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To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun.

A Psalm of Asaph.

ICRIED unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the LORD: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.

3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.

61 call to remembrance my song in the night I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

7 Will the LORD cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? 9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years

[former deliverances.

of the right hand of the Most High. 11 I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.

12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God!

14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.

15 Thou hast with thine arm re→ deemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.

16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.

17 The clouds poured out water! the skies sent out a sound: thine ar rows also went abroad.

18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.

19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.

20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (C)


annihilate his people, was made to praise him, in being overruled for their deliverance. And thus has it often happened, that when the enemies of the church have attempted its destruction with peculiar energy, the Lord has restrained and over. ruled their wrath for the display of his own glory, and the salvation of his own people; and in no nation has this been more remarkable than in ours.


(C) The psalmist, Asaph, relates the exercises of his mind with regard to God's dealings with his people Israel in their captivity. He relates, particularly, his meditations by night upon his bed, while his eyes were withheld from sleep and his hands stretched out in prayer. Reflecting on the melancholy state of things with respect to the Jewish church, he was ready


PSALM LXXVII. Ver. 6. I call to remembrance. -Some of the ancient versions and modern translators join this verb to the preceding line, thus: "The years of ancient times I called to mind." This verse may then read, "My (harp) strings (negiRathi) in the night communed with my heart: this (though it may be new) is highly poetical, and agrees with a suggestion of Mr. Ainsworth, that the Psalmist might have taken his harp, and lamented is it, in the night.

Ter. 8. For evermore-Heb. " From generation to generation."

Ver 10. The years (Ainsworth, Horne, &c. "the changes") of the right hand-That is, the changes produced by divine power and grace in human af

fairs." Perhaps the allusion is musical, as in ver. 10 and may allude to the changes of modulation on the harp (so we speak of ringing changes:) the Almighty can change the circumstances of men, and of the world around us, with the same ease as the musician can change his tune.

Ver. 13. Thy nay.... is in the sanctuary.—If this psalm were written during the captivity, this could hardly be referred to the sanctuary, which was destroyed. Ainsworth renders it," in sanctity;" Horne and Lowth, “ in holiness.”

Ver. 19. Thy way is in the sea-Rather, (for there is no verb in the text) "was in the sea ;" namely, in the Red sea, as in the context.

The history of]


Maschil of Asaph.


GIVE ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of

my mouth.

2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old : 3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.

4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:

6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

9 The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.

10 They kept not the covenant of

[Israel's deliverances,

God, and refused to walk in his law;

11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.

12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.

13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.

16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most high in the wilderness.

18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;

22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: 23 Though he had commanded the


to exclaim, "Hath God forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?" But turning back his reflections upon God's dealings toward his people of old, and especially in the deliverance from Egypt, (which was always a favourite topic with the Hebrew poets,) he encourages himself to hope for fresh deliverances. His way was then in the sea,

and his footsteps unseen. His paths are
still in the deep waters, untraceable by
mortal eye: but still his way is a way of
"The Lord is righteous in all
his ways, and holy in all his works."
(Psalm cxlv. 17.)


PSALM LXXVIII. Ver. 2. In a parable — In -Dark sayings→→ poetical and figurative language. Enigmas, mysteries. Of old-Relative to ancient times.

Ver. 5. For he established, &c.-This verse may be read as a parenthesis.

Gol moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm."


Ver. 8. Set not-Heb. "Prepared not." Ver. 9. The children of Ephraim. See Judges xii. 1-6. — Carrying bows Heb. "Throwing forth (arrows from bows."

Ver. 12. Field of Zoan-That is, the country round Zoan, which was a royal city.



[and acknowledged.

clouds from above, and opened the their lust. But while their meat was doors of heaven, yet in their mouths,

24 And had rained down manna


them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.

25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.

26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven and by his power he brought in the south wind.

27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:

28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.

29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;

30 They were not estranged from

31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.

34 When he slew them, then they sought him and they returned and enquired early after God.

35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. (D)

36¶ Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.



(D) Ver. 1-35. God's dealing with Israel in the wilderness.-This is the first of the historical psalms: the others are Psalms cv. and evi; all which contain retrospec tive narratives of the Lord's dealings with the people of Israel, from "their departure from Egypt to the reign of David, particularizing and illustrating all the leading events. The style (says Bishop Lowth) is simple and uniform; but the structure is poetical, and the sentiments (are) occasionally splendid." (Lecture xxix.) The psalmist, in the exordium, speaks of opening his mouth in a parable and uttering tigmas, or dark sayings. And "It is observable (Bishop Horne remarks,) that our Lord is, by St. Matthew, said to have addressed the multitude in parables, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables,' &c. citing the second verse of the psalm now before us. (Matt. xiii. 35.) If it doth not follow from this citation, that the prophet actually speaks this psalm in the person of Christ," as we think it yet," continues the Bishop, in which we agree, thus much at least is evident from it, that the history of old

does not; 66

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Israel somewhat resembles the letter of the gospel parables, and contains, shadowed out under it, the history of a correspondent state of things in the new Israel, or church Christian." The sum of this is, as St. Paul explains it, "All these things"

the trials which they suffered, and the deliverances they received-" happened to them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." (1 Cor. x. 11.) If it be asked, in what respect are these things ensamples to us? We reply, inasmuch as they show the same depravity and guilt-the same proneness to ingratitude and forgetfulness of God, on their part; and on the part of God, the same long-suffering and compassion, the same hatred to sin, and the same determination to punish it, though he might spare or save the sin. ners: "For when he slew them," that is, the chief offenders, "then they," the survivors, "sought him: and they returned and inquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their Redeemer."


