Psalm 74:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
A maskil of Asaph. O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?

New Living Translation
A psalm of Asaph. O God, why have you rejected us so long? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?

English Standard Version
O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?

New American Standard Bible
A Maskil of Asaph. O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?

King James Bible
Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
A Maskil of Asaph. Why have You rejected us forever, God? Why does Your anger burn against the sheep of Your pasture?

International Standard Version
Why, God? Have you rejected us forever? Your anger is burning against the sheep of your pasture.

NET Bible
A well-written song by Asaph. Why, O God, have you permanently rejected us? Why does your anger burn against the sheep of your pasture?

New Heart English Bible
[A contemplation by Asaph.] God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
God, why have you forgotten me forever and have hardened your wrath against the sheep of your pasture?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[A [maskil] by Asaph.] Why, O God, have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep in your care?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Maschil of Asaph. Why, O God, hast Thou cast us off for ever? Why doth Thine anger smoke against the flock of Thy pasture?

New American Standard 1977
O God, why hast Thou rejected us forever?
            Why does Thine anger smoke against the sheep of Thy pasture?

Jubilee Bible 2000
O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? Why does thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

King James 2000 Bible
O God, why have you cast us off forever? why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?

American King James Version
O God, why have you cast us off for ever? why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?

American Standard Version
O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Understanding for Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off unto the end: why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?

Darby Bible Translation
{An instruction: of Asaph.} Why, O God, hast thou cast off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

English Revised Version
Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

Webster's Bible Translation
Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

World English Bible
God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?

Young's Literal Translation
An Instruction of Asaph. Why, O God, hast Thou cast off for ever? Thine anger smoketh against the flock of Thy pasture.
Study Bible
Why have You Rejected Us?
1A Maskil of Asaph. O God, why have You rejected us forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture? 2Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old, Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance; And this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 29:20
"The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven.

2 Samuel 24:17
Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, "Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father's house."

1 Chronicles 21:17
David said to God, "Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father's household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued."

Psalm 18:8
Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it.

Psalm 44:9
Yet You have rejected us and brought us to dishonor, And do not go out with our armies.

Psalm 77:7
Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again?

Psalm 79:5
How long, O LORD? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?

Psalm 79:13
So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture Will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

Psalm 85:5
Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?

Psalm 89:46
How long, O LORD? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire?
Treasury of Scripture

O God, why have you cast us off for ever? why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?

A.M.

Psalm 78:1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

O God

Psalm 10:1 Why stand you afar off, O LORD? why hide you yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 42:9 I will say to God my rock, Why have you forgotten me? why go I mourning …

Psalm 44:9 But you have cast off, and put us to shame; and go not forth with our armies.

Psalm 60:1,10 O God, you have cast us off, you have scattered us, you have been …

Psalm 77:7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favorable no more?

Jeremiah 31:37 Thus said the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations …

Jeremiah 33:24-26 Consider you not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families …

Romans 11:1,2 I say then, Has God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also …

smoke

Psalm 79:5 How long, LORD? will you be angry for ever? shall your jealousy burn like fire?

Deuteronomy 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his …

the sheep

Psalm 79:13 So we your people and sheep of your pasture will give you thanks …

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the …

Psalm 100:3 Know you that the LORD he is God: it is he that has made us, and …

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be to the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! …

Ezekiel 34:8,31 As I live, said the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, …

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to …

John 10:26-30 But you believe not, because you are not of my sheep, as I said to you…

(1) Why hast . . .--Better, why hast thou never ceased abandoning us?

Anger.--Literally, nostril, as in Psalm 18:8, "there went a smoke from his nostril."

The sheep of thy pasture.--An expression peculiar to the Asaphic psalms and Jeremiah 23:1.

THE misery of the Jews is here at its deepest (Four Friends, p. 291). The psalmist describes Jerusalem as fallen into "perpetual ruins" (ver. 3). The temple is violated (ver. 3); its carved work is ruthlessly cut down (ver. 6); the aid of fire has been called in to destroy it, and its walls are cast down to the ground (ver. 7). Nor has Jerusalem alone suffered. The object has been to "make havoc" of Israel "altogether;" and the enemy have spread themselves, and "burnt up all the houses of God in the land" (ver. 8). The prophets have succumbed; their voices are heard no more (ver. 9). A blasphemous enemy lords it over the entire country (vers. 10, 23), and sets up its banners as signs of its dominion (ver. 4). Three periods have been assigned for the composition of the psalm:

(1) the time of the invasion of Shishak;

(2) that of the Babylonian conquest; and

(3) the early Maceabean period, or the reign of Judas Maccabaens.

In favour of the first is the ascription of the psalm in the "title" to Asaph. But all other considerations are against it. There is no evidence that Shishak ever entered Jerusalem. He certainly did not break down the carved work of the temple, or set the temple on fire, much less "cast it down to the ground." His invasion was a mere raid, and Rehoboam seems to have bought his retreat by the sacrifice of the temple treasury (2 Kings 14:25-28; 2 Chronicles 12:2-12). The circumstances described in the psalm are also unsuitable to the reign of Judas Maccabaeus, in whose time the temple suffered desecration at the hands of the Syrians, but was not seriously damaged, much less demolished. Thus the only date suitable for the composition of the psalm is that immediately following the capture of the city under Nebuchadnezzar. We must explain the "title" by the consideration that Asaph, like Jeduthun and Heman, became a tribe name, attaching to all the descendants of the original Asaph, and was equivalent to "sou of Asaph" (see Ezra 2:41; Ezra 3:10; Nehemiah 7:44; Nehemiah 11:22). The psalm consists of three portions:

1. A complaint to God, including a description of all the horrors of the situation (vers. 1-11).

2. An enumeration of God's mercies in the olden time, as a foundation for hope that he will yet rescue Israel (vers. 12-17).

