Psalm 78:60
So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
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(60) Forsook.—The reference is of course to the disastrous defeat by the Philistines (1 Samuel 4). See especially Psalm 78:21 in connection with glory or ornament as applied here to the Ark. For strength in the same connection see Psalm 132:8.

Psalm 78:60-61. So he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh — The tabernacle which then was placed in Shiloh, from whence, as the Israelites fetched the ark, so God withdrew himself. This relates to that part of the Jewish history which is recorded 1 Samuel 4. For upon the Israelites sending for the ark of God, from the tabernacle in which it was deposited in Shiloh, God suffered the Philistines to smite them, and to take the ark. And so true it is, that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, that he never returned to it again. The tent which he placed among men — Whereby he insinuates both God’s wonderful condescension and favour to such worthless and wretched creatures; and their stupendous folly and wickedness, in despising and sinning away so glorious a privilege. And delivered his strength — Namely, the ark, called God’s strength, (1 Chronicles 16:11,) and the ark of his strength, (Psalm 132:8,) because it was the sign and pledge of his strength and power exerted in behalf of his people; and his glory — So the ark is called, as being the monument and seat of God’s glorious presence, and an instrument of his glorious works; into the enemy’s — Namely, the Philistines’ hand, or power.78:56-72 After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh - The tabernacle or tent which had been erected at Shiloh. He forsook that as a place where he was to be worshipped; that is, he caused his tabernacle, or his place of worship, to be erected in another place, to wit, on Mount Zion. See Psalm 78:68. The name Shiloh means properly a place of rest, and seems to have been given to this place as such a place, or as a place where the ark might abide after its migrations. Shiloh was a city within the limits of the tribe of Ephraim, on a mountain north of Bethel. Here the ark of God remained for many years after it came into the promised land. Joshua 18:1; Judges 18:31; Judges 21:12, Judges 21:19; 1 Samuel 1:3, 1 Samuel 1:24; 1 Samuel 2:14; 1 Samuel 4:3-4. The ark, after it was taken by the Philistines, was never returned to Shiloh, but was deposited successively at Nob 1 Samuel 21:1-6, and at Gibeon 1 Kings 3:4, until David pitched a tabernacle for it on Mount Zion 1 Chronicles 15:1. The meaning here is, that in consequence of the sins of the people, the place of worship was finally and forever removed from the tribe of Ephraim, within whose limits Shiloh was, to the tribe of Judah, and to Mount Zion.

The tent which he placed among men - It was the place which he selected as his abode on earth.

60. tent … placed—literally, "caused to dwell," set up (Jos 18:1). The tabernacle of Shiloh; which then was placed in Shiloh, from whence, as the Israelites fetched the ark, so God withdrew himself.

Which he placed among men; whereby he insinuates both God’s wonderful condescension and favour to such worthless and wretched creatures, and their stupendous folly and wickedness in despising and sinning away so glorious a privilege. So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh.... The tabernacle which Moses built in the wilderness by the command of the Lord, and according to the pattern showed him; and which, when the Israelites were settled in the land of Canaan, was set up in Shiloh; see Joshua 18:1, and here it was in the times of Eli and Samuel, which are here referred to:

the tent which he placed among men; it was as a tent moveable from place to place, and was to continue at longest but for a while, as the whole tabernacle worship and service was to do; here the divine Majesty dwelt, and among men, vile, sinful, wicked, and ungrateful men; which was a wonderful instance of his condescension and goodness, 1 Kings 8:27, but when their iniquities grew to such a degree as were intolerable, he forsook it and removed it elsewhere; see Jeremiah 7:12, rather the words may be rendered, "the tent", or "tabernacle, which he had fixed in Adam"; as they are by Doctor Lightfoot (q); that is, in the city Adam, which was in the centre of the parting of the waters of Jordan, and where was the station of the tabernacle and ark of the covenant, when Israel entered into them, and passed through them; which is mentioned as a wonderful circumstance, both with respect to the tabernacle and to the people of Israel.

(q) See his Works, vol. 2. p. 82.

So that he {l} forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;

(l) For their ingratitude he permitted the Philistines to take the Ark which was the sign of his presence, from among them.

60. placed] Lit. caused to dwell. The use of this word here and in Joshua 18:1 (A.V. set up) was probably suggested by its frequent use with reference to the dwelling of God among His people. Cp. Jeremiah 7:12.

On the position and history of Shiloh see note on 1 Samuel 1:3.Verse 60. - So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh. The "tabernacle of the congregation" was first set up under Joshua (Joshua 18.) at Shiloh, a city of Ephraim, and here the national sanctuary continued throughout the period of the Judges (Judges 18:31; Judges 21:19; 1 Samuel 1:3, 24; 1 Samuel 2:14; 1 Samuel 3:21; 1 Samuel 4:4, etc.). God was regarded as having "forsaken" this sanctuary, when he allowed the ark of the covenant, its chief treasure, to be taken (1 Samuel 4:11-22). Subsequently, but at what exact time is unknown, the tabernacle was removed from Shiloh to Nob (1 Samuel 21:1), and later on to Gibson (1 Kings 3:4). The tent which he pitched among men. (On the form and materials of the tabernacle, see Exodus 26:1-37, and compare Mr. Fergusson's article on the subject in Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible,' vol. 3. pp. 1451-1455.) When these plagues rose to the highest pitch, Israel became free, and removed, being led by its God, into the Land of Promise; but it continued still to behave there just as it had done in the desert. The poet in Psalm 78:49-51 brings the fifth Egyptian plague, the pestilence (Exodus 9:1-7), and the tenth and last, the smiting of the first-born (מכּת בּכרות), Exodus 11:1, together. Psalm 78:49 sounds like Job 20:23 (cf. below Psalm 78:64). מלאכי רעים are not wicked angels, against which view Hengstenberg refers to the scriptural thesis of Jacobus Ode in his work De Angelis, Deum ad puniendos malos homines mittere bonos angelos et ad castigandos pios usurpare malos, but angels that bring misfortune. The mode of construction belongs to the chapter of the genitival subordination of the adjective to the substantive, like אשׁת רע, Proverbs 6:24, cf. 1 Samuel 28:7; Numbers 5:18, Numbers 5:24; 1 Kings 10:15; Jeremiah 24:2, and the Arabic msjdu 'l-jâm‛, the mosque of the assembling one, i.e., the assembling (congregational) mosque, therefore: angels (not of the wicked ones equals wicked angels, which it might signify elsewhere, but) of the evil ones equals evil, misfortune-bringing angels (Ew. ֗287, a). The poet thus paraphrases the המּשׁחית that is collectively conceived in Exodus 12:13, Exodus 12:23; Hebrews 11:28. In Psalm 78:50 the anger is conceived of as a stream of fire, in Psalm 78:50 death as an executioner, and in 50c the pestilence as a foe. ראשׁית אונים (Genesis 49:3; Deuteronomy 21:17) is that which had sprung for the first time from manly vigour (plur. intensivus). Egypt is called חם as in Psalm 105 and Psalm 111:1-10 according to Genesis 10:6, and is also called by themselves in ancient Egyptian Kemi, Coptic Chmi, Kme (vid., Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, ch. 33). When now these plagues which softened their Pharaoh went forth upon the Egyptians, God procured for His people a free departure, He guided flock-like (כּעדר like בּעדר, Jeremiah 31:24, with Dag. implicitum), i.e., as a shepherd, the flock of His people (the favourite figure of the Psalms of Asaph) through the desert, - He led them safely, removing all terrors out of the way and drowning their enemies in the Red Sea, to His holy territory, to the mountain which (זה) His right hand had acquired, or according to the accents (cf. supra, p. 104): to the mountain there (זה), which, etc. It is not Zion that is meant, but, as in the primary passage Exodus 15:16., in accordance with the parallelism (although this is not imperative) and the usage of the language, which according to Isaiah 11:9; Isaiah 57:13, is incontrovertible, the whole of the Holy Land with its mountains and valleys (cf. Deuteronomy 11:11). בּחבל נחלה is the poetical equivalent to בּנחלה, Numbers 34:2; Numbers 36:2, and frequently. The Beth is Beth essentiae (here in the same syntactical position as in Isaiah 48:10; Ezekiel 20:41, and also Job 22:24 surely): He made them (the heathen, viz., as in Joshua 23:4 their territories) fall to them (viz., as the expression implies, by lot, בגורל) as a line of inheritance, i.e., (as in Psalm 105:11) as a portion measured out as an inheritance. It is only in Psalm 78:56 (and not so early as Psalm 78:41) that the narration passes over to the apostate conduct of the children of the generation of the desert, that is to say, of the Israel of Canaan. Instead of עדוריו from עדוּת, the word here is עדוריו from עדה (a derivative of עוּד, not יעד). Since the apostasy did not gain ground until after the death of Joshua and Eleazar, it is the Israel of the period of the Judges that we are to think of here. קשׁת רמיּה, Psalm 78:57, is not: a bow of slackness, but: a bow of deceit; for the point of comparison, according to Hosea 7:16, is its missing the mark: a bow that discharges its arrow in a wrong direction, that makes no sure shot. The verb רמה signifies not only to allow to hang down slack (cogn. רפה), but also, according to a similar conception to spe dejicere, to disappoint, deny. In the very act of turning towards God, or at least being inclined towards Him by His tokens of power and loving-kindness, they turned (Jeremiah 2:21) like a vow that misses the mark and disappoints both aim and expectation. The expression in Psalm 78:58 is like Deuteronomy 32:16, Deuteronomy 32:21. שׁמע refers to their prayer to the Ba(a4lim (Judges 2:11). The word התעבּר, which occurs three times in this Psalm, is a word belonging to Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 3:26). Psalm 78:59 is purposely worded exactly like Psalm 78:21. The divine purpose of love spurned by the children just as by the fathers, was obliged in this case, as in the former, to pass over into angry provocation.
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