once thou art angry? - Literally, From the time thou art angry. In the moment thy wrath is kindled, in that moment judgment is executed. How awful is this consideration! If one hundred and eighty-five thousand men were in one moment destroyed by the wrath of God, canst thou, thou poor, miserable, feeble sinner, resist his will, and turn aside his thunder!


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-76.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

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?


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-76.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Thou, even thou, art to be feared;

And who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?

Thou didst cause sentence to be heard from heaven;

The earth feared, and was still,

When God arose to judgment,

To save all the meek of the earth.

(Selah)"

In these three verses we have, "An announcement of the eschatalogical defeat of the nations at the last judgment."[17]

"Who may stand in thy sight?" (Psalms 76:7). This strongly reminds us of Rev. (Revelation 6:12-17), "Which is a most powerful exposition of this verse. The action here is no longer in the past, or localized, or defensive; here is a prophecy of God's striking the final blow against evil everywhere."[18] The result of this will be stated in the final stanza, where God the Righteous Judge is represented as receiving the homage of the whole world as its King. The tenses here, of course, are sometimes called the prophetic perfects.

"Thou ... art to be feared" (Psalms 76:6). The RSV has "awesome," and James Moffatt's translation of the Bible (1929) has "terrible" here in place of "feared." Miller stated that, "`Terrible' is not too strong a translation here."[19] The judgment scene in Revelation 6:12-17 surely exhibits a great deal of terror at the appearance of God in the final judgment.

Yates summarized these three verses as follows.

"Thou, even thou, art to be feared. This is the judgment of God. The thought goes beyond the battle scene as God takes his seat in heaven. He is the judge to be feared, who strikes men with terror. All of the earth stands still as God saves the oppressed peoples of the earth, of whom Israel is representative."[20]

Of course, God's amazing and sensational destruction of the Assyrian army was in itself a "token" of the final judgment, no doubt receiving almost universal attention from the whole world of that period.

"Man will not hear God's voice if he can help it, but God makes sure that he will hear it anyway. The echoes of God's judgment upon the haughty Sennacherib are still heard, and will ring on down through the ages, praising the justice of God."[21]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-76.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

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"F2מאז אפך "ex quo irasceris", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "a momento, vel tempore irae tuae", Michaelis. ; 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.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-76.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-76.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

sight — contend with Thee (Deuteronomy 9:4; Joshua 7:12).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-76.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.Thou, even thou, art terrible. The repetition of the pronoun Thou, is intended to exclude all others from what is here predicated of God, as if it had been said, Whatever power there is in the world, it at once vanishes away, and is reduced to nothing, when He comes forth and manifests himself; and, therefore, He alone is terrible. This is confirmed by the comparison added immediately after, which intimates that, although the wicked are so filled with pride as to be ready to burst with it, yet they are unable to abide the look and presence of God. But as he sometimes keeps silence, and seems merely to look on as an idle spectator, it is expressly asserted, that as soon as he begins to be angry, ruin will be near all the wicked. Although they may then for a time not only stand, but also rise above the clouds by their fury, we are here, notwithstanding, admonished that we ought to wait for the time of wrath. Let us also mark that this terror is denounced against the wicked in such a manner as that it sweetly draws all true believers to God.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-76.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 76:7 Thou, [even] thou, [art] to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?

Ver. 7. Thou, even thou, art to be feared] Herodotus saith, that under Sennacherib’s statue in Egypt, was written, Let him that looketh upon me learn to fear God, Eμε τις εσορεων ευσεβης εστω.

And who may stand in thy sight?] Thou canst look them to death.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-76.html. 1865-1868.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 629

GOD GREATLY TO BE FEARED

Psalms 76:7. Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight, when once thou art angry?

THERE is not only a generally prevailing notion that God is merciful, but the consideration of his mercy is with many a ground and reason for dismissing from their minds all fear of his displeasure. But it is not in this partial view that the Deity is represented in the Scriptures of truth: on the contrary, the whole sacred records bear witness to him as a God who is greatly to be feared. On many occasions has his indignation against sin and sinners been most awfully displayed; as when, in one single night, he slew one hundred and eighty-five thousand of the Assyrian army, who had besieged Jerusalem and defied his power. It was probably on that occasion that the psalm before us was written: and in reference to it was this testimony given, “Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight, when thou art angry?” To establish and confirm this sentiment, is my purpose at this time.

I. To establish it—

But where shall I begin? or where shall I end? Of course, it is but a very partial view of this subject that can be presented in one discourse. Let us, however, notice,

1. What God is in himself—

[If we contemplate his natural perfections, we shall see this truth in very striking colours. He is omnipresent, so that we can never escape from him for a single moment. He is omniscient, so that there is not so much as a thought of our hearts which can be hidden from him. He is omnipotent also, to deal with men according to their deserts. His moral perfections, too, are well calculated to impress our minds with awe. So holy is he, that “he cannot behold iniquity” of any kind without the utmost abhorrence; and so just, that he cannot but enforce on men the observance of his laws, and execute his judgments upon them for every act of disobedience: and so unalterable is his truth, that sooner should heaven and earth pass away than one jot or tittle of his word should fail. Say, then, whether such a God be not greatly to be feared.]

