Psalm 44:14
You make us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Shaking of the head.—Comp. Psalm 22:7.

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 byword among heathen - The word rendered "by-word" - משׁל mâshâl - means properly a similitude or parable; then, a sententious saying, and apophthegm; then, a proverb; then, a song or verse, particularly a satirical song, or a song of derision. The idea here is, that they were made a proverb, or were referred to as a striking instance of the divine abandonment, or as something marked to which the nations might and did refer as an example of calamity, judgment, misfortune, failure; a warning to all. See Deuteronomy 28:37.

A shaking of the head among the people - An occasion for the shaking of the head, in derision and scorn. Compare the notes at Psalm 22:7.

13, 14. (Compare De 28:37; Ps 79:4). A by-word, or a proverb. They used to say proverbially, More despicable or miserable than an Israelite.

A shaking of the head; a gesture of scorn and insultation. See Poole "Psalm 22:7". Thou makest us a byword among the Heathen,.... Among the Papists, as the Jews were among the Gentiles, Deuteronomy 28:37; calling them schismatics, heretics, fanatics, and what not?

a shaking of the head among the people; by way of indignation, scorn, and contempt; see Psalm 22:7.

Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. the heathen … the people] Render with R.V., the nations … the peoples. They point to our fate as a proverbial instance of a people abandoned by its God, and make us the subject of taunting songs: they shake their heads at us in derision. Cp. Deuteronomy 28:37; 1 Kings 9:7; Jeremiah 24:9; Joel 2:17 (R.V. marg.); Psalm 22:7; and generally Lamentations 2:15 ff.Verse 14. - Thou makest us a byword among the heathen (comp. Job 17:6; Jeremiah 24:9). A shaking of the head among the people; rather, among the peoples (comp. Psalm 22:7). (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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