Psalms 79:1

1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

Psalms 79:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 79:1

O God, the Heathen are come into thine inheritance
The land of Canaan, divided among the children of Israel by lot and line for an inheritance, out of which the Heathen were cast, to make room for them; but now would come into it again; see ( Psalms 89:35 ) , and this is called the Lord's inheritance, because he gave it as such to the people of Israel, and dwelt in it himself; and the rather this is observed as something marvellous, that he should suffer Heathens to possess his own inheritance; or the city of Jerusalem, which was the place the Lord chose to put his name in; or the temple, where he had his residence, called the mountain of his inheritance, ( Exodus 15:17 ) , and into which it was always accounted a profanation for Heathens to enter; see ( Acts 21:28 Acts 21:29 ) , into each of these places the Heathen came; the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar; the Syrians under Antiochus, as in the Apocrypha:

``Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her.'' (1 Maccabees 1:38)

``Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness, there was none of her children that went in or out: the sanctuary also was trodden down, and aliens kept the strong hold; the heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the pipe with the harp ceased.'' (1 Maccabees 3:45)

the Romans under Pompey, Vespasian, and Titus; and the Papists have since entered among the people of God, who are his heritage or inheritance, and have lorded it over them, and made havoc of them, and who are called Heathens and Gentiles, ( Psalms 10:16 ) ( Revelation 11:2 Revelation 11:18 ) ,

thy holy temple have they defiled:
this was done in the times of Antiochus, by entering into it, taking away the holy vessels out of it, shedding innocent blood in it, and setting up the abomination of desolation on the altar, and sacrificing to it, as in the Apocrypha:

``Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness,'' (1 Maccabees 1:27)

``Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it:'' (1 Maccabees 1:37)

``And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:'' (1 Maccabees 1:46)

``And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death.'' (1 Maccabees 1:57)

``For thy sanctuary is trodden down and profaned, and thy priests are in heaviness, and brought low.'' (1 Maccabees 3:51)

``And they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon the people that was trodden down of all; and also pity the temple profaned of ungodly men;'' (2 Maccabees 8:2)

and by burning it in the times of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus; see ( Psalms 74:7 ) , and the church, which is the holy temple of God, has been defiled by antichrist sitting in it, and showing himself there as if he was God, by his dreadful blasphemies, idolatrous worship, and false doctrines, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:4 ) ,

they have laid Jerusalem on heaps;
the walls and buildings being pulled down, and made a heap of stones and rubbish: in the times of Antiochus and of the Maccabees, it was set on fire, and the houses and the walls pulled down on every side, and was greatly defaced, and threatened to be laid level with the ground, as in the Apocrypha:

``And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side.'' (1 Maccabees 1:31)

``And that he would have compassion upon the city, sore defaced, and ready to be made even with the ground; and hear the blood that cried unto him,'' (2 Maccabees 8:3)

``That the holy city (to the which he was going in haste to lay it even with the ground, and to make it a common buryingplace,) he would set at liberty:'' (2 Maccabees 9:14)

and this was thoroughly done in the times of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus, when the city was broke up and burnt with fire, and laid utterly desolate; so the Targum renders the word for "desolation"; it sometimes signifies a grave; see ( Job 30:24 ) , and the sense may be here, that the city of Jerusalem was made graves to many; and multitudes were buried under the ruins of it. Aben Ezra interprets it, low places which were dug to find hidden things; the Septuagint translate it "a watch", or cottage "for apple orchards", and so the versions that follow it; signifying to what a low condition the city was reduced. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret the word as we do, "heaps": this, as it is true of Jerusalem, which has been trodden under foot by the Gentiles, and remains so to this day, ( Luke 21:24 ) , so likewise of mystical Jerusalem, the holy city, given to the Gentiles or Papists, to be trodden down for the space of forty and two months, the exact time of the reign of antichrist, ( Revelation 11:2 ) .

Psalms 79:1 In-Context

1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
5 How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.