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A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown [1882] at

Psalms Chapter 74

Psalms 74:1

psa 74:1

If the historical allusions of Psa 74:6-8, &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 Ch2 35:15; Ezr 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. (Psa. 74:1-23)

cast . . . off--with abhorrence (compare Psa 43:2; Psa 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 Deu 29:20, by the word "smoke," suggests its continuance.

sheep . . . pasture--(Compare Psa 80:1; Psa 95:7).

Psalms 74:2

psa 74:2

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

Psalms 74:3

psa 74:3

Lift . . . feet-- (Gen 29:1) --that is, Come (to behold) the desolations (Psa 73:19).

Psalms 74:4

psa 74:4

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.

Psalms 74:5

psa 74:5

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."

Psalms 74:6

psa 74:6

carved work-- (Kg1 6:29).

thereof--that is, of the temple, in the writer's mind, though not expressed till Psa 74:7, in which its utter destruction by fire is mentioned (Kg2 25:9; Isa 64:11).

Psalms 74:7

psa 74:7

defiled--or, "profaned," as in Psa 89:39.

Psalms 74:8

psa 74:8

together--at once, all alike.

synagogues--literally, "assemblies," for places of assembly, whether such as schools of the prophets (Kg2 4:23), or "synagogues" in the usual sense, there is much doubt.

Psalms 74:9

psa 74:9

signs--of God's presence, as altar, ark, &c. (compare Psa 74:4; Ch2 36:18-19; Dan 5:2).

no more any prophet-- (Isa 3:2; Jer 40:1; Jer 43:6).

how long--this is to last. Jeremiah's prophecy (Jer 25:11), 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."

Psalms 74:10

psa 74:10

(Compare Psa 31:1).

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

blaspheme thy name--or, "perfections," as power, goodness, &c. (Psa 29:2).

Psalms 74:11

psa 74:11

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

Psalms 74:12

psa 74:12

For--literally, "And," in an adversative sense.

Psalms 74:13

psa 74:13

Examples of the "salvation wrought" are cited.

divide the sea--that is, Red Sea.

brakest . . . waters--Pharaoh and his host (compare Isa 51:9-10; Eze 29:3-4).

Psalms 74:14

psa 74:14

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

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

Psalms 74:15

psa 74:15

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

driedst up--Jordan, and, perhaps, Arnon and Jabbok (Num 21:14).

Psalms 74:16

psa 74:16

The fixed orders of nature and bounds of earth are of God.

Psalms 74:18

psa 74:18

(Compare Psa 74:10; Deu 32:6). The contrast is striking--that such a God should be thus insulted!

Psalms 74:19

psa 74:19

multitude--literally, "beast," their flock or company of men (Psa 68:10).

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.

Psalms 74:20

psa 74:20

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

Psalms 74:21

psa 74:21

oppressed--broken (Psa 9:9).

return--from seeking God.

ashamed-- (Psa 35:4).

Psalms 74:22

psa 74:22

(Compare Psa 3:7; Psa 7:6). God hears the wicked to their own ruin (Gen 4:10; Gen 18:20).

Next: Psalms Chapter 75