Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
<> O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
Ps 79:1-13. This Psalm, like the seventy-fourth, probably depicts the desolations of the Chaldeans (Jer 52:12-24). It comprises the usual complaint, prayer, and promised thanks for relief.
1. (Compare Ps 74:2-7).
The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
2, 3. (Compare Jer 15:3; 16:4).
Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.
We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
4. (Compare Ps 44:13; Jer 42:18; La 2:15).
How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
5. How long—(Ps 13:1).
be angry—(Ps 74:1-10).
jealousy burn—(De 29:20).
Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
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).
For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
8. former iniquities—literally, "iniquities of former times."
prevent us—literally, "meet us," as in Ps 21:3.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
9. for … glory of thy name [and for] thy name's sake—both mean for illustrating Thy attributes, faithfulness, power, &c.
purge … sins—literally, "provide atonement for us." Deliverance from sin and suffering, for their good and God's glory, often distinguish the prayers of Old Testament saints (compare Eph 1:7).
Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
10. This ground of pleading often used (Ex 32:12; Nu 14:13-16).
blood … shed—(Ps 79:3).
Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;
11. prisoner—the whole captive people.
power—literally, "arm" (Ps 10:15).
And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.
12. into their bosom—The lap or folds of the dress is used by Eastern people for receiving articles. The figure denotes retaliation (compare Isa 65:6, 7). They reproached God as well as His people.
So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
13. sheep … pasture—(Compare Ps 74:1; 78:70).