Ps 74:1-23. If the historical allusions of Ps 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 2Ch 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
1. cast … off—with abhorrence
(compare Ps 43:2; 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 De 29:20, by
the word "smoke," suggests its continuance.
sheep … pasture—(Compare Ps 80:1;
2. The terms to denote God's relation to His
people increase in force:
3. Lift … feet—(Ge 29:1)—that is, Come (to behold) the
desolations (Ps 73:19).
4. roar—with bestial fury.
"signs"—substituted their idolatrous objects, or tokens of
authority, for those articles of the temple which denoted God's
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."
6. carved work—(1Ki 6:29).
thereof—that is, of the temple, in the
writer's mind, though not expressed till Ps 74:7, in which its utter destruction by fire
is mentioned (2Ki 25:9; Isa 64:11).
7. defiled—or, "profaned," as in Ps 89:39.
8. together—at once, all alike.
for places of assembly, whether such as schools of the prophets (2Ki 4:23), or "synagogues" in the usual
sense, there is much doubt.
9. signs—of God's presence, as altar,
ark, &c. (compare Ps 74:4; 2Ch 36:18, 19; Da 5:2).
no more any prophet—(Isa 3:2;
Jer 40:1; 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."
10. (Compare Ps 31:1).
how long … reproach?—us, as
deserted of God.
blaspheme thy name—or, "perfections,"
as power, goodness, &c. (Ps 29:2).
11. Why cease to help us? (Compare Ps 3:7;
12. For—literally, "And," in an
13-15. Examples of the "salvation wrought" are
divide the sea—that is, Red Sea.
brakest … waters—Pharaoh and his
host (compare Isa 51:9, 10; Eze 29:3, 4).
14. heads of leviathan—The word is a
collective, and so used for many.
the people … wilderness—that is,
wild beasts, as conies (Pr 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.
15. cleave the fountain—that is, the
rocks of Horeb and Kadesh; for fountains.
driedst up—Jordan, and, perhaps, Arnon
and Jabbok (Nu 21:14).
16, 17. The fixed orders of nature and bounds
of earth are of God.
18. (Compare Ps 74:10; De 32:6). The contrast is striking—that
such a God should be thus insulted!
19. multitude—literally, "beast," their
flock or company of men (Ps 68:10).
turtledove—that is, the meek and
congregation—literally, "the company,"
as above—thus the Church is represented as the spoiled and
defeated remnant of an army, exposed to violence.
20. And the prevalence of injustice in heathen
lands is a reason for invoking God's regard to His promise (compare
Nu 14:21; Ps 7:16; 18:48).
21. oppressed—broken (Ps 9:9).
return—from seeking God.
22, 23. (Compare Ps 3:7; 7:6). God hears the wicked to their
own ruin (Ge 4:10; 18:20).