Psalm 79:9
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for your name's sake.
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(9) Purge away.—Rather, put a cover on. So Cicero speaks of political crimes being covered by the plea of friendship.

Our sins.—How is this to be taken in connection with Psalm 79:8? Does the psalmist admit guilt in his own generation, as well as in those of former times? Or is he thinking only of the inherited guilt and punishment? The general tone of post-exile psalms inclines towards the latter view.

Psalm 79:9-10. Help us, O God of our salvation — From whom we have often received, and from whom alone we now expect salvation, that is, deliverance, or protection; for the glory of thy name — Which is now obscured by the insolence and blasphemy of thine enemies, who ascribe their conquest to their idols, and triumph over thee, no less than over thy people, as one unable to deliver them out of their hands: see Daniel 3:15. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is 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; by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed — Or, rather, Let the vengeance (Hebrew, נקנת דם, nikmath dam) of thy servants’ blood which is shed be known among the heathen that are in our sight. “It is for the glory of God’s name to deliver his church; because, while she is in trouble, that name is blasphemed by the enemy, as if he wanted either power or will to prevent or remove the calamities of his servants. Prayer is therefore here made by the faithful, that God, not to gratify any vindictive spirit of theirs, but to vindicate his own attributes, would break the teeth of the oppressor, and work a public and glorious salvation for his chosen; at beholding which the very adversaries themselves might possibly be converted.” — Horne.79:6-13 Those who persist in ignorance of God, and neglect of prayer, are the ungodly. How unrighteous soever men were, the Lord was righteous in permitting them to do what they did. Deliverances from trouble are mercies indeed, when grounded upon the pardon of sin; we should therefore be more earnest in prayer for the removal of our sins than for the removal of afflictions. They had no hopes but from God's mercies, his tender mercies. They plead no merit, they pretend to none, but, Help us for the glory of thy name; pardon us for thy name's sake. The Christian forgets not that he is often bound in the chain of his sins. The world to him is a prison; sentence of death is passed upon him, and he knows not how soon it may be executed. How fervently should he at all times pray, O let the sighing of a prisoner come before thee, according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die! How glorious will the day be, when, triumphant over sin and sorrow, the church beholds the adversary disarmed for ever! while that church shall, from age to age, sing the praises of her great Shepherd and Bishop, her King and her God.Help us, O God of our salvation - On whom our salvation depends; who alone can save us.

For the glory of thy name - That thy name may be honored. We are thy professed people; we have been redeemed by thee; and thine honor will be affected by the question whether we are saved or destroyed, It is the highest and purest ground for prayer, that the glory or honor of God may be promoted. See the notes at Matthew 6:9, notes at Matthew 6:13; notes at John 12:28; notes at Daniel 9:19.

And deliver us - From our enemies.

And purge away our sins - Forgive our sins, or cleanse us from them. The original word is that which is commonly used to denote an atonement. Compare in the Hebrew, Daniel 9:24,; Ezekiel 45:20; Exodus 30:15; Exodus 32:30; Leviticus 4:20; Leviticus 5:26; Leviticus 16:6, Leviticus 16:11, Leviticus 16:24.

For thy name's sake - See the notes at Daniel 9:19.

9. for … glory of thy name [and for] thy name's sake—both mean for illustrating Thy attributes, faithfulness, power, &c.

purge … sins—literally, "provide atonement for us." Deliverance from sin and suffering, for their good and God's glory, often distinguish the prayers of Old Testament saints (compare Eph 1:7).

O God of our salvation; from whom we have oft received, and from whom alone we now expect, salvation.

Thy name; which is now obscured by the insolency and blasphemy of thine enemies, who ascribe this conquest to their idols, and triumph over thee no less than over thy people, as one unable to deliver them out of their hands. See Daniel 3:15. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name,.... Help us out of the troubles in which we are; enable us to bear them with patience, and without murmuring, while it is thy pleasure to continue them; assist us against our powerful enemies, and strengthen us to do our duty; afford us more grace, and fresh supplies of it in our time of need: the arguments enforcing these petitions are, because God is "the God of salvation", to whom it belongs, of whom it is, and of him only to be expected; he is the sole author and giver of it; and because to help and save is for the glory of his name, which is great in the salvation of his people:

and deliver us; out of the hands of all our enemies, and out of all our afflictions, and out of this low estate in which we are:

and purge away our sins for thy name's sake; which were the cause of all calamities and distress, and which can only be purged away by the blood and sacrifice of Christ, Hebrews 1:3, the word signifies to "expiate" (i) sin, or atone for it; which was the work and business of Christ our High Priest, who has made reconciliation for sin, finished, made an end of it, and put it away by the oblation of himself, for the sake of which God is propitious; and so the words may be rendered, "be propitious to our sins" (k): or merciful to our unrighteousnesses, for the sake of Christ the great propitiation; or through the propitiatory sacrifice to be offered up by him; or, in other words, "cover our sins" (l); which is also the sense of the phrase, that they may be seen no more; pardon and forgive them for Christ's sake; see Psalm 32:1.

(i) "expiationem fac", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis. (k) "Propitiare", Pagninus, Montanus; "propitius esto", V. L. Musculus; so Tigurine version. (l) metaph. "texit", Amama.

Help us, O God of our {h} salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.

(h) Seeing we have no other Saviour, neither can we help ourselves, and also by our salvation your Name will be praised: therefore O Lord, help us.

9. for the glory of thy name] Lit. for the sake of the glory of thy name (Psalm 29:2; Psalm 66:2). If Thou art not moved by the sight of our sufferings, at least be jealous for Thine own honour, lest the heathen should think that Israel’s God is powerless to help His people.

purge away] Or, make atonement for. See note on Psalm 65:3.

9–12. Repeated prayers for deliverance for the honour of God’s Name.Verse 9. - Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy Name. The calamities suffered have not extinguished all faith or hope. God is still the God of Israel's salvation, i.e. the God from whom alone salvation can be obtained and may be expected. He is entreated to come to Israel's aid, not for their sakes, as they are wholly undeserving, but for his own glory (comp. Exodus 32:12; Numbers 14:13; Deuteronomy 9:28; and Exodus 32:27). And deliver us, and purge away our sins; literally, make atonement for our sins (Exodus 30:15); i.e. "cancel them" (Cheyne), or "forgive them" (Hengstenberg, Kay). For thy Name's sake (comp. Psalm 23:3; Psalm 25:11; Psalm 34:3; Ezekiel 36:22). The Psalm begins with a plaintive description, and in fact one that makes complaint to God. Its opening sounds like 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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