Psalm 80:10
The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
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(10) Goodly cedars.—Literally, cedars of God. The branches of the vine are to grow to resemble the luxuriance of the most magnificent of all forest trees.

Psalm 80:10-11. The hills were covered with the shadow of it — Its branches extended themselves over all the hills and mountains of Canaan; that is, the people multiplied so much, and became so numerous, that they filled not only the fruitful valleys, but even the barren mountains. And the boughs whereof were like the goodly cedars — Very different from those of ordinary vines, whose boughs are weak and small, and creep upon the walls, on other trees, or on the ground. Israel not only had abundance of men, but those mighty men of valour. She sent out her boughs unto the sea — That is, to the Mediterranean sea; and her branches unto the river — The river Euphrates, alluding to the extent of the Israelitish dominions in the time of David and Solomon.80:8-16 The church is represented as a vine and a vineyard. The root of this vine is Christ, the branches are believers. The church is like a vine, needing support, but spreading and fruitful. If a vine do not bring forth fruit, no tree is so worthless. And are not we planted as in a well-cultivated garden, with every means of being fruitful in works of righteousness? But the useless leaves of profession, and the empty boughs of notions and forms, abound far more than real piety. It was wasted and ruined. There was a good reason for this change in God's way toward them. And it is well or ill with us, according as we are under God's smiles or frowns. When we consider the state of the purest part of the visible church, we cannot wonder that it is visited with sharp corrections. They request that God would help the vine. Lord, it is formed by thyself, and for thyself, therefore it may, with humble confidence, be committed to thyself.The hills were covered with the shadow of it - That is, It made a shade, by its luxuriant foliage, on the hills in every part of the land; it seemed to cover all the hills.

And the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars - Margin, as in Hebrew, cedars of God; that is, lofty, majestic cedars. See the notes at Psalm 65:9. The reference here is to the cedars of Lebanon, among the most majestic objects known to the Hebrews.

8-11. brought—or, "plucked up," as by roots, to be replanted.

a vine—(Ps 78:47). The figure (Isa 16:8) represents the flourishing state of Israel, as predicted (Ge 28:14), and verified (1Ki 4:20-25).

They grew so numerous, that they filled not only the fruitful valleys, but even the barren mountains.

Goodly cedars; far differing from ordinary vines, whose boughs are weak and small, and creep upon the walls or ground. The hills were covered with the shadow of it,.... Alluding to the land of Canaan, which was a mountainous and hilly country, at least some part of it; hence we read of the hill country of Judea, Luke 1:39 and to the nature of vines, which delight to grow on hills and mountains (p): in a figurative sense this may denote the subjection of kings and kingdoms, comparable to hills, to the Israelites in the times of David and Solomon, 2 Samuel 8:1 and the exaltation of the church of Christ, in the latter day, over the hills and mountains, Isaiah 2:2. The Targum is,

"the mountains of Jerusalem were covered with the shadow of the house of the sanctuary, and of the houses of the schools:''

and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars; to these the righteous are compared, Psalm 92:13, the Targum is,

"the doctors, the mighty preachers, who are like to the strong cedars:''

the words may be rendered, "the boughs thereof cover the goodly cedars", or "cedars of God" (q); that is, overrun and overtop the goodly cedars; alluding to vines running and growing upon high and goodly trees; and so may denote, as before, the power of Israel over the princes and potentates of the earth, comparable to cedars, the most excellent; as things most excellent have often the name of God added to them; see Psalm 104:16.

(p) "Bacchus amat colles----" Virgil Georgic. l. 2. v. 113. (q) "rami ejus cedros Dei", Tigurine version; so Sept. "et ramia ejus cedri Dei", Musculus, Cocceius; "palmitibus ejus cedri altissimae operiebantur", Piscator, De Dieu; "ramis ejus opertae sunt cedri Dei", Michaelis.

The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
10. The hills] The mountains.

the goodly cedars] Cedars of God (El), those “which he hath planted,” the indigenous cedars of Lebanon, noblest of forest trees. Cp. “mountains of God” (Psalm 36:6). The alternative rendering of R.V. marg., And the cedars of God with the boughs thereof, gives the same sense as the LXX. The vine grew so that it overshadowed the mountainous country to the South, and the cedars of Lebanon on the North, an allusion to the ideal boundaries of the Promised Land, as described in Deuteronomy 11:24 (where ‘the wilderness’ = ‘the mountains’ here). That the next verse clearly refers to the Eastern and Western boundaries is an argument in favour of this interpretation.Verse 10. - The hills were covered with the shadow of it. The "hills" intended are probably those of the south - the hill country of Judah - since the clauses which follow designate the boundaries towards the north, west, and east. (So Hengstenberg, Kay, Professor Cheyne, and others.) And the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars; rather, and the goodly cedar trees were covered with their branches. The cedars of Lebanon are intended. They marked the boundary line on the north. The psalmist calls them "cedars of God," by a strong, but not unprecedented (Psalm 36:6), hyperbole. In the second strophe there issues forth bitter complaint concerning the form of wrath which the present assumes, and, thus confirmed, the petition rises anew. The transferring of the smoking (עשׁן) of God's nostrils equals the hard breathing of anger (Psalm 74:1, Deuteronomy 29:19), to God Himself is bold, but in keeping with the spirit of the Biblical view of the wrath of God (vid., on Psalm 18:9), so that there is no need to avoid the expression by calling in the aid of the Syriac word עשׁן, to be strong, powerful (why art Thou hard, why dost Thou harden Thyself...). The perfect after עד־מתי has the sense of a present with a retrospective glance, as in Exodus 10:3, cf. עד־אנה, to be understood after the analogy of חרה בּ (to kindle equals to be angry against any one), for the prayer of the people is not an object of wrath, but only not a means of turning it aside. While the prayer is being presented, God veils Himself in the smoke of wrath, through which it is not able to penetrate. The lxx translators have read בתפלת עבדיך, for they render ἐπὶ τὴν προσευχήν τῶν δούλων σου (for which the common reading is τοῦ δούλου σου). Bread of tears is, according to Psalm 42:4, bread consisting of tears; tears, running down in streams upon the lips of the praying and fasting one, are his meat and his drink. השׁקה with an accusative signifies to give something to drink, and followed by Beth, to give to drink by means of something, but it is not to be translated: potitandum das eis cum lacrymis trientem (De Dieu, von Ortenberg, and Hitzig). שׁלישׁ (Talmudic, a third part) is the accusative of more precise definition (Vatablus, Gesenius, Olshausen, and Hupfeld): by thirds (lxx ἐν μέτρῳ, Symmachus μέτρῳ); for a third of an ephah is certainly a very small measure for the dust of the earth (Isaiah 40:12), but a large one for tears. The neighbours are the neighbouring nations, to whom Israel is become מדון, an object, a butt of contention. In למו is expressed the pleasure which the mocking gives them.
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