God Defends Zion

1For the leader; a psalm with stringed instruments. A song of Asaph.


2Renowned in Judah is God,a

whose name is great in Israel.

3On Salem* is God’s tent, his shelter on Zion.

4There the flashing arrows were shattered,

shield, sword, and weapons of war.b



5Terrible and awesome are you,

stronger than the ancient mountains.*

6Despoiled are the stouthearted;

they sank into sleep;

the hands of all the men of valor have failed.c

7At your roar, O God of Jacob,

chariot and steed lay still.

8You, terrible are you;

who can stand before you and your great anger?d

9From the heavens you pronounced sentence;

the earth was terrified and reduced to silence,

10When you arose, O God, for judgment

to save the afflicted of the land.


11Surely the wrath of man will give you thanks;

the remnant of your furor will keep your feast.


12Make and keep vows to the LORD your God.e

May all around him bring gifts to the one to be feared,

13Who checks the spirit of princes,

who is fearful to the kings of earth.

* [Psalm 76] A song glorifying Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem where God destroyed Israel’s enemies. Zion is thus the appropriate site to celebrate the victory (Ps 76:34), a victory described in parallel scenes (Ps 76:57, 811). Israel is invited to worship its powerful patron deity (Ps 76:12).

* [76:3] Salem: an ancient name for Jerusalem, used here perhaps on account of its allusion to the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, cf. Gn 14:18; Heb 7:13.

* [76:5] Ancient mountains: conjectural translation of a difficult Hebrew phrase on the basis of Gn 49:26. The mountains are part of the structure of the universe (Ps 89:1213).

a. [76:2] Heb 3:2.

b. [76:4] Ps 46:10; 122:69.

c. [76:6] 2 Kgs 19:35; Jer 51:39; Na 3:18.

d. [76:8] Dt 7:21; 1 Sm 6:20; Na 1:6; Mal 3:2.

e. [76:12] Nm 30:3.

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