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5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
10 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight, by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
[of Israel. 12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom, their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O LORD.
13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations. (F)
To the chief Musician upon ShoshannimEduth. A Psalm of Asaph.
GIVE ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.
3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
4 O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
5 Thou feedest them with the bread
(F) The temple defiled and destroyed by the heathen. This psalm strongly resembles another psalm of Asaph, namely, the seventy-fourth, both in its style and subject, which was evidently the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and his army, when the bodies of the murdered inhabitants were left to be food to the eagles and vultures-to wolves and foxes. The cry for vengeance upon the heathen, (ver. 6 and 7,) is literally quoted by Jeremiah, (chap. x. 25.) unless we suppose him to have written first, and then the citation is Asaph's. The cry for vengeauce may rather be considered as proceeding from the blood of the mur
dered innocents than from the revenge of the survivors; but others consider it simply as a prediction of the judgments which God had determined and denounced against his enemies. (Rev. xviii. 6, 20; xix. 2, &c.)
On the following prayer, "O revenge not against us former iniquities!" &c. Bishop Horne piously remarks: "Affliction hath then wrought its intended effect, when it hath convinced us of sin, and led us to repentance; when, brought back by it to the house and presence of our heavenly Fa ther, we acknowledge our guilt as th cause of our misery, and intreat forgive ness of the one, in order to obtain a releas of the other, not pleading our own merit but the mercies of God our Saviour, and t glory of his name."
PSALM LXXIX. Ver. 8. Former iniquitiesThat is, the iniquities of former times, or persons. Ainsworth.
Ver. 11. According to the greatness of thy power. -Heb. "Of thy hand.”- -Preserve thou those, &c. Heb. "Preserve the children of death;" i. e. condemned to die.
Ver. 12. Sevenfold-That is, abundantly. Ver. 13. To all generations-Heb. "To generation and generation."
PSALM LXXX. Title-This title is nearly the same as that of psalm 1x. which see.
Ver. 1. Between the cherubims-Or, "who in bitest the cherubim," which were over the ark, a considered as the throne of Jehovah or if the lestial cherubim be here referred to, they constitu (as it were) his state carriage. Ps. civ. 3, 4.
Ver. 2. Before Ephraim, &c.-These tribes, procession, followed immediately the ark.-C and save us-Heb. "Come for salvation for u Ver.3. Shine forth.-See Deut. xxxiii. 2. Ver. 4. Wilt thou be angry?-Heb. "Wilt t smoke (with wrath);" i. e. be very angry. Ps. lxxiv. 1.
Ver, 5. In great measure—i, e, in great abunda
of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours and our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
9 Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the
12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. (G)
(G) God, the shepherd of Israel, planted the vineyard of his church, which was now attacked by the heathen.-There being some doubt as to the person of Asaph, and the period in which he lived, (See Note on the title of Psalm 1.) there is, consequently, a doubt as to what period of the Jewish history this refers; but we incline to the opinion of Bishop Patrick, that it was written in the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah. That it was before the loss of the ark, with the cherubim, may be inferred from the first verse; yet it appears to refer to a period of greater calamity from the heathen, than is to be found in the reign of David. The learned prelate just referred to, therefore considers Sennacherib as the wild boar of the wood, (ver. 13.) in refer
ence to whom Hezekiah himself prays in the very language of this psalm. (See 2 Kings xix. 15, 16.)
In the opening of this psalm, JEHOVAH is represented as a shepherd leading his flock, as the eastern custom is; going be fore them with the ark, followed by the several tribes, of which Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, appear to have led the van in their processions: but now the hea then had made such ravages among them, that, instead of bread from heaven, and water from the rock, tears and lamentations had become both their meat and drink.
Ver. 8. commences another allegory, in which Israel is described as a vine brought out of Egypt, and planted in Canaan, where it so flourished as to fill the land;
Ver. 10. The boughs thereof (Covered) the cedars of God." Bp. Lonth. The cedars of God were the original tenants of the forest, planted by no human band, and these are represented in the allegory, as covered with the branches of the vine of Israel; that is, the land of Israel, in its most prosperous days, (the time of Solomon) extended as far as Lebanon. To justify the allegory, it may be added, that in some eastern countries, the vines are trained up the standard trees, and sometimes spread themselves over the highest branches.
