|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
79:6-13 Those who persist in ignorance of God, and neglect of prayer, are the ungodly. How unrighteous soever men were, the Lord was righteous in permitting them to do what they did. Deliverances from trouble are mercies indeed, when grounded upon the pardon of sin; we should therefore be more earnest in prayer for the removal of our sins than for the removal of afflictions. They had no hopes but from God's mercies, his tender mercies. They plead no merit, they pretend to none, but, Help us for the glory of thy name; pardon us for thy name's sake. The Christian forgets not that he is often bound in the chain of his sins. The world to him is a prison; sentence of death is passed upon him, and he knows not how soon it may be executed. How fervently should he at all times pray, O let the sighing of a prisoner come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die! How glorious will the day be, when, triumphant over sin and sorrow, the church beholds the adversary disarmed for ever! while that church shall, from age to age, sing the praises of her great Shepherd and Bishop, her King and her God.
Verse 6. - Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee. It is not the heathen that had never heard of God who are intended, but those who, having heard of him, had refused to "know" him (comp. Exodus 5:2), as was the case with all the nations round about Canaan. And upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy Name. Now that we are punished, go on to punish those who have persecuted us, and who are at least as guilty as ourselves. "The prayer rests," as Hengstenberg remarks, "upon what God does constantly. Judgment begins at the house of God; but it proceeds thence to those whom God has employed as the instrument of his punishment. The storm of the wrath of God always remains to fall at last upon the world at enmity with his Church."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Pour out thy wrath upon the Heathen that have not known thee,.... Who had poured out the blood of the saints like water, and therefore it was a righteous thing with God to pour out the cup of wrath in his hands, and cause them to drink the dregs of it: these words, though they are in the form of an imprecation, yet regard not private revenge, but public justice, and the honour of God; and, besides, may be considered as a prophecy of what would be, and particularly of God's pouring out the vials of his wrath on the antichristian states; who, though they profess Christianity, are no other than Heathens, and have no spiritual and serious knowledge of Christ:
and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name; but upon their idols of gold, silver, brass, and stone, on the Virgin Mary, angels, and saints departed; for these, besides the kingdoms of Babylon, Syria, and Rome Pagan, are the kingdoms of the ten kings, that gave their kingdoms to the beast, and committed fornication, i.e. idolatry, with the whore of Rome; see Revelation 17:2, these words are referred to in Jeremiah 10:25 and also the following.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6, 7. (Compare Jer 10:25). Though we deserve much, do not the heathen deserve more for their violence to us (Jer 51:3-5; Zec 1:14)? The singular denotes the chief power, and the use of the plural indicates the combined confederates.
called upon—or, "by"
thy name—proclaimed Thy attributes and professed allegiance (Isa 12:4; Ac 2:21).
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