Psalm 74:18
Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Remember this.—Emphatical; the object of the enemy’s reproach is the Being who has done all these mighty works, and is the author of all this wonderful world.

Psalm 74:18. Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached thee — Though we deserve to be forgotten and destroyed, yet remember thyself, and do not suffer thine and our enemies to reproach and blaspheme the name of that great and glorious Being, the Creator and sovereign Lord of the whole world, whom they ought always to reverence and adore; and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name — Who, though they think themselves, and are thought by others, to be wise, yet in truth are fools, and herein show their stupendous folly, that they vilify and provoke that God whose powerful anger they can neither resist, nor escape, nor endure.

74:18-23 The psalmist begs that God would appear for the church against their enemies. The folly of such as revile his gospel and his servants will be plain to all. Let us call upon our God to enlighten the dark nations of the earth; and to rescue his people, that the poor and needy may praise his name. Blessed Saviour, thou art the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Make thy people more than conquerors. Be thou, Lord, all in all to them in every situation and circumstances; for then thy poor and needy people will praise thy name.Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached - Has used opprobrious and abusive words in regard to thee, and to thy people. The idea is, that religion - the true religion - had been reproached by the foe. They had treated that religion as if it were false; they had reproached God as if he were a false God, and as if he were unable to defend his people. Compare Isaiah 36:4-10, Isaiah 36:13-20; Isaiah 37:10-13, Isaiah 37:23. The prayer here is, that God would remember that these words of reproach were against himself, and that he would regard them as such.

And that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name - Have blasphemed thee - the name often being put for the person himself. The word "foolish" here may refer to them as "wicked" as well as foolish. Wickedness and folly are so connected - they are so commonly combined, that the word may be used to describe the enemies of God in either sense - characterising their conduct as either the one or the other. Compare the notes at Psalm 14:1.

18. (Compare Ps 74:10; De 32:6). The contrast is striking—that such a God should be thus insulted! Though we deserve to be forgotten and destroyed, yet remember thyself, and do not suffer thine and our enemies to reproach and blaspheme the name of that great and glorious God, the Creator and sovereign Lord of the whole world, whom they ought always to reverence and adore.

The foolish people; who, though they think themselves and are thought by others to be wise, yet in truth are fools, and herein show their stupendous folly, that they vilify and provoke that God whose powerful anger they can neither resist, nor escape, nor endure.

Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord,.... Or "hath reproached the Lord", as the Septuagint version and others render it, and very rightly; though not so well the former part of the clause, which it renders, or rather paraphrases, thus: "remember this thy creation", or "creature"; as if it referred to what goes before, as day and night, light and sun, the borders of the earth, summer and winter; whereas it is to be connected with what follows, the reproach of the Lord by the enemy; and it is a prayer of the church, that God would remember the enemy and his reproaches, which seemed to be forgotten, and inflict deserved punishments on him, which will be done in due time, Revelation 16:19, and that

the foolish people have blasphemed thy name; the "foolish people" are not such as want common sense, or are idiots; the blasphemers of God and Christ, and the blessed Spirit, are generally the wise and prudent of this world, from whom the things of the Gospel are hidden; but wicked and profane men: scoffers at religion, and blasphemers of Christ, his truths and ordinances, are commonly such who walk after their own ungodly lusts, who, though wise to do evil, are foolish in matters of religion: perhaps the Gentiles, which know not God, are here meant, and are so called, Deuteronomy 32:21, and it is observable, that the Papists bear the name of Gentiles in Revelation 11:2, and may be the foolish people here chiefly designed, who worship images of gold, silver, brass, and wood, and are notorious for their blasphemies; See Gill on Psalm 74:10.

Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. the foolish people] R.V. a foolish people. The epithet denotes the moral perversity of opposition to God. Cp. Psalm 14:1, note. It is applied to the heathen in Deuteronomy 32:21.

18–23. Emboldened by his contemplation of the power of God in history and in nature the Psalmist returns to prayer.

