Psalms 80

Listen to Psalms 80
1 Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead 1Joseph like 2a flock! You who are 3enthroned upon the cherubim, 4shine forth.
2 Before 5Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, 6stir up your might and 7come to save us!
3 8Restore us,[a] O God; 9let your face shine, that we may be saved!
4 O 10LORD God of hosts, 11how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?
5 You have fed them with 12the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6 13You make us an object of contention for our 14neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves.
7 15Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
8 You brought 16a vine out of Egypt; you 17drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You 18cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to 19the sea and its shoots to 20the River.[b]
12 Why then have you 21broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 22The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts! 23Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,
15 the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
16 They have 24burned it with fire; they have 25cut it down; may they perish at 26the rebuke of your face!
17 But 27let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18 Then we shall not turn back from you; 28give us life, and we will call upon your name!
19 29Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalms 80 Commentary

Chapter 80

The psalmist complains of the miseries of the church. (1-7) Its former prosperity and present desolation. (8-16) A prayer for mercy. (17-19)

Verses 1-7 He that dwelleth upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from God's favour; there is no conversion to God but by his own grace.

Verses 8-16 The church is represented as a vine and a vineyard. The root of this vine is Christ, the branches are believers. The church is like a vine, needing support, but spreading and fruitful. If a vine do not bring forth fruit, no tree is so worthless. And are not we planted as in a well-cultivated garden, with every means of being fruitful in works of righteousness? But the useless leaves of profession, and the empty boughs of notions and forms, abound far more than real piety. It was wasted and ruined. There was a good reason for this change in God's way toward them. And it is well or ill with us, according as we are under God's smiles or frowns. When we consider the state of the purest part of the visible church, we cannot wonder that it is visited with sharp corrections. They request that God would help the vine. Lord, it is formed by thyself, and for thyself, therefore it may, with humble confidence, be committed to thyself.

Verses 17-19 The Messiah, the Protector and Saviour of the church, is the Man of God's right hand; he is the Arm of the Lord, for all power is given to him. In him is our strength, by which we are enabled to persevere to the end. The vine, therefore, cannot be ruined, nor can any fruitful branch perish; but the unfruitful will be cut off and cast into the fire. The end of our redemption is, that we should serve Him who hath redeemed us, and not go back to our old sins.

Cross References 29

  • 1. Psalms 78:67; Psalms 81:5
  • 2. [Psalms 95:7]; See Psalms 77:20
  • 3. Psalms 99:1; Exodus 25:22; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2
  • 4. See Psalms 50:2
  • 5. See Numbers 2:18-24
  • 6. See Psalms 35:23
  • 7. [Psalms 118:14, 21]
  • 8. ver. 19; Psalms 60:1; Psalms 85:4; Lamentations 5:21
  • 9. Numbers 6:25; See Psalms 4:6
  • 10. See Psalms 59:5
  • 11. [Psalms 74:10; Psalms 79:5]
  • 12. Psalms 42:3; Psalms 102:9; [1 Kings 22:27; Isaiah 30:20]
  • 13. See Psalms 44:13
  • 14. See Psalms 44:13
  • 15. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 16. Isaiah 5:1; Isaiah 27:2; Jeremiah 2:21; Jeremiah 12:10; Ezekiel 17:6; Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1; Luke 20:9
  • 17. See Psalms 44:2
  • 18. [Joshua 24:12]
  • 19. See Psalms 72:8
  • 20. See Psalms 72:8
  • 21. Psalms 89:40; Isaiah 5:5
  • 22. [Jeremiah 5:6]
  • 23. [Isaiah 63:15]
  • 24. Isaiah 33:12
  • 25. Isaiah 33:12
  • 26. Psalms 76:6; [Psalms 39:11]
  • 27. Psalms 89:21
  • 28. See Psalms 71:20
  • 29. ver. 3, 7

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or Turn us again; also verses 7, 19
  • [b]. That is, the Euphrates

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph. Of the word "shoshannim," See Gill on "Ps 45:1," and of "shushaneduth," See Gill on "Ps 60:1" which seems to be the same with this here, and is thought by some to be the name of a musical instrument now unknown, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; though these two words are not to be read together as one, for there is a dividing accent on "shoshannim," and which may be rendered "concerning the lilies" {a}; and so may denote the subject matter of the psalm, or respect the people of God, comparable to lilies for their beauty, purity, and holiness in Christ, Song of Solomon 6:2, and to lilies among thorns, Song of Solomon 2:2, being in great afflictions and persecutions, as appears from Psalm 80:5, the word "eduth" is to be read not along with "shoshannim," but with what follows, thus, "Eduth unto Asaph a psalm"; some render the word "eduth" an ornament or glory, as R. Marinus in Aben Ezra; and take the sense to be, that the psalm was a glorious one, and desirable to Asaph; but it rather signifies a testimony, and is by the Targum interpreted of the testimony of the law; but it is rather to be understood of the testimony of the Gospel, which is the testimony of Christ, and bears witness of him; and there is a testimony of him in this psalm, Psalm 80:17, and there seem to be in it many breathings after his coming and appearance in the flesh. Some take this psalm to be of the same argument with the foregoing, and think it refers to the destruction of the Jews, the two tribes, by the Chaldeans; so Theodoret; but there is no mention made of the temple, nor of Jerusalem, as in the preceding psalm; and besides, why should Manasseh and Ephraim be mentioned? wherefore others are of opinion that it has regard to the captivity of the ten tribes by Salmaneser; but then it may be asked, why is Benjamin taken notice of, which had no concern in the affliction? this has led others to conclude that it respects some time of affliction before either of these captivities, or between them both; and it may be applied to any affliction of the people of God in any age or period of time; and no doubt was written by Asaph, or by David, and put into his hands before the distress was, under a spirit of prophecy. Kimchi interprets it of the present captivity of the Jews, and Jarchi of their three captivities.

{a} Mynvv la "super liliis," Tigurine version, Cocceius; "pro liliis," Musculus.

Psalms 80 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.