corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 76:8

 

 

You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; The earth feared and was still

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thou didst cause judgment to be heard - When God declared by his prophet that the enemy should not prevail, but on the contrary be destroyed, the earth the land, and by metonymy the inhabitants of the land, were struck with astonishment and terror, so as not to be able to move. The great boaster Sennacherib, who carried terror, dismay and desolation every where, was now struck with dumb amazement; and the angel of the Almighty, in a moment, stopped the breath of those hosts in which he confided.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-76.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heavens - It seemed to come from heaven; it was manifestly from thee. The overthrow of these enemies of thy people was a manifest judgment from thee, and should be so regarded.

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.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-76.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 76:8

For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red.

God’s threatenings against incorrigible sinners

In this verse we have a lively description and amplification of the judgments of God upon the world, which are hero set forth unto us under a threefold representation of them. First, in their preparation. Secondly, in their execution. Thirdly, in their participation.

I. The preparation.

1. The vessel--a cup. By this we may understand whatsoever it is which is the means, and conveyance, and derivation of any evil unto us. God makes the same providences to be a cup of physic to His children, for the recovering of them from their spiritual infirmities, and a cup of poison to His enemies, for the destroying of them, in the midst of their sins.

2. The liquor.

3. The preparer--God Himself.

II. The execution. God will not be always in the forewarnings of judgment, He will be at last in the dispensations of it. He will not be always tempering it, He will be at last pouring out of it. The Lord is full of patience and longsuffering, and bears much with the sons of men for a long while together; but when His patience and longsuffering is once abused, He then comes on to punishment and execution. And this I say it is, when sin is come to its ripeness and maturity, and is at its full growth. There are three aggravations of sin which do put God upon the execution of judgment, and this pouring forth of wrath.

1. Boldness and insolence in sinning (Jeremiah 8:12).

2. Generality in sinning; when it comes to taint and overspread a whole nation.

3. Security and presumption.

III. The participation.

1. The persons mentioned. “The wicked of the earth,” that is, such as are more scandalous, and presumptuous, and impenitent, and farthest from reformation; such as those who, for the nature of sin, are more abominable, and for the continuance in it, are more incorrigible; these are they which the Holy Ghost does here point at in a more principal manner.

2. The evil denounced against them.

(a) The reservation of judgment, they shall drink the last.

(b) The aggravation of judgment, they shall drink the worst.

(c) The perfection and confirmation of judgment, they shall drink up all. They shall drink the last, they shall drink the worst, they shall drink all; each of these are implied in the dregs. (T. Horton, D. D.)

The Lord’s cup

I. The contents of the Lord’s cup. “The wine is red; it is full of mixture;” that is, however fair the appearances of things may be, however splendid any state of happiness, or any situation of life may appear, there is always added to it a certain portion of evil. By evil, I mean only the usual misfortunes and afflictions of human life. These are what temper the cup of the Lord; and in this mixed state it is poured out to the inhabitants of the earth. Man being compounded of good and evil, all his labours partake of the mixture. Let him form what schemes he will; let him employ all his little prudence and foresight in bringing them to perfection, still we will find mixed with them in one shape or other, uncertainty, disappointment, and miscarriage.

II. How the ungodly man drinks it. The text says, “He drinks the dregs.” Now, the dregs of any liquor are the pernicious parts. It is fairly implied, therefore, that the ungodly man turns both the good and evil of life to his own destruction.

III. How the godly man drinks it. As the ungodly man drinks the dregs, the finer parts of the liquor are, of course, the portion of the godly man. In the first place, he expects to find a degree of bitterness in his cup. He sees the propriety of it, and fully acknowledges the great usefulness of this mixture of good and evil. If the potion were perfectly palatable, he fears he might drink to excess. When it pleases Heaven to bless him; when his designs succeed; and his hopes dilate in some view of happiness before him, “Now is the time” (he suggests to himself) “when I must guard my heart with double care. Now is the time when insolence, and wantonness, and pride, the attendants of a prosperous hour, are most liable to corrupt me. Let prosperity soften my heart, instead of hardening it. Let me be humble, and mild, and condescending, and obliging to all. In the midst of my own enjoy meats, let my heart expand. Let me feel the misery of others; and turn my plenty to the relief of their necessity.” Again, when it pleases Heaven to mix some bitter ingredients in his cup, still he has the same sense of acting under the will of God. “Now,” he cries, “is the time when I am to exorcise patience and resignation. Now my religion is put to the test. Shall I receive good at the hand of the Lord, and not receive evil? Gracious God! grant that I may improve my heart under this trial of my faith; and make my sufferings, through Jesus Christ, the means of purifying my affections. Let me for His sake bear a trifling part of what He bore for me; and lot me keep that great pattern of suffering resignation always before my eyes.” Thus the godly man drinks of the Lord’s cup, and his draught, whether sweet or bitter, is wholesome to him. (W. Gilpin.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 76:8". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-76.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven,.... When an angel was sent down from heaven, and destroyed the Assyrian army, a judgment of God upon them; at which time some think there was a violent clap of thunder, which is the voice of God: and it may refer to the judgments which God has decreed to execute on the antichristian states, the seven vials of his wrath he will pour upon them; for all decrees, as Aben Ezra on the place observes, come from heaven; or to the last judgment, when Christ the Judge shall descend from heaven, the voice of the archangel shall be heard, the last trumpet shall sound, the dead in their graves shall hear it, and rise and stand before the judgment seat, and hear the sentence pronounced:

