Psalm 74:5

5 They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees.

Read Psalm 74:5 Using Other Translations

A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.
They were like those who swing axes in a forest of trees.
They swung their axes like woodcutters in a forest.

What does Psalm 74:5 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 74:5

A man was famous
Or, "it was", or "is known" F13; the desolations the enemy made, the wickedness they committed, the terror they spread, and the signs they set in the sanctuary of the Lord:

according as he had lifted up,
or "as one that lifts up"

axes upon the thick trees
F14; that is, the above things were as visible, and as well known, being as easy to be seen as such an action is, a man being obliged to lift his axe above his head, to cut down a thick tree: or rather the sense is, formerly a man was famous for, and it gave him some credit and esteem, to be an hewer of wood in the forest of Lebanon, where he lifted up his axe, and cut down the thick trees for the building of the temple, as the servants of Hiram king of Tyre did; and such an action was esteemed as if a man brought an offering to God; agreeably to which is Kimchi's note,

``when the temple was built, he who lifted up his axe upon a thick tree, to cut it down for the building, was known, as if he lifted it up above in heaven before the throne of glory; all so rejoiced and gloried in the building:''

and Aben Ezra interprets it of acclamations made above on that account. The words, according to the accents, should be rendered thus, "he" or "it was known, as he that lifteth up on high; even as he that lifteth up on high, axes upon the thick tree".


FOOTNOTES:

F13 (edwy) "cognitus erat", Munster; "noscitur", Cocceius; "cognoscitur, innotescit", Gejerus.
F14 (aybmk) "velut adducens", Montanus, Gejerus; "tanquam sursum tollens et desuper inducens", Michaelis.
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