Psalm 74:6

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 6. But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. The invaders were as industrious to destroy as the ancient builders had been to construct. Such fair carving it was barbarous to hew in pieces, but the Vandals had no mercy and broke down all, with any weapon which came to hand. In these days men are using axes and sledgehammers against the gospel and the church. Glorious truths, far more exquisite than the goodliest carving, are cavilled over and smashed by the blows of modern criticism. Truths which have upheld the afflicted and cheered the dying are smitten by pretentious Goths, who would be accounted learned, but know not the first principals of the truth. With sharp ridicule, and heavy blows of sophistry, they break the faith of some: and would, if it were possible, destroy the confidence of the elect themselves. Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans are but types of spiritual foes who labour to crush the truth and the people of God.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 6. The carved work thereof. Even barbarian invaders are wont to spare the more splendid buildings for art's sake. Demetrius, when he had taken a picture painted by Protogenes in the suburbs of Rhodes, was besought by the Rhodians to be lenient towards art, lest he should destroy the painting. He replied that he would sooner burn the statues of his father than so great a work of art. The ferocity of these enemies, therefore, outdoes the barbarity of others, for they ruthlessly cast down an edifice sculptured and polished with the greatest skill. Mollerus.

Verse 6. The carved work. ~ywtb Pittuchim: used in 1 Kings 6:29 , of the "carved figures of cherubim, and palm trees, and open flowers," which were on the Temple walls. William Kay.

Verse 6. With axes and hammers. It is noted by a learned interpreter, that the words in the original rendered in our translation, with axes and hammers, are not properly Hebrew, but Syriac words, purposely to hint thereby the time when and the persons by whom this was done. Arthur Jackson.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 6. Vandal work against the truth of God.

Verse 6-7. Things feared by a church.

  1. Injury to her doctrines or ordinances: carved work.
  2. The fire of strife, division, etc.
  3. The defilement of sin. Either of these three will
    throw a church down; let her guard and pray against
    them.