Psalm 44:16
For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.
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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.For the voice of him ... - That is, Because I hear the voice of him that reproaches and blasphemes. The word rendered blasphemeth, means properly to use cutting words; then, to reproach or revile. It may be applied either to people or to God. In the former case, it means reproach or reviling; in the latter, blasphemy in the usual sense of that term, denoting reproachful words concerning God. The word may be used here in both these senses, as it is evident that not only were the people the subject of reproach, but that God was also.

By reason of the enemy - That is, the foreign enemies, or those who had invaded the land.

And avenger - Of him who had come to take vengeance. Here the word refers to the foreign enemies of the nation, and to the spirit by which they were actuated; their purposes to avenge themselves of what they regarded as wrongs, or take vengeance on a nation which they had long hated. Compare the notes at Psalm 8:2.

16. Its cause, the taunts and presence of malignant enemies (Ps 8:2). That reproacheth and blasphemeth; that doth not only reproach me, which I could better bear; but blaspheme God and our religion for our sakes, which is intolerable to me.

The enemy and avenger; who executeth both God’s and his own vengeance upon me, persecuting me with a despiteful hatred, and with great cruelty.

For the voice, of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth,.... That is, antichrist, to whom a mouth speaking blasphemies has been given, and which he has opened in blasphemy against God, attributing that to himself which belongs to God; blaspheming his name, his tabernacle, and them that well in heaven; see Revelation 13:5;

by reason of the enemy and avenger; which are very proper characters of antichrist, who is the enemy of Christ and of his people, and breathes out vengeance against them; as the same titles are also given to the Scribes and Pharisees, the implacable enemies of Christ, Psalm 8:2.

For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and {n} avenger.

(n) Meaning, the proud and cruel tyrant.

16. For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth] The word reproach is frequently used of a heathen enemy’s scornful defiance or mocking derision of Israel and Israelites, and by consequence of Israel’s God, as though He were unable or unwilling to defend His people (Psalm 42:10; Psalm 74:10; Psalm 74:18; Psalm 74:22; Psalm 79:4; Psalm 79:12; 1 Samuel 17:10 ff.); but the two words are found in combination elsewhere only of Sennacherib’s blasphemous defiance (Isaiah 37:6; Isaiah 37:23 = 2 Kings 19:6; 2 Kings 19:22).

by reason of] Render for the looks of, or, for the presence of, as a better parallelism to for the voice of. Isaiah alludes to the terror inspired by the grim looks of the Assyrian invaders (Psalm 33:19); and for voice cp. Isaiah 37:23; Nahum 2:13.

the enemy and the avenger] Cp. Psalm 8:2. The Heb. word for avenger suggests the idea of one who is taking a selfish vengeance, usurping, in his own interests, a function which belongs to God alone (Deuteronomy 32:35).

Verse 16. - For the voice of him that re-proacheth and blasphemeth. The reproaches of the heathen were most commonly "blasphemies," since they consisted very mainly of contemptuous expressions against the God of Israel (see the comment on ver. 13; and comp. Isaiah 37:3, 23). By reason of the enemy and avenger. The persons by whom the blasphemous reproaches were uttered - Israel's enemies bent on avenging former losses and defeats. Psalm 44:16(Heb.: 44:14-17) To this defeat is now also added the shame that springs out of it. A distinction is made between the neighbouring nations, or those countries lying immediately round about Israel (סביבות, as in the exactly similar passage Psalm 79:4, cf. Psalm 80:7, which closely resembles it), and the nations of the earth that dwell farther away from Israel. משׁל is here a jesting, taunting proverb, and one that holds Israel up as an example of a nation undergoing chastisement (vid., Habakkuk 2:6). The shaking of the head is, as in Psalm 22:8, a gesture of malicious astonishment. In נגדּי תּמיד (as in Psalm 38:18) we have both the permanent aspect or look and the perpetual consciousness. Instead of "shame covers my face," the expression is "the shame of my face covers me," i.e., it has overwhelmed my entire inward and outward being (cf. concerning the radical notions of בּושׁ, Psalm 6:11, and חפר, Psalm 34:6). The juxtaposition of "enemy and revengeful man" has its origin in Psalm 8:3. In Psalm 44:17 מקּול and מפּני alternate; the former is used of the impression made by the jeering voice, the other of the impression produced by the enraged mien.
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