Psalm 44:16
For the voice of him that reproaches and blasphemes; 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. (Heb.: 44:10-13) Just as אף signifies imo vero (Psalm 58:3) when it comes after an antecedent clause that is expressly or virtually a negative, it may mean "nevertheless, ho'moos," when it opposes a contrastive to an affirmative assertion, as is very frequently the case with גּם or וגם. True, it does not mean this in itself, but in virtue of its logical relation: we praise Thee, we celebrate Thy name unceasingly - also ( equals nevertheless) Thou hast cast off. From this point the Psalm comes into closest connection with Psalm 89:39, on a still more extended scale, however, with Psalm 60:1-12, which dates from the time of the Syro-Ammonitish war, in which Psalm Psa 44:10 recurs almost word for word. The צבאות are not exactly standing armies (an objection which has been raised against the Maccabean explanation), they are the hosts of the people that are drafted into battle, as in Exodus 12:41, the hosts that went forth out of Egypt. Instead of leading these to victory as their victorious Captain (2 Samuel 5:24), God leaves them to themselves and allows them to be smitten by the enemy. The enemy spoil למו, i.e., just as they like, without meeting with any resistance, to their hearts' content. And whilst He gives over (נתן as in Micah 5:2, and the first יתּן in Isaiah 41:2) one portion of the people as "sheep appointed for food," another becomes a diaspora or dispersion among the heathen, viz., by being sold to them as slaves, and that בּלא־הון, "for not-riches," i.e., for a very low price, a mere nothing. We see from Joel 3:3 in what way this is intended. The form of the litotes is continued in Psalm 44:13: Thou didst not go high in the matter of their purchase-money; the rendering of Maurer is correct: in statuendis pretiis eorum. The ב is in this instance not the Beth of the price as in Psalm 44:13, but, as in the phrase הלּל בּ, the Beth of the sphere and thereby indirectly of the object. רבּה in the sense of the Aramaic רבּי (cf. Proverbs 22:16, and the derivatives תּרבּית, מרבּית), to make a profit, to practise usury (Hupfeld), produces a though that is unworthy of God; vid., on the other hand, Isaiah 52:3. At the heads of the strophe stands (Psalm 44:10) a perfect with an aorist following: ולא תצא is consequently a negative ותּצא. And Psalm 44:18, which sums up the whole, shows that all the rest is also intended to be retrospective.
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