Psalm 74:21
O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise your name.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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. With this prayer for the destruction of the enemies by God's interposition closes the first half of the Psalm, which has for its subject-matter the crying contradiction between the present state of things and God's relationship to Israel. The poet now draws comfort by looking back into the time when God as Israel's King unfolded the rich fulness of His salvation everywhere upon the earth, where Israel's existence was imperilled. בּקרב הארץ, not only within the circumference of the Holy Land, but, e.g., also within that of Egypt (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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