|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 6. - But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. The "carved work" (pittuchim) of the temple consisted of the cherubim and palm trees and open flowers which formed the decoration of the temple walls (see 1 Kings 6:29, where the same word, pittuchim, is used). This superficial carved work may have been broken down for the sake of the gold with which it was overlaid (1 Kings 6:22, 32, 35).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. Formerly it was an honour to be employed in cutting down a tree for the building of the temple; but now so little regard was paid to it, that all its fine carved work, which Solomon made, 1 Kings 6:18, was demolished at once in a rude and furious manner with axes and hammers; which was done either by the Chaldeans in Nebuchadnezzar's time, or by the Syrians in the times of Antiochus, or by the Romans in the times of Vespasian; the first seems intended; see Jeremiah 46:22.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. carved work—(1Ki 6:29).
thereof—that is, of the temple, in the writer's mind, though not expressed till Ps 74:7, in which its utter destruction by fire is mentioned (2Ki 25:9; Isa 64:11).
Psalm 74:6 Parallel Commentaries
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