Ver. 13. The boar out of the wood doth waste it. -Hemer makes the same complaint, (Iliad, ix. 635) and Mr. Ward remarks that the buffaloes and wild begs make the like ravages in the orchards of the Hindoos; to prevent which, men are placed
day and night, in proper situations, to guard against them.-Ward's Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 327.
Ver. 15. The vineyard-Ainsworth," the stock;" Secker," the plant."- The branch-Heb. "The son;" for in that language, branches are considered as the offspring of the trees. The LXX read, "the son of man;" and the Chaldee and some Rabbins apply this to Messiah, as in the 17th verse, from which they appear to us to have borrowed the expression, and where it properly belongs.
Ver. 16. They perish. This should either be rendered, as by our translators and Mr. Ainsworth, and then the words refer to the Vine of the Jewish church; but if in the future, as by Bp. Horsley, it must refer to their heathen persecutors. Bp. He mentions both, and the original will admit of either.
An ode for]
To the chief Musician upon Gittith. A Psalm of Asaph.
ING aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
4 For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.
5 This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.
7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
[the feast of trumpets
8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
9 There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust and they walked in their own counsels.
13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for
16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with
EXPOSITION-Psalm LXXX. Continued.
and sent out branches as far as the Mediterranean on the west, and to the Euphrates on the east. On the north, also, its shadow covered the hills of Lebanon, and crowned the cedars with its fruit. But now the Almighty had withdrawn his protection, they were like a vineyard without a fence, exposed, not only to the attacks of strangers, but to the ravages of wild beasts, to whom their heathen conquerors might be well compared. (See Isa. v. 1-7; Jer. iv. 7.)
The prayer, (ver. 17.) "Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand," &c. is supposed by many to have reference to the king, whether David or Hezekiah; but the most eminent commentators, Jewish as well as Christian, refer it ultimately and chiefly to the Messiah. "Let thy
that is, upon the man whom thou hast hand be upon the man of thy right hand;" placed at thy right hand, "whom thou hast made strong for thyself;" or, as David expresses it, "the rod of thy strength," or mighty sceptre. Upon him, "lay thy hand"-on him, confer all authority, that he may establish thy church and subdue their enemies. (Compare Psalm cx.)
The last verse forms the chorus of the psalm, which occurs also verses 3 and 7, and is thus rendered by the prince of English sacred poesy.
"Return us, and thy grace divine,
PSALM LXXXI. Title. Note on the title of Psalm viii.
Upon Gittith. See
Ver. 2. Take a psalm - Ainsworth, "Take up a psalm." Bp. Horsley says, "the word (psalm) must in this place denote some musical instrument." But with all due deference to his Lordship, suppose a clergyman in the present day was to say to his clerk," Strike up a psalm," (quite a similar phrase) would the clerk understand him to mean a musical instrument? Certainly not.
Ver. 5, Went out through-Heb. "against."
away) from the pots - Ainsworth, "from the baskets," meaning, from the vessels in which they carried straw, mortar, bricks," &c.
Ver. 7. Meribah-That is, strife. See Exod. xvii.7 Ver. 12. Their own hearts' lusts-Marg. " To the hardness of their hearts."
Ver 15. Submitted themselves-Marg. "Yielder feigned obedience." See Ps. xviii. 45. Their tim
That is, the time of his people. Bp. Horne. Ver. 16. With the finest of the wheat-Heb. "Wit the fat of wheat."
