Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
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
1-3. This period is that of the settlement of Canaan
have told--or, "related" (compare
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
8. thy name--as in
9. But--contrasting, cast off as abhorrent
goest not forth--literally, "will not go"
In several consecutive verses the leading verb is future, and
the following one past (in Hebrew), thus denoting the
causes and effects. Thus
when defeated, spoiling follows; when delivered as sheep, dispersion
11. The Babylonian captivity not necessarily meant. There were others
13, 14. (Compare
15. shame of . . . face--blushes in disgrace.
16. Its cause, the taunts and presence of malignant enemies
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
shadow of death--(Compare
20, 21. A solemn appeal to God to witness their constancy.
stretched out . . . hands--gesture of worship
22. Their protracted sufferings as God's people attests the constancy.
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.