Remember this, that the enemy has reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed your name.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.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.
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. 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. Exodus 8:18-22). The poet has Egypt directly in his mind, for there now follows first of all a glance at the historical (Psalm 74:13-15), and then at the natural displays of God's power (Psalm 74:16, Psalm 74:17). Hengstenberg is of opinion that Psalm 74:13-15 also are to be understood in the latter sense, and appeals to Job 26:11-13. But just as Isaiah (Isaiah 51:9, cf. Psalm 27:1) transfers these emblems of the omnipotence of God in the natural world to His proofs of power in connection with the history of redemption which were exhibited in the case of a worldly power, so does the poet here also in Psalm 74:13-15. The תּנּיּן (the extended saurian) is in Isaiah, as in Ezekiel (התּנּים, Psalm 29:3; Psalm 32:2), an emblem of Pharaoh and of his kingdom; in like manner here the leviathan is the proper natural wonder of Egypt. As a water-snake or a crocodile, when it comes up with its head above the water, is killed by a powerful stroke, did God break the heads of the Egyptians, so that the sea cast up their dead bodies (Exodus 14:30). The ציּים, the dwellers in the steppe, to whom these became food, are not the Aethiopians (lxx, Jerome), or rather the Ichthyophagi (Bocahrt, Hengstenberg), who according to Agatharcides fed ἐκ τῶν ἐκριπτομένων εἰς τὴν χέρσον κητῶν, but were no cannibals, but the wild beasts of the desert, which are called עם, as in Proverbs 30:25. the ants and the rock-badgers. לציים is a permutative of the notion לעם, which was not completed: to a (singular) people, viz., to the wild animals of the steppe. Psalm 74:15 also still refers not to miracles of creation, but to miracles wrought in the course of the history of redemption; Psalm 74:15 refers to the giving of water out of the rock (Psalm 78:15), and Psalm 74:15 to the passage through the Jordan, which was miraculously dried up (הובשׁתּ, as in Joshua 2:10; Joshua 4:23; Joshua 5:1). The object מעין ונחל is intended as referring to the result: so that the water flowed out of the cleft after the manner of a fountain and a brook. נהרות are the several streams of the one Jordan; the attributive genitive איתן describe them as streams having an abundance that does not dry up, streams of perennial fulness. The God of Israel who has thus marvellously made Himself known in history is, however, the Creator and Lord of all created things. Day and night and the stars alike are His creatures. In close connection with the night, which is mentioned second, the moon, the מאור of the night, precedes the sun; cf. Psalm 8:4, where כּונן is the same as הכין in this passage. It is an error to render thus: bodies of light, and more particularly the sun; which would have made one expect מאורות before the specializing Waw. גּבוּלות are not merely the bounds of the land towards the sea, Jeremiah 5:22, but, according to Deuteronomy 32:8; Acts 17:26, even the boundaries of the land in themselves, that is to say, the natural boundaries of the inland country. קיץ וחרף are the two halves of the year: summer including spring (אביב), which begins in Nisan, the spring-month, about the time of the vernal equinox, and autumn including winter (צתו), after the termination of which the strictly spring vegetation begins (Sol 2:11). The seasons are personified, and are called God's formations or works, as it were the angels of summer and of winter.
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