1 For the leader; with instrumental music. A psalm of Asaf, a song.
א לַמְנַצֵּחַ בִּנְגִינֹת מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף שִׁיר׃
no-DA bee-hu-DAH e-lo-HEEM b’-yis-ra-AYL ga-DOL sh’-MO
76:2 His name is great in Yisrael
This psalm is a song of praise to Hashem for saving the Nation of Israel from its enemies. Though it is unclear to which specific battle this psalm refers, contemporary author Amos Hakham points to the Septuagint, which adds the words “regarding the Assyrian” into the title of the psalm. This certainly refers to the battle recorded in Sefer Melachim II (18-19), which took place in the eighth century BCE between Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and the kingdom of Yehuda under the leadership of King Chizkiyahu. Assyria had conquered Mesopotamia and the ten tribes of Yisrael, dispersing them throughout his empire. Their emissaries stood at the gates of Yerushalayim and warned Chizkiyahu of impending doom. The prophet Yeshayahu assured the king that God would bring salvation to Yehuda and protect them from harm. Miraculously, Sennacherib’s army mysteriously died overnight and the Assyrians returned home without conquering Yerushalayim. This might explain the statement “Hashem has made Himself known in Yehuda,” since as a result of this incident, all kingdoms heard that Hashem battles on behalf of Yehuda and Yerushalayim. God is known to be in Yehuda.3 comments
4 There He broke the fiery arrows of the bow, the shield and the sword of war. Selah.
ד שָׁמָּה שִׁבַּר רִשְׁפֵי־קָשֶׁת מָגֵן וְחֶרֶב וּמִלְחָמָה סֶלָה׃
5 You were resplendent, glorious, on the mountains of prey.
ה נָאוֹר אַתָּה אַדִּיר מֵהַרְרֵי־טָרֶף׃
6 The stout-hearted were despoiled; they were in a stupor; the bravest of men could not lift a hand.
ו אֶשְׁתּוֹלְלוּ אַבִּירֵי לֵב נָמוּ שְׁנָתָם וְלֹא־מָצְאוּ כָל־אַנְשֵׁי־חַיִל יְדֵיהֶם׃
7 At Your blast, O God of Yaakov, horse and chariot lay stunned.
ז מִגַּעֲרָתְךָ אֱלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב נִרְדָּם וְרֶכֶב וָסוּס׃
8 O You! You are awesome! Who can withstand You when You are enraged?
ח אַתָּה נוֹרָא אַתָּה וּמִי־יַעֲמֹד לְפָנֶיךָ מֵאָז אַפֶּךָ׃
9 In heaven You pronounced sentence; the earth was numbed with fright
ט מִשָּׁמַיִם הִשְׁמַעְתָּ דִּין אֶרֶץ יָרְאָה וְשָׁקָטָה׃
10 as Hashem rose to execute judgment, to deliver all the lowly of the earth. Selah.
י בְּקוּם־לַמִּשְׁפָּט אֱלֹהִים לְהוֹשִׁיעַ כָּל־עַנְוֵי־אֶרֶץ סֶלָה׃
11 The fiercest of men shall acknowledge You, when You gird on the last bit of fury.
יא כִּי־חֲמַת אָדָם תּוֹדֶךָּ שְׁאֵרִית חֵמֹת תַּחְגֹּר׃
12 Make vows and pay them to Hashem your God; all who are around Him shall bring tribute to the Awesome One.
יב נִדֲרוּ וְשַׁלְּמוּ לַיהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם כָּל־סְבִיבָיו יוֹבִילוּ שַׁי לַמּוֹרָא׃
13 He curbs the spirit of princes, inspires awe in the kings of the earth.
יג יִבְצֹר רוּחַ נְגִידִים נוֹרָא לְמַלְכֵי־אָרֶץ׃