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79. Psalm 79

1O God, the nations are come into thine inheritance;

Thy holy temple have they defiled;

They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.

2The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be food unto the birds of the heavens,

The flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.

3Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem;

And there was none to bury them.

4We are become a reproach to our neighbors,

A scoffing and derision to them that are round about us.

5How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou be angry for ever?

Shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

6Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that know thee not,

And upon the kingdoms that call not upon thy name.

7For they have devoured Jacob,

And laid waste his habitation.

8Remember not against us the iniquities of our forefathers:

Let thy tender mercies speedily meet us;

For we are brought very low.

9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name;

And deliver us, and aforgive our sins, for thy name's sake.

10Wherefore should the nations say, Where is their God?

Let the avenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed

Be known among the nations in our sight.

11Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee:

According to the greatness aof thy power preserve thou athose that are appointed to death;

12And render unto our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom

Their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.

13So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture

Will give thee thanks for ever:

We will show forth thy praise to all generations.

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Ps 79:1-13. This Psalm, like the seventy-fourth, probably depicts the desolations of the Chaldeans (Jer 52:12-24). It comprises the usual complaint, prayer, and promised thanks for relief.

1. (Compare Ps 74:2-7).

2, 3. (Compare Jer 15:3; 16:4).

4. (Compare Ps 44:13; Jer 42:18; La 2:15).

5. How long—(Ps 13:1).

be angry—(Ps 74:1-10).

jealousy burn—(De 29:20).

6, 7. (Compare Jer 10:25). Though we deserve much, do not the heathen deserve more for their violence to us (Jer 51:3-5; Zec 1:14)? The singular denotes the chief power, and the use of the plural indicates the combined confederates.

called upon—or, "by"

thy name—proclaimed Thy attributes and professed allegiance (Isa 12:4; Ac 2:21).

8. former iniquities—literally, "iniquities of former times."

prevent us—literally, "meet us," as in Ps 21:3.

9. for … glory of thy name [and for] thy name's sake—both mean for illustrating Thy attributes, faithfulness, power, &c.

purge … sins—literally, "provide atonement for us." Deliverance from sin and suffering, for their good and God's glory, often distinguish the prayers of Old Testament saints (compare Eph 1:7).

10. This ground of pleading often used (Ex 32:12; Nu 14:13-16).

blood … shed—(Ps 79:3).

11. prisoner—the whole captive people.

power—literally, "arm" (Ps 10:15).

12. into their bosom—The lap or folds of the dress is used by Eastern people for receiving articles. The figure denotes retaliation (compare Isa 65:6, 7). They reproached God as well as His people.

13. sheep … pasture—(Compare Ps 74:1; 78:70).