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Psalm 76[a]

God Defends Zion

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


Renowned in Judah is God,(A)
    whose name is great in Israel.
On Salem[b] is God’s tent, his shelter on Zion.
    There the flashing arrows were shattered,
    shield, sword, and weapons of war.(B)


Terrible and awesome are you,
    stronger than the ancient mountains.[c]
Despoiled are the stouthearted;
    they sank into sleep;
    the hands of all the men of valor have failed.(C)
At your roar, O God of Jacob,
    chariot and steed lay still.
You, terrible are you;
    who can stand before you and your great anger?(D)
From the heavens you pronounced sentence;
    the earth was terrified and reduced to silence,
10 When you arose, O God, for judgment
    to save the afflicted of the land.
11 Surely the wrath of man will give you thanks;
    the remnant of your furor will keep your feast.


12 Make and keep vows to the Lord your God.(E)
    May all around him bring gifts to the one to be feared,
13 Who checks the spirit of princes,
    who is fearful to the kings of earth.


  1. 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 76:3–4), a victory described in parallel scenes (Ps 76:5–7, 8–11). Israel is invited to worship its powerful patron deity (Ps 76:12).
  2. 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; Hb 7:1–3.
  3. 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 89:12–13).