|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
78:56-72 After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.
Verse 64. - Their priests fell by the sword. As Hophni and Phinehas at the taking of the ark (1 Samuel 4:11), and, no doubt, many others on other occasions. And their widows made no lamentation. The solemn funeral dirge could not take place, since the bodies remained on the battlefield.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Their priests fell by the sword,.... Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, and other priests; which shows the cruelty of the enemy, not to spare men unarmed, as the priests were; and the justice of God, which pursued these men, who were very wicked, and whose character and office could not secure them from divine wrath:
and their widows made no lamentation; for their husbands the priests, who fell by the sword; particularly the widow of Phinehas, who upon the news fell into labour, and as soon as she brought forth her child died, and while she lived took no notice of the death of her husband, nor lamented that, only that the ark of the Lord was taken, 1 Samuel 4:19, and which might be the case of others; nor could they attend their funerals, or follow them to the grave with lamentations, they falling in battle; and such was their concern for the public loss, that their private sorrow was swallowed up in it. Some understand it of the disrespect and neglect of others, who came not to lament with them, and comfort them, as was usual: one of the Targums paraphrases the whole thus,
"at the time that the Philistines carried captive the ark of the Lord, the priests of Shiloh, Hophni, and Phinehas, fell by the sword; and at the time they brought their wives the news of it, they wept not, for they died even the same day.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
64. (Compare 1Sa 4:17); and there were, doubtless, others.
made no lamentation—either because stupefied by grief, or hindered by the enemy.
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