Psalms 79:1-6

A psalm of Asaph.

1 O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple, they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
2 They have left the dead bodies of your servants as food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
3 They have poured out blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury the dead.
4 We are objects of contempt to our neighbors, of scorn and derision to those around us.
5 How long, LORD? Will you be angry forever? How long will your jealousy burn like fire?
6 Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name;

Psalms 79:1-6 Meaning and Commentary


\\<>\\. This psalm was not written by one Asaph, who is supposed to live after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, or, according to some, even after the times of Antiochus, of whom there is no account, nor any certainty that there ever was such a man in those times; but by Asaph, the seer and prophet, that lived in the time of David, who, under a prophetic spirit, foresaw and foretold things that should come to pass, spoken of in this psalm: nor is it any objection that what is here said is delivered as an history of facts, since many prophecies are delivered in this way, especially those of the prophet Isaiah. The Targum is, ``a song by the hands of Asaph, concerning the destruction of the house of the sanctuary (or temple), which he said by a spirit of prophecy.'' The title of the Syriac versions, ``said by Asaph concerning the destruction of Jerusalem.'' The argument of the psalm is of the same kind with the Seventy Fourth. Some refer it to the times of Antiochus Epiphanes; so Theodoret; but though the temple was then defiled, Jerusalem was not utterly destroyed; and others to the destruction of the city and temple by Nebuchadnezzar; and why may it not refer to both, and even to the after destruction of both by Titus Vespasian? and may include the affliction and troubles of the Christians under Rome Pagan and Papal, and especially the latter; for Jerusalem and the temple may be understood in a mystical and spiritual sense; at least the troubles of the Jews, in the times referred to, were typical of what should befall the people of God under the New Testament, and in antichristian times.

Cross References 15

  • 1. S Exodus 34:9; Psalms 74:2
  • 2. S Leviticus 20:3
  • 3. S 2 Kings 25:9; S Nehemiah 4:2; S Isaiah 6:11
  • 4. Revelation 19:17-18
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 28:26; Jeremiah 7:33
  • 6. Jeremiah 25:33; Revelation 11:9
  • 7. Jeremiah 16:4
  • 8. S Psalms 39:8; S Ezekiel 5:14
  • 9. Psalms 44:13; Psalms 80:6
  • 10. S Psalms 74:10
  • 11. Psalms 74:1; Psalms 85:5
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 29:20; Psalms 89:46; Zephaniah 3:8
  • 13. S Psalms 2:5; Psalms 69:24; Psalms 110:5; Revelation 16:1
  • 14. Psalms 147:20; Jeremiah 10:25; 2 Thessalonians 1:8
  • 15. S Psalms 14:4
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