Psalm 44:13
You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
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(13, 14) These verses become very suggestive, if we refer them to one of those periods under the Seleucidæ, when the Jews were so frequently attacked on the Sabbath, and from their scrupulous regard to it would make no resistance.

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 makest us a reproach to our neighbors - Compare the notes at Psalm 39:8. The word neighbors here refers to surrounding people or nations. They were reproached, scorned, and derided as forsaken by God, and given up to their foes. They no longer commanded the admiration of mankind as a prosperous, favored, happy people. Surrounding nations treated them with contempt as inspiring no fear, and as having nothing to entitle them to respect. 13, 14. (Compare De 28:37; Ps 79:4). They contemn our persons, and sport themselves in our miseries. Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours,.... Which is the common lot of Christians: Christ and his apostles have given reason for the saints in all ages to expect it, and have fortified their minds to bear it patiently, yea, to esteem it an honour, and greater riches than the treasures of the antichristian Egypt;

a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us; being always represented as mean and despicable, and reckoned ignorant and accursed, and as the faith of the world, and the offscouring of all things.

Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
13. Repeated almost verbatim in Psalm 79:4; cp. Psalm 80:6. The neighbouring nations, Philistines, Edomites, Ammonites, Moabites, were always jealous of Israel, and ready to rejoice with a malicious delight at Israel’s humiliation.Verse 13. - Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours (comp. Psalm 42:10; Psalm 79:4; Psalm 80:6). They would be reproached, not so much as cowards, or as weak and powerless themselves, but rather as having a weak and powerless God (comp. 2 Kings 18:33-35; 2 Kings 19:12). A scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. (For instances of the "scorn and derision" whereto the Israelites were exposed at the hands of the heathen, see 2 Kings 18:23, 24; 2 Kings 19:23, 24; Nehemiah 2:19; Nehemiah 4:2, 3; Psalm 79:4; Psalm 137:7.) (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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