3. An earnest prayer for relief and restoration, and the re-establishment of the covenant (vers. 18-23). Verse 1. - O God, why hast thou cast us off forever? It could only have been in the extremity of distress that a devout Israelite believed, even for a time, that Israel was "cast off forever" (comp. Psalm 79:5, which must have been written nearly at the same period as this). Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? God's anger "smokes" when it is hot and furious (see Psalm 18:8; Psalm 104:32; Psalm 44:5). It is now smoking "against the sheep of his pasture" - his own flock (Psalm 78:53), his peculiar people (comp. Jeremiah 23:4; Jeremiah 50:6, 17; and Psalm 79:13).

O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever?..... This the church supposed because of the prevalence, oppression, and triumph of the enemy, because of the hardships and afflictions she laboured under, and because of the hidings of the face of God from her, which unbelief interpreted of a casting off; see Psalm 77:7 when in reality it was not so, only in appearance, and according to a wrong judgment made of things; for God never did nor never will cast off, nor cast away, his people whom he foreknew, Romans 11:1,

why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? the people of God are called "sheep", because subject to go astray, not only before conversion, but after; and because harmless and inoffensive in their lives and conversations; and because, though exposed to the insults and persecutions of men, and their butcheries and barbarities, and therefore called "the flock of slaughter", Zechariah 11:4, yet bear all patiently, as the sheep before her shearers is dumb; and because like sheep they are weak and timorous, unable to defend themselves; are clean, and so distinguished from dogs and swine; and are profitable, though not to God, yet to men, and one another; and like sheep are sociable, and love to be together: and they are called the sheep of the Lord's pasture; because he provides good pasture for them, leads them into it, and feeds them himself with Christ, the bread of life, the tree of life, and hidden manna; with covenant grace and promises, even the sure mercies of David; with discoveries of his love and grace, and with his word and ordinances; and yet these, when under afflictions and desertions, are ready to conclude that God is angry with them, yea, is very angry; that his anger burns against them, and his fierce wrath goes over them, signified by smoking; see Deuteronomy 19:20, alluding to men, who, when they are angry, become hot, as Kimchi observes, and their breath like smoke comes out of their nostrils.

(k) Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 29. col. 984. (l) Vid. T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 56. 2.1 O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

4 Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.

5 A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.

6 But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.

7 They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.

8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.

9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand pluck it out of thy bosom.

Psalm 74:1

"O God, why hast thou east us off for ever?" To cast Us off at all were hard, but when thou dost for so long a time desert thy people it is an evil beyond all endurance - the very chief of woes and abyss of misery. It is our wisdom when under chastisement to enquire, "Show me wherefore thou contendest with me?" and if the affliction be a protracted one, we should the more eagerly enquire the purport of it. Sin is usually at the bottom of all the hidings of the Lord's face; let us ask the Lord to reveal the special form of it to us, that we may repent of it, overcome it, and henceforth forsake It. When a church is in a forsaken condition it must not sit still in apathy, but turn to the hand which smiteth it, and humbly enquire the reason why. At the same time, the enquiry of the text is a faulty one for it implies two mistakes. There are two questions, which only admit of negative replies. "Hath God cast away his people?" (Romans 11:1); and the other, "Will the Lord cast off for ever?" (Psalm 77:7). God is never weary of his people so as to abhor them, and even when his anger is turned against them, it is but for a small moment, and with a view to their eternal good. Grief in its distraction asks strange questions and surmises impossible terrors. It is a wonder of grace that the Lord has not long ago put us away as men lay aside cast-off garments, but he hateth putting away, and will still be patient with his chosen. "Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?" They are thine, they are the objects of thy care, they are poor, silly, and defenceless things: pity them, forgive them, and come to their rescue. They are but sheep, do not continue to be wroth with them. It is a terrible thing when the anger of God smokes, but it is an infinite mercy that it does not break into a devouring flame. It is meet to pray the Lord to remove every sign of his wrath, for it is to those who are truly the Lord's sheep a most painful thing to be the objects of his displeasure. To vex the Holy Spirit is no mean sin, and yet how frequently are we guilty of it; hence it is no marvel that we are often under a cloud.

Psalm 74:2

continued...PSALM 74

Ps 74:1-23. If the historical allusions of Ps 74:6-8, etc., be referred, as is probable, to the period of the captivity, the author was probably a descendant and namesake of Asaph, David's contemporary and singer (compare 2Ch 35:15; Ezr 2:41). He complains of God's desertion of His Church, and appeals for aid, encouraging himself by recounting some of God's mighty deeds, and urges his prayer on the ground of God's covenant relation to His people, and the wickedness of His and their common enemy.

1. cast … off—with abhorrence (compare Ps 43:2; 44:9). There is no disavowal of guilt implied. The figure of fire to denote God's anger is often used; and here, and in De 29:20, by the word "smoke," suggests its continuance.

sheep … pasture—(Compare Ps 80:1; 95:7).74:1-11 This psalm appears to describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Chaldeans. The deplorable case of the people of God, at the time, is spread before the Lord, and left with him. They plead the great things God had done for them. If the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt was encouragement to hope that he would not cast them off, much more reason have we to believe, that God will not cast off any whom Christ has redeemed with his own blood. Infidels and persecutors may silence faithful ministers, and shut up places of worship, and say they will destroy the people of God and their religion together. For a long time they may prosper in these attempts, and God's oppressed servants may see no prospect of deliverance; but there is a remnant of believers, the seed of a future harvest, and the despised church has survived those who once triumphed over her. When the power of enemies is most threatening, it is comfortable to flee to the power of God by earnest prayer.
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