Psalms 74:8

8 They said to themselves, "We will utterly subdue them"; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

Psalms 74:8 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 74:8

They said in their hearts, let us destroy them together
The Targum is,

``their children, are together;''

or "their kindred", as the Septuagint Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, taking the word to be of (Nyn) , which signifies a "son"; and the sense to be, that seeing they were all together, as the Jews were at the taking of Jerusalem, they might be cut off at once. Jarchi explains it of their rulers; Marinus, as Aben Ezra observes, derives it from a word which signifies to afflict and oppress, to which he agrees; see ( Psalms 83:3-5 ) ,

they have burnt up all the synagogues of God in the land;
not only in Jerusalem, where there were, the Jewish F17 writers say, four hundred and sixty, and others four hundred and eighty of them, but also in all the land of Judea; of these synagogues there is much mention made in the New Testament; they were places for public worship, in which, prayer was made, and the Scriptures were read and explained; see ( Matthew 6:5 ) ( Luke 4:16 ) ( Acts 15:21 ) , but it may be doubted whether they are meant here, since it does not appear that there were any until after the return of the Jews from Babylon F18; the temple, and the parts of it, may be meant, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra; or the schools of the prophets; though the psalm may refer to times after the Babylonish captivity, and so may design Jewish synagogues, and even take in places of worship among Christians.


F17 T. Hieros. Cetubot, fol. 35. 3. & Megillah, fol. 73. 4.
F18 Vid. Vitringam de Synagog. Vet. l. 1. par. 2. c. 9. Reland. Antiqu. Heb. par. 1. c. 16. sect. 3. Burmannum de Synagogis disp. I. sect. 9.

Psalms 74:8 In-Context

6 And then, with hatchets and hammers, they smashed all its carved work.
7 They set your sanctuary on fire; they desecrated the dwelling place of your name, bringing it to the ground.
8 They said to themselves, "We will utterly subdue them"; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9 We do not see our emblems; there is no longer any prophet, and there is no one among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever?