74:1 Maschil of Asaph. O God, a why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
(a) The Church of God is oppressed by the tyranny, either of the Babylonians or of Antiochus, and prays to God by whose hand the yoke was laid on them for their sins. 74:2 Remember thy congregation, [which] thou hast purchased of old; the b rod of thine inheritance, [which] thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
(b) Which inheritance you have measured out for yourself as with a line or rod. 74:4 Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they c set up their ensigns [for] signs.
(c) They have destroyed your true religion, and spread their banners in sign of defiance. 74:5 [A man] was famous according as he had d lifted up axes upon the thick trees.
(d) He commends the temple for the costly matter, the excellent workmanship and beauty of it, which nonetheless the enemies destroyed. 74:8 They said in their e hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
(e) They encouraged one another to cruelty, that not only Gods people might be destroyed, but also his religion utterly in all places suppressed. 74:9 We see not our signs: [there is] no more any prophet: neither [is there] among us any that knoweth f how long.
(f) They lamented that they had no prophet among them to show them how long their misery would last. 74:11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? g pluck [it] out of thy bosom.
(g) They join their deliverance with Gods glory and power, knowing that the punishment of the enemy would be their deliverance. 74:12 For God [is] my King of old, working salvation h in the midst of the earth.
(h) Meaning in the sight of all the world. 74:13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the i dragons in the waters.
(i) That is, Pharaohs army. 74:14 Thou brakest the heads of k leviathan in pieces, [and] gavest him [to be] l meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
(k) Which was a great monster of the sea, or whale, meaning Pharaoh. 74:16 The m day [is] thine, the night also [is] thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
(l) His destruction rejoiced them as meat refreshes the body.
(m) Seeing that God by his providence governs and disposes all things, he gathers that he will take care chiefly for his children. 74:19 O deliver not the soul of thy n turtledove unto the multitude [of the wicked]: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
(n) He means the Church of God, which is exposed as a prey to the wicked. 74:20 Have respect unto the covenant: for o the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
(o) That is, all places where your word does not shine, there reigns tyranny and ambition. 74:22 Arise, O God, plead thine p own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
(p) He shows that God cannot permit his Church to be oppressed unless he looses his own right.