World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
81. Psalm 81
Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.
2Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
3Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.
4For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob.
5This he ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not.
6I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.
7Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
8Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;
9There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god.
10I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
11But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me.
12So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
13Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
14I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.
15The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
16He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.
Ps 81:1-16. Gittith—(See on Ps 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.
1. our strength—(Ps 38:7).
2. unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental.
3. the new moon—or the month.
the time appointed—(Compare Pr 7:20).
5. a testimony—The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people.
Joseph—for Israel (Ps 80:1).
went out through—or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus.
I heard—change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.
6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.
7. secret place—the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Ex 14:24).
if thou wilt hearken—He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Ps 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings.
13-16. Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, "should have," "would have," &c., are better, "should" and "would" expressing God's intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.