This Ps. is an appeal to God to save His people from the adversities that have come upon them, and have made them the laughing stock of their enemies (Psalms 80:1-7). Their past history is recalled under the figure of a vine, once flourishing, but now wasted by wild beasts and fire (Psalms 80:8-16). Special prominence is given to the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin (Psalms 80:2). The Ps. was probably written at least after the fall of the northern kingdom (721 b.c., 2 Kings 17:5-6; 2 Kings 18:9-11), if not during the Babylonian exile. The Psalmist either belonged to that kingdom or had a special sympathy with it in its misfortunes. After the kingdom of Israel came to an end its rivalry with Judah was largely forgotten, and the later prophets cherished the hope of a restoration which would embrace the whole nation (Jeremiah 3:11-15; Jeremiah 31:1-20; Ezekiel 37:15-28).
Title.—Shoshannim-Eduth] see on Psalms 45, 60.
1. O Shepherd of Israel] a representation of God characteristic of the Asaphic Pss. (see Intro, to Book 3). Joseph] the father of Ephraim and Manasseh. The name is applied to the kingdom of the Ten Tribes. Dwellest between, etc.] RV 'sittest upon the cherubim': see Exodus 25:20-22; Ezekiel 1:26; Ezekiel 10:1.
2. Ephraim.. Ben jamin.. Manasseh] These three tribes were the descendants of Rachel. They encamped together in the wilderness, and followed immediately after the tabernacle when Israel was marching (Numbers 2:18-24). The Psalmist prays that they may be restored to their ancient place of favour.
3. This v. recurs as a refrain in Psalms 80:7, Psalms 80:19. Turn us again] bring us back from captivity. Cause thy face to shine] from Numbers 6:25.
8. For the vine as an emblem of Israel see Isaiah 5:1-7; Isaiah 27:2-6; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 17:1-10.
11. The sea] the Mediterranean on the W. The river] RV 'River': the Euphrates on the E. These were the ideal boundaries of Israel (Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:24; Psalms 72:8), which were reached, for the time in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 4:24).
13. Boar.. wild beast (RV 'beasts')] Israel's enemies, especially, perhaps, the Assyrians.
15. Vineyard] RV 'stock'; another reading gives 'protect.'
16. They perish] The figure of the vine is dropped here.
17. Let thy hand be upon] to protect. The man of thy right hand] the nation of Israel personified, with a special allusion to the name Benjamin, which means' son of the right hand': see Psalms 80:15. Son of man] another expression for the nation in its human weakness: cp. the use of the phrase in Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1, etc.).
18. Quicken] make alive, revive.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 80". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany