|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 11. - Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? Why dost thou keep back the right hand of thy power, hiding it in thy besom? Why not show forth thy power, and consume them, as it were, in a moment? (See the next clause.) Pluck it out of thy bosom; rather, out with it frown thy bosom, and consume them. The psalmist sees no reason why the Babylonians should not be consumed, and Israel delivered, at once. He has an insufficient sense of the greatness of Israel's sin.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even that right hand?.... By which is meant the power of God; by which he made the heavens and the earth, and all things therein, and supports them in their beings; by which the work of his grace is wrought in the hearts of his people, and they are upheld; and by which he conquers their enemies, and saves them: this may be said to be withdrawn when he denies his people the help and succour they have had from him; when he seems to have forsaken the work of his hands; when there is not that success in the ministry of the word there formerly was, his arm being not revealed and made bare; and when the enemies of religion prosper and get ground; and when the Lord seems to be altogether inactive and unconcerned, like a man that folds up his arms under his arm holes, or hides his hands in his bosom, see Psalm 44:23 wherefore it follows:
pluck it out of thy bosom; as he will one day, and strike with a home blow, antichrist and his followers, and destroy them with his rod of iron, with which he will break them in shivers as a potter's vessel; and all his enemies shall feel the lighting down of his arm with the indignation of his anger; and then this request will be fulfilled: the word used signifies to "consume" (a); and Kimchi interprets it, consume the enemy out of thy bosom, which is the house of the sanctuary; his secret place, as the bosom is to man; but both senses of the word maybe retained, and the meaning be, pluck it out of thy bosom to consume them (b): also it signifies to restrain (c); and the sense may be, as the above writer observes, restrain it, that it may not return to thy bosom, till thou hast executed judgment on the wicked.
(a) "consume", Montanus, Gejerus. (b) So some in Vatablus. (c) "Cohibe", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Why cease to help us? (Compare Ps 3:7; 7:6; 60:5).
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