Psalms 80

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.

1 [a]Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
4 How long, LORD God Almighty, will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us an object of derision[b] to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
8 You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 Its branches reached as far as the Sea,[c]its shoots as far as the River.[d]
12 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it, and insects from the fields feed on it.
14 Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine,
15 the root your right hand has planted, the son[e] you have raised up for yourself.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, 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 25

  • 1. Psalms 77:20
  • 2. S Exodus 25:22
  • 3. Numbers 2:18-24
  • 4. S Psalms 35:23
  • 5. Psalms 54:1; Psalms 69:1; Psalms 71:2; Psalms 109:26; Psalms 116:4; Psalms 119:94
  • 6. S Psalms 71:20; Psalms 85:4; Jeremiah 31:18; Lamentations 5:21
  • 7. S Numbers 6:25
  • 8. ver 7,19
  • 9. S Psalms 74:10
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 29:20
  • 11. S Job 3:24
  • 12. Psalms 42:3; Isaiah 30:20
  • 13. S Psalms 79:4
  • 14. ver 3
  • 15. Isaiah 5:1-2; Jeremiah 2:21; Matthew 21:33-41
  • 16. Exodus 23:28-30; S Joshua 13:6; Acts 7:45
  • 17. S Exodus 15:17
  • 18. Psalms 72:8
  • 19. Psalms 89:40; Isaiah 5:5; Isaiah 30:13; Jeremiah 39:8
  • 20. Jeremiah 5:6
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 26:15; Isaiah 63:15
  • 22. Psalms 79:1
  • 23. S Deuteronomy 28:20; Psalms 39:11; Psalms 76:6
  • 24. S Job 25:6
  • 25. Psalms 85:6; Isaiah 57:15; Hosea 6:2

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 80:1-19 is numbered 80:2-20.
  • [b]. Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text "contention"
  • [c]. Probably the Mediterranean
  • [d]. That is, the Euphrates
  • [e]. Or "branch"

Chapter Summary

Psalms 80 Commentaries