Verses 18-23. - In conclusion, the psalmist prays earnestly that God will deliver his people from their wicked oppressors (vers. 18, 19), that he will remember his covenant (ver. 20), cause the oppressed ones to praise him (ver. 21), and assert himself against those who insult and oppose him (vers. 22, 23). Verse 18. - Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy Name (comp. Lamentations 1:7; Lamentations 2:7, 157 16). Every nation of idolaters is a "foolish people" to the sacred writers, whatever cleverness or intellectual capacity it may possess. Nabal, the word translated "foolish," designates a folly that is closely akin to wickedness. Psalm 74:18The poet, after he has thus consoled himself by the contemplation of the power of God which He has displayed for His people's good as their Redeemer, and for the good of the whole of mankind as the Creator, rises anew to prayer, but all the more cheerfully and boldly. Since ever present facts of creation have been referred to just now, and the historical mighty deeds of God only further back, זאת refers rather forwards to the blaspheming of the enemies which He suffers now to go on unpunished, as though He took no cognizance of it. חרף has Pasek after it in order to separate the word, which signifies reviling, from the most holy Name. The epithet עם־נבל reminds one of Deuteronomy 32:21. In Psalm 74:19 according to the accents חיּת is the absolute state (the primary form of חיּה, vid., on Psalm 61:1): give not over, abandon not to the wild beast (beasts), the soul of Thy turtle-dove. This is probably correct, since לחיּת נפשׁ, "to the eager wild beast," this inversion of the well-known expression נפשׁ חיּה, which on the contrary yields the sense of vita animae, is an improbable and exampleless expression. If נפשׁ were intended to be thus understood, the poet might have written אל־תתן לנפשׁ חיּה תורך, "give not Thy turtle-dove over to the desire of the wild beast." Hupfeld thinks that the "old, stupid reading" may be set right at one stroke, inasmuch as he reads אל תתן לנפש חית תורך, and renders it "give not to rage the life Thy turtle-dove;" but where is any support to be found for this לנפשׁ, "to rage," or rather (Psychology, S. 202; tr. p. 239) "to eager desire?" The word cannot signify this in such an isolated position. Israel, which is also compared to a dove in Psalm 68:14, is called a turtle-dove (תּור). In Psalm 74:19 חיּת has the same signification as in Psalm 74:19, and the same sense as Psalm 68:11 (cf. Psalm 69:37): the creatures of Thy miserable ones, i.e., Thy poor, miserable creatures - a figurative designation of the ecclesia pressa. The church, which it is the custom of the Asaphic Psalms to designate with emblematical names taken from the animal world, finds itself now like sheep among wolves, and seems to itself as if it were forgotten by God. The cry of prayer הבּט לבּרית comes forth out of circumstances such as were those of the Maccabaean age. בּרית is the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17); the persecution of the age of the Seleucidae put faith to the severe test, that circumcision, this sign which was the pledge to Israel of God's gracious protection, became just the sign by which the Syrians knew their victims. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel 11:28, Daniel 11:30, cf. Psalm 22:32, ברית is used directly of the religion of Israel and its band of confessors. The confirmatory clause Psalm 74:20 also corresponds to the Maccabaean age, when the persecuted confessors hid themselves far away in the mountains (1 Macc. 2:26ff., 2 Macc. 6:11), but were tracked by the enemy and slain, - at that time the hiding-places (κρύφοι, 1 Macc. 1:53) of the land were in reality full of the habitations of violence. The combination נאות חמס is like נאות השׁלום, Jeremiah 25:37, cf. Genesis 6:11. From this point the Psalm draws to a close in more familiar Psalm - strains. אל־ישׁב, Psalm 74:21, viz., from drawing near to Thee with their supplications. "The reproach of the foolish all the day" is that which incessantly goes forth from them. עלה תּמיד, "going up (1 Samuel 5:12, not: increasing, 1 Kings 22:35) perpetually," although without the article, is not a predicate, but attributive (vid., on Psalm 57:3). The tone of the prayer is throughout temperate; this the ground upon which it bases itself is therefore all the more forcible.
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