(H) An Ode for the Feast of Trumpets. -"This psalm," says Bishop Lowth, "is an ode composed for the feast of trumpets, in the first new moon of the civil year;' and is "pervaded by an exquisite union of sublimity and sweetness. The exordium contains an exhortation to celebrate the praises of the Almighty with music and song, and is replete with animation and joy, even to exultation. The commemoration
of the giving of the law, associated with the sound of the trumpet (which was the signal of liberty,) introduces in a manner spontaneously, the miseries of the Egyptian bondage, the recovery of their freedom, and the communication with God upon mount Sinai, (the awfulness of which is expressed in a very few words- the secret place of thunder;') and, finally, the contention with their Creator at the waters of Meribah..... The remainder of the ode contains an affectionate expostulation of God with his people, a confirmation of his former promises, and a tender complaint, that his favourable intentions towards them have been so long prevented by their disobedience. Thus the object and end of this poem appears to be an exhortation to obedience, from a consideration of the paternal love, the beneficence, and the promises of the Deity," the God. of Israel.
The doctrine of the psalm is, that God delights in the exercise and display of mercy and goodness; and that all our deficiencies in comfort aud blessedness, arise:
(1) The Magistrate's Psalm.-This psalm is addressed to magistrates and judges, and reminds them, that though they were appointed to judge the people, there was one to judge them: "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty: He judgeth among the gods." (See 2 Chron. xix. 6, 7.) In all arbitrary countries, it is well known that justice is bought and sold; and, of course," the poor and fatherless" seldom can obtain it. Nothing tends so much as this to shake the foundation of a government, or renders it so obnoxious to the Supreme Governor of the world. Magistrates and judges should, therefore, always remember that they are mortal, and that there is a bar before which themselves must stand, and be judged according to "the things done in the body, whether they be good or evil.” (2 Cor. v. 10.)
This psalm (as several others) concludes with a prayer for the universality of his reign, who alone doth reign in righteousness. (See Psalm ii. 8.)
PSALM LXXXII. Ver. 5. They walk on in darkNess-That is, in ignorance.- Out of course Ainsworth, "Moved," shaken.
"Arise, O Lord, and let thy Son Possess his universal throne;
And rule the nations with his rod;
He is our judge, and he our God." Watts.
Ver. 7. Like one of the (other) prin ces.-No rank or office among mortals can confer immortality. Princes die like other men.
A prayer against]
A Song or Psalm of Asaph.
KEEP not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.
2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:
6 The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre;
[the church's enemies.
they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.
9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
10 Which perished at En-dor: they became as dung for the earth.
11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
13 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish :
18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth. (K) EXPOSITION.
8 Assur also is joined with them:
(K) A Prayer against those enemies who had plotted against the church." It is the common opinion (says Bishop Patrick,) that the combination of powerful enemies, against whom they (the Jews) here implore the divine assistance, was that mentioned in the days of Jehoshaphat. (2 Chron. chap. xx.) The reason of which is, because the children of Lot (the Moabites and Ammonites, ver. 8.) seem to have been the principals in this confederacy, and the other but assistants, as it is plain they were in that invasion." (2 Chron. xx. 2.)
The prayer against these combined powers is founded upon their avowed design of extirpating Israel as a nation; and Bishop Horne compares their confederacy to that of the Jews and Romans against our Saviour. And the same pious prelate
observes generally "The punishments inflicted by heaven upon wicked men, are primarily intended to humble and convert them. If they continue incorrigible under they are at last cut off, and finally de every dispensation of merciful severity stroyed, that others, admonished by their example, may repent and return, and giv glory to God. Salutary are the affliction which bring men, and happy the men wh are brought by them, to an acknowledg ment of Jehovah our Righteousness our exalted and glorified Redeemer, th Most High over all the earth;' whom : must acknowledge, and before whom must appear to be judged in the great a terrible day."
Ver. 13. Like a wheel-Bp. Lowth renders it, "As the chaff whirled about;" i. e. like chaff in the whirlwind. So Ainsworth. But Bp. Horne renders it, "Like the thistle-down," which is in the
"Then shall the nations know,
form of a wheel.
Ver. 14. As fire burneth the wood-That is, forest. Lonth.
Ver. 15. So persecute-Lowth, "pursue.”
Ver. 17. Let them, &c.-Bp. Horne renders verbs in the future, as part of them are in the orig