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80. Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,

Thou that leadest Joseph like a flock;

Thou that asittest above the cherubim, shine forth.

2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up thy might,

And come to save us.

3aTurn us again, O God;

And cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

4O Jehovah God of hosts,

How long awilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?

5Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears,

And given them tears to drink in large measure.

6Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbors;

And our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Turn us again, O God of hosts;

And cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

8Thou broughtest a vine out of Egypt:

Thou didst drive out the nations, and plantedst it.

9Thou preparedst room before it,

And it took deep root, and filled the land.

10The mountains were covered with the shadow of it,

And athe boughs thereof were like acedars of God.

11It sent out its branches unto the sea,

And its shoots unto the River.

12Why hast thou broken down its walls,

So that all they that pass by the way do pluck it?

13The boar out of the wood doth ravage it,

And the wild beasts of the field feed on it.

14Turn again, we beseech thee, O God of hosts:

Look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine,

15And athe stock which thy right hand planted,

And the abranch that thou madest strong for thyself.

16It is burned with fire, it is cut down:

They perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

17Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,

Upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

18So shall we not go back from thee:

Quicken thou us, and we will call upon thy name.

19aTurn us again, O Jehovah God of hosts;

Cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

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5 Thou hast fed us with bread of tears, etc. By these forms of expression, they depict the greatness of their grief, and the long continuance of their calamities; as if they had said, We are so filled with sorrow, that we can contain no more. 388388     “There cannot,” says Bishop Horne, “be a more striking picture of Zion in captivity! Her bread is dipped in tears; and her cup is filled to the brim with them: no time is free from grief and lamentation!” They add, in the following verse that they were made a strife to their neighbors This admits of being explained in two ways. It means either that their neighbors had taken up a quarrel against them; or that, having obtained the victory over them, they were contending about the spoil, as is usually the case in such circumstances, each being eager to drag it to himself. The former interpretation, however seems to be the more suitable. The people complain that, whereas neighborhood ought to be a bond of mutual goodwill, they had as many enemies as neighbors. To the same purpose is their language in the second clause, They laugh at us among themselves; that is to say, They talk among themselves by way of sport and mockery at our adversities. To encourage and stir themselves up to repentance, they ascribe all this to the judgment of God, in whose power it is to bend the hearts of men. Since we are all at this day chargeable with the same sins, it is not surprising that our condition is in no degree better than was theirs. But the Holy Spirit having inspired the prophet to write this form of prayer for a people who felt their condition to be almost desperate, it serves to inspire us with hope and boldness, and to prevent us from giving up the exercise of prayer, under a consciousness of the greatness of our guilt. The seventh verse is a repetition of the third; and this repetition is undoubtedly intended as a means of surmounting every obstacle. God did not here intend to endite for his people a vain repetition of words: his object was to encourage them, when bowed down under the load of their calamities, boldly to rise up, heavy though the load might be. This ground of support was often presented to them; and it is repeated the third time in the concluding verse of the psalm.




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