2. What he has recorded respecting his dealings with mankind—

[Behold Adam in Paradise: he violated the command which had been given him respecting the forbidden tree: and how was he dealt with? The curse of God came upon him instantly; and he was driven from Paradise, and with all his posterity subjected to misery both in this world and the world to come. See the whole race of mankind after they had multiplied and filled the earth: they had provoked God to anger by their abominations: and he swept them all, with every living creature, from the face of the earth, a remnant only in the ark excepted, by an universal deluge. Trace the Deity at subsequent periods; his judgments upon Sodom and all the cities of the plain; his wonders in Egypt; his judgments on all his own chosen people in the wilderness; his extirpation of all the nations that inhabited the land of Canaan: in a word, see his dealings either with nations or individuals, and you must come speedily to this same conclusion, that he is a God very greatly to be feared.]

3. What he has taught us to expect at his hands—

[He has told us plainly, that “the wicked shall be turned into hell, even all the nations that forget God [Note: Psalms 9:17.].” He has said, that “he will rain upon them snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest; and that this shall be their portion to drink [Note: Psalms 11:6. See also Revelation 14:9-11.].” And what is the feeling which such declarations should inspire? Even in heaven itself they connect with these views the fear of God; saying, “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints! Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name [Note: Revelation 15:3-4.]?”]

Plain and undeniable as this sentiment is, I will nevertheless proceed,

II. To confirm it—

Here is an appeal to every child of man; “Who shall stand before God, when once he is angry?”

Indeed, God is angry with those who are disobedient to his laws—

[Of course, we are not to conceive of God as under the influence of such a feeling as we call anger: but he will surely act, in reference to sinners, as men do against those who have excited their displeasure; and this we call a manifestation of his anger. To this effect the Psalmist speaks: “God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword: he hath bent his bow, and made it ready: he hath also prepared for him the instruments of death [Note: Psalms 7:11-13.].”]

And who may stand in his sight, when once his anger is excited?

[Not even the angels in heaven could abide his wrath, when once they had kindled his indignation against them: how much less, then, can man, who is crushed before the moth [Note: 2 Peter 2:4.]! Shall it be thought that any man is so holy, as not to deserve God’s anger? Vain imagination! fatal conceit! “There is no man that liveth and sinneth not.” “In many things we all offend [Note: James 3:2.]:” and “if any man say he hath not sinned, he maketh God a liar [Note: 1 John 1:10.].” Even Job himself says, “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse [Note: Job 9:20.].” But possibly it may be thought that God will never proceed to extremities with all the human race; and that, consequently, if we are as good as the generality, we have nothing to fear. This, however, is a fatal delusion: for already is death inflicted upon all as the wages of sin; and on all who die in impenitence and unbelief will his ulterior judgments fall, even the destruction of body and soul in hell.”]

Application—

1. Let the ungodly, then, seek reconciliation with God—

[Indeed, indeed, ye have angered the Most High God, all ye who have lived to yourselves and not to him. But is there no way of reconciliation with him? Yes, blessed be his name! he has given his only dear Son to bear your sins in his own body on the tree, and to effect reconciliation for you through the blood of his Cross. Yes, and he has given to us the ministry of reconciliation, and commissioned us to proclaim, that “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Happy are we, Brethren, to announce, that, however ye may have angered God in past times, ye may yet find mercy with him through the Son of his love. In the name of Christ himself, then, we address you; and in his stead we beseech you all, “Be ye reconciled to God [Note: 2 Corinthians 5:18-20.].”]

2. Let the godly forbear to anger him any more—

[Though God will be merciful to his repentant people, he will not spare any who shall live in sin. No: he commandeth “every one that nameth the name of Christ to depart from iniquity.” And so far will he be from overlooking sin in his professing people, that he has declared, “His judgments shall begin with them [Note: 1 Peter 4:17.]:” “You only have I known of all the families of the earth, therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities [Note: Amos 3:2.].” Presume not, then, upon your being in his favour, as though that would preserve you from his judgments: for I tell you, that of all who came out of Egypt, two only were suffered to enter into the land of Canaan: and the only evidence of real friendship with God, is the keeping of God’s commandments, and the doing unreservedly whatsoever is pleasing in his sight [Note: John 15:14.].”]


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Bibliography
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/psalms-76.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

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.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-76.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

7. When once thou art angry—From the moment of thy anger, or when once thine anger forms itself into a purpose. Time, with God, is nothing. He can do in an instant, as by the fiat, “Be light,” (Genesis 1:3,) as easily as in a thousand years. “He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth.” Psalms 104:32. He touched the Assyrian camp, and they slept the sleep of death.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-76.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 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.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-76.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Heart. Septuagint have read differently from the present [Hebrew]. (Berthier) --- Hebrew, "I recollected my canticle in the night, and communed with my own heart, and my spirit sought to the bottom;" or, "I swept, (or directed, scopebam) my spirit," (St. Jerome) from all things unbecoming. Septuagint Greek: Eskallon. "I dug and harrowed" it by earnest meditation, to extract the weeds, and make it fit to receive the divine seed, (St. Jerome, here and ep. ad Sun.) and to bring forth fruit; (Haydock) or I swept to discover the precious jewel (Berthier) of salvation. (Haydock) --- Scopebam, is not deemed a good Latin word; but seems to be derived from Greek: skopeo, "I consider or direct my aim;" though some think it means rather," I swept," Isaias xiv. 23. Hugo reads scopabam. (Calmet) --- I diligently examined my conscience, (Worthington) and left nothing unturned, like the woman in the gospel who sought the groat. [Luke xv. 8.] (Menochius) --- Hebrew yechapes, may also mean, "my spirit is set free," to say what might seem too bold, Will God, &c. (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-76.html. 1859.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
even thou
89:7; Jeremiah 10:7-10; Matthew 10:28; Revelation 14:7; 15:4
who
90:11; Nahum 1:6; 1 Corinthians 10:22; Revelation 6:16,17
when
2:12

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 76:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-76.html.

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