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PSALM 44

Ps 44:1-26. In a time of great national distress, probably in David's reign, the Psalmist recounts God's gracious dealings in former times, and the confidence they had learned to repose in Him. After a vivid picture of their calamities, he humbly expostulates against God's apparent forgetfulness, reminding Him of their faithfulness and mourning their heavy sorrows.

1-3. This period is that of the settlement of Canaan (Jos 24:12; Jud 6:3).

have told—or, "related" (compare Ex 10:2).

2. plantedst them—that is, "our fathers," who are also, from the parallel construction of the last clause, to be regarded as the object of "cast them out," which means—literally, "send" them out, or, "extend them." Heathen and people denote the nations who were driven out to make room for the Israelites.

4. Thou art my King—literally, "he who is my King," sustaining the same covenant relation as to the "fathers."

5. The figure drawn from the habits of the ox.

6-8. God is not only our sole help, but only worthy of praise.

7. put … to shame—(compare Ps 6:10), disgraced.

8. thy name—as in Ps 5:11.

9. But—contrasting, cast off as abhorrent (Ps 43:2).

goest not forth—literally, "will not go" (2Sa 5:23). In several consecutive verses the leading verb is future, and the following one past (in Hebrew), thus denoting the causes and effects. Thus (Ps 44:10-12), when defeated, spoiling follows; when delivered as sheep, dispersion follows, &c.

11. The Babylonian captivity not necessarily meant. There were others (compare 1Ki 8:46).

13, 14. (Compare De 28:37; Ps 79:4).

15. shame of … face—blushes in disgrace.

16. Its cause, the taunts and presence of malignant enemies (Ps 8:2).

17-19. They had not apostatized totally—were still God's people.

18. declined—turned aside from God's law.

19. sore broken—crushed.

place of dragons—desolate, barren, rocky wilderness (Ps 63:10; Isa 13:22),

shadow of death—(Compare Ps 23:4).

20, 21. A solemn appeal to God to witness their constancy.

stretched out … hands—gesture of worship (Ex 9:29; Ps 88:9).

22. Their protracted sufferings as God's people attests the constancy. Paul (Ro 8:36) uses this to describe Christian steadfastness in persecution.

23-26. This style of addressing God, as indifferent, is frequent (Ps 3:7; 9:19; 13:1, &c.). However low their condition, God is appealed to, on the ground, and for the honor, of His mercy.

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