the earth feared, and was still: or "trembled, and was quiet"F3ארץ ידאה ושקטה "terra tremuit, et quievit", V. L. ; 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.


Copyright Statement
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 76:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-76.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,

Thou — Didst execute judgment upon thine enemies, by an angel from heaven: which is said to be heard, either because it was accompanied with thunders and earthquakes, or because the fame of it was quickly spread abroad.

Feared — The rest of the world were afraid to disturb Israel.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/psalms-76.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.From heaven thou hast made thy judgment to be heard. By the name of heaven, the Psalmist forcibly intimates that the judgment of God was too manifest to admit of the possibility of its being ascribed either to fortune or to the policy of men. Sometimes God executes his judgments obscurely, so that they seem to proceed out of the earth. For example, when he raises up a godly and courageous prince, the holy and lawful administration which will flourish under the reign of such a prince will be the judgment of God, but it will not be vividly seen to proceed from heaven. As, therefore, the assistance spoken of was of an extraordinary kind, it is distinguished by special commendation. The same remarks apply to the hearing of God’s judgment, of which the Psalmist speaks. It is more for the divine judgments to sound aloud like a peal of thunder, and to stun the ears of all men with their noise, than if they were merely seen with the eyes. There is here, I have no doubt, an allusion to those mighty thunder-claps by which men are stricken with fear. (280) When it is said, the earth was still, it is properly to be referred to the ungodly, who, being panic-struck, yield the victory to God, and dare no longer to rage as they had been accustomed to do. It is only fear which has the effect of bringing them to subjection; and, accordingly, fear is justly represented as the cause of this stillness. It is not meant that they restrain themselves willingly, but that God compels them whether they will or no. The amount is, that whenever God thunders from heaven, the tumults which the insolence of the ungodly stir up, when things are in a state of confusion, come to an end. We are, at the same time, warned of what men may expect to gain by their rebellion; for, whoever despise the paternal voice of God which is loudly uttered, must be destroyed by the bolts of his wrath.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-76.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 76:8 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,

Ver. 8. Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven] From thence is God’s wrath revealed plainly and plentifully, Romans 1:18, and thence he oft appeareth for his people as out of an engine.

The earth feared] All was hushed, as after a thunder clap.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-76.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Thou didst execute judgment upon thine enemies by an angel sent from heaven; which is said to be heard, either because that was accompanied with terrible thunders and earthquakes, which was not unusual in the descent of an angel, as 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.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". 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

8. Judgment to be heard from heaven—The case was a clear one. No delay of secondary causes. The judgment fell like a bolt from heaven. No one, not even Sennacherib, doubted it was of God.

The earth feared, and was still—A sublime conception of the majesty of God. “When he arose to judgment” the tumult was hushed, the din of war ceased. Silence and fear pervaded the earth, when God arose for the “meek” ones. See on Psalms 46:10.“The Babylonian Talmud hath it, that this destruction of the army of the Assyrians was executed by lightning; and some of the targums are quoted for saying the same thing. But it seems most likely that it was effected by bringing on them the hot wind which is frequent in those parts, and often, when it lights among a multitude, destroys great numbers of them in a moment, as it frequently happens in those vast caravans of Mohammedans who go their annual pilgrimages to Mecca.”Prideaux.

And the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 37:7,) which threatened Sennacherib with a “blast” from heaven, seem to denote the same. The poet has the same:

“For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,

And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed.”

The account of Herodotus, (book ii, chap. 141,) 450 years before Christ, that “so immense a number of mice infested by night Sennacherib’s camp that their quivers and bows, together with what secured their shields to their arms, were gnawed in pieces,” and thus rendered the army powerless, while it corroborates the great fact of the catastrophe, and calls Sennacherib by name, is incorrect as to the circumstances, and puerile. See on Psalms 46


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-76.html. 1874-1909.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
didst
Exodus 19:10; Judges 5:20; 2 Chronicles 32:20-22; Ezekiel 38:20-23
still
46:10; 2 Chronicles 20:29,30; Habakkuk 2:20; Zechariah 2:13

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 76:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-76.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology