Why should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of your servants which is shed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Wherefore.—Taken from Joel 2:17.
Let him be known.—Better, Let it be known, i.e., where God is. Let the answer to the question be given in vengeance, and let us see it.Psalm 42:3, note; Psalm 42:10, note.
Let him be known among the heathen - Let him so manifest himself among them that they cannot but see that he is God; that he is a just God; that he is the Friend and Protector of his people.
In our sight - So that we may see it; or, so that it may be seen that he is our Friend and Protector.
By the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed - Margin, vengeance. The true idea is, "Let the avenging of the blood of thy servants - the blood poured out, or shed, be known among the nations in our sight." The prayer is that God would so interpose that there could be no doubt that it was on account of the blood of his people which had been shed by their enemies. It is a prayer that just punishment might be executed - a prayer which may be offered at anytime.
blood … shed—(Ps 79:3).Their God; he whom they served, and of whom they boasted. He is lost and gone, or grown impotent or idle.
Let him be known among the heathen, by the execution of his judgments upon them, according to Psalm 9:16.
In our sight; that we may live to see it, and praise thy name for it. Psalm 42:3,
let him be known among the Heathen in our sight; in his holiness and justice, as a God of power, and to whom vengeance belongs; let him be known by his judgments executed upon the Heathen, openly and publicly in our sight, and in the view of the whole world; see Psalm 9:16, so it follows,
by the revenging of the blood of thy servants, which is shed; as in Psalm 79:3, which blood God will revenge according to the request of his people, and give them blood to drink by way of retaliation; by which means his vindictive justice will be known, and it will be seen where the God of his people is, that he is with them, and maintains their cause; see Revelation 6:9. The words may be rendered in connection with the preceding clause thus; "let it be known among the Heathen in our sight, even the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed"; though Kimchi supplies the words as we do, "by a revenging", &c.Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. Wherefore &c.] The same plea in Psalm 115:2 (cp. also Psalm 115:1 with Psalm 79:9); Joel 2:17. Cp. Exodus 32:12; Psalm 42:3; Micah 7:10.
let him be known] Better:
Let vengeance for thy servants’ blood that is shed
Be made known among the heathen in our sight.
Defer not vengeance to some future generation: let us see with our own eyes the fitting punishment of the enemies of Israel. This verse and Psalm 79:9 are based upon Deuteronomy 32:43. Note how the thought of vengeance goes side by side with that of deliverance in Isaiah 35:4; Isaiah 47:3; Isaiah 59:17; Isaiah 61:2; Isaiah 63:4; and in Jeremiah 50:15; Jeremiah 50:28; Jeremiah 51:6; Jeremiah 51:11; Jeremiah 51:36, chapters which also probably date from the Exile.Verse 10. - Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? (so Joel 2:17). A triumph over a foreign nation was always regarded in the ancient world as a triumph over their gods. Their gods were bound to protect them, and, if they did not, must either have been absent or powerless (comp. 2 Kings 18:33-35; 2 Kings 19:12). Let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed; rather, let there be shown forth among the heathen in our sight vengeance for the blood of thy servants that has been shed; or, in other words, "Let an evident judgment, visible to us, fall upon the heathen who have shed the blood of our brethren, thy true servants." An immediate judgment is prayed for; but it did not please God to send the judgment till after the expiration of a long term of years. Lamentations 1:10. The defiling does not exclude the reducing to ashes, it is rather spontaneously suggested in Psalm 74:7 in company with wilful incendiarism. The complaint in Psalm 79:1 reminds one of the prophecy of Micah, Micah 3:12, which in its time excited so much vexation (Jeremiah 26:18); and Psalm 79:2, Deuteronomy 28:26. עבדיך confers upon those who were massacred the honour of martyrdom. The lxx renders לעיים by εἰς ὀπωροφυλάκιον, a flourish taken from Isaiah 1:8. Concerning the quotation from memory in 1 Macc. 7:16f., vid., the introduction to Psalm 74. The translator of the originally Hebrew First Book of the Maccabees even in other instances betrays an acquaintance with the Greek Psalter (cf. 1 Macc. 1:37, καὶ ἐξέχεαν αἷμα ἀθῷον κύκλῳ τοῦ ἁγιάσματος). "As water," i.e., (cf. Deuteronomy 15:23) without setting any value upon it and without any scruple about it. Psalm 44:14 is repeated in Psalm 79:4. At the time of the Chaldaean catastrophe this applied more particularly to the Edomites.
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