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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 74



:-. If the historical allusions of :-, c., be referred, as is probable, to the period of the captivity, the author was probably a descendant and namesake of Asaph, David's contemporary and singer (compare 2 Chronicles 35:15 Ezra 2:41). He complains of God's desertion of His Church, and appeals for aid, encouraging himself by recounting some of God's mighty deeds, and urges his prayer on the ground of God's covenant relation to His people, and the wickedness of His and their common enemy.

Verse 1

1. cast . . . off—with abhorrence (compare Psalms 43:2; Psalms 44:9). There is no disavowal of guilt implied. The figure of fire to denote God's anger is often used; and here, and in Deuteronomy 29:20, by the word "smoke," suggests its continuance.

sheep . . . pasture—(Compare Psalms 80:1; Psalms 95:7).

Verse 2

2. The terms to denote God's relation to His people increase in force: "congregation"—"purchased"—"redeemed"—"Zion," His dwelling.

Verse 3

3. Lift . . . feet— ( :-) —that is, Come (to behold) the desolations ( :-).

Verse 4

4. roar—with bestial fury.

congregations—literally, "worshipping assemblies."

ensigns—literally, "signs"—substituted their idolatrous objects, or tokens of authority, for those articles of the temple which denoted God's presence.

Verse 5

5, 6. Though some terms and clauses here are very obscure, the general sense is that the spoilers destroyed the beauties of the temple with the violence of woodmen.

was famous—literally, "was known."

Verse 6

6. carved work— ( :-).

thereof—that is, of the temple, in the writer's mind, though not expressed till :-, in which its utter destruction by fire is mentioned (2 Kings 25:9; Isaiah 64:11).

Verse 7

7. defiled—or, "profaned," as in Psalms 89:39.

Verse 8

8. together—at once, all alike.

synagogues—literally, "assemblies," for places of assembly, whether such as schools of the prophets (2 Kings 4:23), or "synagogues" in the usual sense, there is much doubt.

Verse 9

9. signs—of God's presence, as altar, ark, c. (compare Psalms 74:4 2 Chronicles 36:18; 2 Chronicles 36:19; Daniel 5:2).

no more any prophet— (Isaiah 3:2; Jeremiah 40:1; Jeremiah 43:6).

how long—this is to last. Jeremiah's prophecy (Jeremiah 43:6- :), if published, may not have been generally known or understood. To the bulk of the people, during the captivity, the occasional and local prophetical services of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel would not make an exception to the clause, "there is no more any prophet."

Verse 10

10. (Compare :-).

how long . . . reproach?—us, as deserted of God.

blaspheme thy name—or, "perfections," as power, goodness, &c. ( :-).

Verse 11

11. Why cease to help us? (Compare Psalms 3:7; Psalms 7:6; Psalms 60:5).

Verse 12

12. For—literally, "And," in an adversative sense.

Verse 13

13-15. Examples of the "salvation wrought" are cited.

divide the sea—that is, Red Sea.

brakest . . . waters—Pharaoh and his host (compare Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 51:10; Ezekiel 29:3; Ezekiel 29:4).

Verse 14

14. heads of leviathan—The word is a collective, and so used for many.

the people . . . wilderness—that is, wild beasts, as conies (Proverbs 30:25; Proverbs 30:26), are called a people. Others take the passages literally, that the sea monsters thrown out on dry land were food for the wandering Arabs.

Verse 15

15. cleave the fountain—that is, the rocks of Horeb and Kadesh; for fountains.

driedst up—Jordan, and, perhaps, Arnon and Jabbok ( :-).

Verse 16

16, 17. The fixed orders of nature and bounds of earth are of God.

Verse 18

18. (Compare Psalms 74:10; Deuteronomy 32:6). The contrast is striking—that such a God should be thus insulted!

Verse 19

19. multitude—literally, "beast," their flock or company of men ( :-).

turtledove—that is, the meek and lonely Church.

congregation—literally, "the company," as above—thus the Church is represented as the spoiled and defeated remnant of an army, exposed to violence.

Verse 20

20. And the prevalence of injustice in heathen lands is a reason for invoking God's regard to His promise (compare Numbers 14:21; Psalms 7:16; Psalms 18:48).

Verse 21

21. oppressed—broken ( :-).

return—from seeking God.

ashamed— ( :-).

Verse 22

22, 23. (Compare Psalms 3:7; Psalms 7:6). God hears the wicked to their own ruin (Genesis 4:10; Genesis 18:20).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 74". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.