Psalm 74:21
O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
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(21) Oppressed.—Literally, crushed. (See Psalm 9:9; Psalm 10:18.)

Psalm 74:21-23. O let not the oppressed return ashamed — From thee, and from the throne of thy grace, to which they have recourse in this their distressed condition. “It is for the honour of God that they who apply to him for help should not, by returning without it, suffer shame and confusion in the presence of their insulting adversaries.” Let the poor and needy praise thy name — Which they will have a fresh motive to do, if thou deliver us. O God, plead thine own cause — Maintain thy honour, worship, and service, against those that reproach thee, as it here follows, and was observed before, Psalm 74:10; Psalm 74:18. As we are reviled and persecuted for thy sake, so thou art injured in all our wrongs. Forget not the voice of thine enemies — Their insulting and reproachful expressions against thee, as well as against us. The tumult — The tumultuous noise and loud clamours; of those that rise up against thee increaseth — They grow worse and worse, encouraging and hardening themselves in their wicked courses by their continual success and prosperity, and by thy patience extended to them.

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.O let not the oppressed return ashamed - Ashamed by being disappointed, as if they had trusted in that which had no claims to confidence. Compare the notes at Job 6:20. The word rendered "oppressed," means "trodden down, crushed, broken, afflicted." It refers to the people as attacked by foreign armies, or as crushed by those who had gained power over them. The word "return" refers to their coining back from God - from the throne of mercy. Let them not come back from thee with no assurance of thy favor; with no evidence that their prayers have been heard; let them not come back, subject to the reproach that they had made their appeal to thee in vain.

Let the poor and needy praise thy name - The people who are oppressed and helpless. Let them have occasion to praise thee because their prayer has been heard, and because thou dost save them.

21. oppressed—broken (Ps 9:9).

return—from seeking God.

ashamed—(Ps 35:4).

Return ashamed from thee, and from the throne of thy grace, to which they make their resort in this their distressed condition.

O let not the oppressed return ashamed,.... From the throne of grace, not having an answer of their prayer, but still continuing under the oppressions of their enemies:

let the poor and needy praise thy name; let them have occasion for it, by the destruction of their enemies, and their deliverance from them, as they will have ere long; see Revelation 19:1.

O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
21. O let not the oppressed &c.] Let not the crushed or down-trodden (Psalm 9:9; Psalm 10:18) turn back from Thee unanswered and disappointed.

let the poor &c.] Let the afflicted have cause to praise Thee for answered prayer.

Verse 21. - O let not the oppressed return ashamed; i.e. let not this oppressed nation turn their back on thee in shame and confusion at thy forsaking them. Rather, let the poor and needy praise thy Name; i.e. show them some mercy, some deliverance, which may turn their shame into joy, and call forth from them songs of praise. Psalm 74:21The 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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