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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Psalms 81



Verse 1

Psalm 81:1-16. Gittith - (See on Psalm 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the Passover (compare Matthew 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.

our strength — (Psalm 38:7).

Verse 2

unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental.

Verse 3

the new moon — or the month.

the time appointed — (Compare Proverbs 7:20).

Verse 5

a testimony — The feasts, especially the Passover, attested God‘s relation to His people.

Joseph — for Israel (Psalm 80:1).

went out through — or, “over,” that is, Israel in the exodus.

I heard — change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.

language — literally, “lip” (Psalm 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (Deuteronomy 28:49).

Verse 6

God‘s language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.

Verse 7

secret place — the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Exodus 14:24).

proved thee — (Psalm 7:10; Psalm 17:3) - tested their faith by the miracle.

Verse 8

(Compare Psalm 50:7). The reproof follows to Psalm 81:12.

if thou wilt hearken — He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Psalm 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings.

Verse 11-12

They failed, and He gave them up to their own desires and hardness of heart (Deuteronomy 29:18; Proverbs 1:30; Romans 11:25).

Verses 13-16

Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, “should have,” “would have,” etc., are better, “should” and “would” expressing God‘s intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.


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.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 81:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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