Psalm 80:6
You make us a strife to our neighbors: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
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(6) A strifei.e., an object of contention. In no other sense could Israel be a strife to neighbouring nations. For the bearing of this on the date of the psalm see its Introduction.

Laugh among themselves.—Literally, for themselves. But LXX. and Vulg. read, “at us.”

80:1-7 He that dwelleth upon the mercy-seat, is the good Shepherd of his people. But we can neither expect the comfort of his love, nor the protection of his arm, unless we partake of his converting grace. If he is really angry at the prayers of his people, it is because, although they pray, their ends are not right, or there is some secret sin indulged in them, or he will try their patience and perseverance in prayer. When God is displeased with his people, we must expect to see them in tears, and their enemies in triumph. There is no salvation but from God's favour; there is no conversion to God but by his own grace.Thou makest us a strife - An occasion of strife or wrangling; that is, of strife among themselves, to see who will get the most of our spoils; or of contention, to see which could do most to aggravate their sufferings, and to bring disgrace and contempt upon them. They were emulous with each other in the work of desolation and ruin.

Unto our neighbors - The surrounding nations. See Psalm 79:4.

And our enemies laugh among themselves - Over our calamities. They exult; they glory; they triumph in our ruin.

6. strife—object or cause of (Isa 9:11). On last clause compare Ps 79:4; Eze 36:4. A strife, i.e. the object or matter of their strife or contention; either,

1. They strive one with another who shrill do us most mischief, or take our spoils to themselves; or,

2. They are perpetually quarrelling with us, and seeking occasions against us. Our neighbours, who used and ought to live peaceably and kindly with us. Laugh among themselves; insult over us, and take pleasure in our miseries. Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours,.... Either obliges us to contend with them for our defence and safety; or having given us into their hands, they strive and contend one with another about dividing the spoil:

and our enemies laugh among themselves; at us, and because there is no help for us in God, as they imagine; or at God himself, as Kimchi, saying he cannot save as.

Thou makest us a {e} strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

(e) Our neighbours have continual strife and war against us.

6. a strife &c.] An object of contention (Jeremiah 15:10): the petty states round about (Psalm 79:4; Psalm 79:12), Edomites, Arabians, and the like, quarrel among themselves for our territory. Lagarde conjectures that we should read mânôd, shaking (of the head), for mâdôn, strife, as in Psalm 44:14, which would suit the parallelism better.

laugh among themselves] Rather, to their heart’s content, so, laugh scornfully. Cp. Psalm 79:4.

P.B.V. ‘laugh us to scorn’ follows LXX, Vulg., Jer.Verse 6. - Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours. A great invasion, Assyrian or Babylonian, was always a signal to the near neighbours of Israel - Syria, Moab, Ammon, Edom - to indulge in hostilities (see 2 Kings 24:2). And our enemies laugh among themselves (comp. Psalm 44:13; Psalm 79:4). If we have thus far correctly hit upon the parts of which the Psalm is composed (9. 9. 9), then the lamentation closes with this tristichic vow of thanksgiving.
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