Psalm 44:11
You have given us like sheep appointed for meat; and have scattered us among the heathen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Like sheep.—The image of the sheep appointed for the slaughter; and unable to resist, recalls Isaiah 53:6-7, but does not necessarily connect the Psalm with the exile period, since it was a figure likely to suggest itself in every time of helpless peril.

Psalm 44:11-14. Thou hast given us like sheep, &c. — Some of us they killed in the pursuit, without any mercy, like sheep appointed for the shambles. And hast scattered us among the heathen — Those of us who were not slain have been carried into captivity, and dispersed in several places. Thou sellest thy people for naught — Sufferest them to be sold for slaves at very inconsiderable prices. The expression implies the low esteem in which they were with God. And dost not increase thy wealth by their price — “We are thus sadly handled, without the comfort of bringing in any honour to thee by our calamities; since thy church among us is defaced, and no other people taken instead of us, by whom thy name may be glorified.” — Hammond. Or, as Poole interprets the words, “Thou hast not advanced thy honour and service thereby; for thy enemies do not serve thee more than thy people, nor yet so much.” Thou makest us a scorn and derision, &c. — They contemn our persons, and sport themselves with our miseries. Thou makest us a by-word — Or a proverb, as משׁל, mashal, signifies. Thou hast brought upon us the curse pronounced by thy servant Moses, Deuteronomy 28:37. For we are become a by-word among the heathen, who, when they would express the wretchedness of any person, say, He is viler or more miserable than a Jew. A shaking of the head — When they say nothing, they signify their contempt and derision of us, by the scornful motion of their heads.44:9-16 The believer must have times of temptation, affliction, and discouragement; the church must have seasons of persecution. At such times the people of God will be ready to fear that he has cast them off, and that his name and truth will be dishonoured. But they should look above the instruments of their trouble, to God, well knowing that their worst enemies have no power against them, but what is permitted from above.Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat - Margin, as in Hebrew, "as sheep of meat." That is, as sheep are killed for food, so thou hast allowed us to be put to death.

And hast scattered us among the heathen - Among the surrounding nations. See the notes at Psalm 44:2. That is, they had been discomfited in war; many had fled into surrounding countries; many had been carried away captive. All this undoubtedly occurred at the time at which I have supposed that the psalm was written - the time immediately preceding the Babylonian captivity.

11. The Babylonian captivity not necessarily meant. There were others (compare 1Ki 8:46). Those of us who were not slain are carried into captivity, and dispersed in several places. Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat,.... To be butchered, and then eaten as sheep are; and therefore are called "the flock of slaughter", Zechariah 11:4; as the church was, not only under the ten persecutions of Rome Pagan, but through the butcheries and massacres of Rome Papal; who have worried many of Christ's sheep, have eaten their flesh and drank their blood, and have become drunken with it; it has been their meat and drink to persecute the saints of the most High;

and hast scattered us among the Heathen: the Pagan world, as the first Christians were, who were scattered up and down in the Gentile world everywhere; see 1 Peter 1:1; or the Papacy, who are sometimes called Gentiles, Revelation 11:2; because much of the Gentile idolatry is introduced into the Popish religion; and among these many of the true members of Christ and of his church have been carried captive and scattered; and such will be found there a little before the destruction of Babylon, and will be called out from thence; see Revelation 13:10.

Thou hast given us {k} like sheep appointed for meat; and hast scattered us among the heathen.

(k) Knowing God to be author of this calamity, they murmur not, but seek remedy at his hands who wounded them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. Some of God’s people are butchered like sheep (cp. Psalm 44:22); others are sold as slaves. It is evidently not a deportation of the nation that is meant, but the sale of prisoners of war for slaves. Cp. Joel 3:2; Joel 3:6; Amos 1:6; Amos 1:9. To the Israelite with his love of freedom and attachment to his own land such a fate seemed little better than death.Verse 11. - Thou hast given us like sheep appointed for meat. "As sheep for the shambles" (Kay) - a free translation, which well expresses the meaning. And hast scattered us among the heathen. Either "caused us to disperse ourselves among our heathen neighbours," or "to be sold for slaves among them by our captors." No general dispersion of the nation is intended. (Heb.: 44:5-9) Out of the retrospective glance at the past, so rich in mercy springs up (Psalm 44:5) the confident prayer concerning the present, based upon the fact of the theocratic relationship which began in the time of the deliverance wrought under Moses (Deuteronomy 33:5). In the substantival clause אתּה הוּא מלכּי, הוּא is neither logical copula nor predicate (as in Psalm 102:28; Deuteronomy 32:39, there equivalent to אתּה הוּא אשׁר, cf. 1 Chronicles 21:17), but an expressive resumption of the subject, as in Isaiah 43:25; Jeremiah 49:12; Nehemiah 9:6., Ezra 5:11, and in the frequently recurring expression יהוה הוא האלהים; it is therefore to be rendered: Thou-He who (such an one) is my King. May He therefore, by virtue of His duty as king which He has voluntarily taken upon Himself, and of the kingly authority and power indwelling in Him, command the salvation of Jacob, full and entire (Psalm 18:51; Psalm 53:7). צוּה as in Psalm 42:9. Jacob is used for Israel just as Elohim is used instead of Jahve. If Elohim, Jacob's King, now turns graciously to His people, they will again be victorious and invincible, as Psalm 44:6 affirms. נגּח with reference to קרן as a figure and emblem of strength, as in Psalm 89:25 and frequently; קמינוּ equivalent to קמים עלינוּ. But only in the strength of God (בּך as in Psalm 18:30); for not in my bow do I trust, etc., Psalm 44:7. This teaching Israel has gathered from the history of the former times; there is no bidding defiance with the bow and sword and all the carnal weapons of attack, but Thou, etc., Psalm 44:8. This "Thou" in הושׁעתּנוּ is the emphatic word; the preterites describe facts of experience belonging to history. It is not Israel's own might that gives them the supremacy, but God's gracious might in Israel's weakness. Elohim is, therefore, Israel's glory or pride: "In Elohim do we praise," i.e., we glory or make our boast in Him; cf. הלּל על, Psalm 10:3. The music here joins in after the manner of a hymn. The Psalm here soars aloft to the more joyous height of praise, from which it now falls abruptly into bitter complaint.
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