Ver. 25 Man did eat angels' food-Marg. “The bread of the mighty." The Hebrew says nothing about angels, but the original (abirim) means perSons of the higher classes; signifying, that it was bread it for princes.

Ver. 27. Feathered fowls-Heb. “Fowl of wing;"

"Great God, how oft did Israel prove,
By turns thine anger, and thy love!
There in a glass our hearts may see
How fickle and how false they be." Watts.

i. e. flying fowls, in distinction from domestic poultry. Ver. 28. Let it-Rather," them."

Ver. 31. The fattest-That is, the stoutest.---Smote down the chosen-Marg. "Made the young men to bow."

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41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

42 They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.

43 How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan:

44 And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.

45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.

46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar, and their labour unto the locust.

47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost.

48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thun


[ingratitude lamented.

49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

50 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:

52 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.


53 And he led them on safely, that they feared not; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.

55 He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.

56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his


57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images,

59 When God heard this, he wa wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel;

60 So that he forsook the taberna cle of Shiloh, the tent which he place

among men ;


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Ver. 47. With frost- Marg. "With great hailstones." See Exod. ix. 24, 25. So recently as May, 1822, Dr. Nügerath mentions a hail-shower in Boan, which broke all the glass windows, and even perforated the slates, like bullets: their general size, an inch and a half in diameter.-Edinb. Phil. Jour. No. 22.

Ver. 48. Hot thunderbolts-Marg. "lightnings."

Ver. 49. Evil angels Angels of evil," Job i. 12, 16, &c. or," messengers of evil;" namely, Moses and Aaron.

Ver. 50. He made a way-" He weighed a path." -Gave their life over to the pestilence-Marg. "Beasts of the murrain." See Exod. ix. 3. Our version connects with the death of the firstborn, in the verse following.


Ver. 54. Border of his sanctuary-Heb. “Ho "i. e. the holy land. "Utterly Ver. 59. Greatly ubhorred.-Lowth, jected;" or, "refused with loathing," Ainsworth Ver. 63. The fire consumed them That is, the of God's wrath. See Num. xvi. 35, | Sam. iv. &c. Their maidens were not given (Heb. “ ed") in marriage-That is, they had no marri


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Ver. 64. Their priests feil, &c.-See 1 Sam


Ver. 65. Like a mighty man---A warrior, anima

with wine. Isa. xlii. 13.

Ver. 65. In the hinder part-- See 1 Sam. v. 6

vi. 4.

Ver 69. Like high palaces---Like a royal reside in an elevated situation; and established upon a

foundation, like a rock."

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61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.

62 He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.

63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.

64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

65 Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.

66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder part: he put them to a perpetual reproach.

67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim;

68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.

69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he' hath established for ever.

70 He chose David also his servant,

[the heathen.

and took him from the sheepfolds:

71 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands. (E)

PSALM LXXIX. A Psalm of Asaph.

GOD, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.

3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.


(E) Ver. 36-72. The narrative of God's dealings with Israel continued to the reign of David.-This portion of the psalm informs us, that even the penitence and repentance of Israel was often hypocritical. When they inquired after God, yet "their heart was not right with him; neither were they steadfast in his covenant." True religion always begins with inquiring after God; but such inquiries are not always either earnest or sincere. It is possible to flatter the Almighty Father, even in our devotions; and menu may use a thousand names, either of awe or of endearment, without feeling either the reverence or affection of his children. It is alone the spirit of adoption that can give us either access to, or communion with him.

The three chief points in the portion of this psalm now before us, are, the miracles in Egypt, the passage of the wilderness, and the conquest of Canaan. The former, we should think, never could have been forgotten, and perhaps literally they never were: but there is a vast difference between that vague recollection which we all preserve of our infantile history, and that gratitude due to a kind parent for his attentions in early life. Few of us can forget that we are creatures; yet who among us remembers his Creator with such lively

sentiments of gratitude and praise, as that relation demands from us? But with respect to the passage in the wilderness, this forgetfulness seems more remarkable. "While their meat was yet in their mouths," and while their bread was daily showered down upon them out of heaven, for all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works." Their infidel philosophers, probably, persuaded them that, from the long continued supplies received, they must originate from some natural cause; and even when they got possession of Canaan, though that too was by miracle, or rather a chain of miracles, they fondly concluded that "their own arm had gotten them the victory." Thus prone are mankind in every age, and in every country, to attribute to themselves the glory which they should give to God. Most surprising is it, that Christians, under the clear revelation of the gospel, should be guilty of the same sin and folly, and in the language of the Jewish mari

time proverb, "sacrifice to their own net, and burn incense to their own drag." (Hab. i. 16.)

"How few with pious care record,
The wond'rous dealings of the Lord?
But wise observers still shall find
The Lord is holy, just, and kind.”


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