D D 1-8. God our help. E F 9-14. Us. G 15. Me. Your reproach. E G 16. Me. The reason. F 17-27. Us.
D a 1,2. By You our fathers cast out. b 3-. Not their own sword. Reason. c -3. But your right hand. " d 4. You our confidence. a 5. By You will we put down. b 6. Not my own sword. Reason. c 7. But You. " b 8. You our confidence.
1 We have heard with our ears (refers to the exodus. No time in reign of David or Solomon to suit this Psalm. Temple-worship carried on. People in the land. Israel gone astray. Judah had turned away, but had returned [vv. 17,18]. The Psalm suits Hezekiah only. Sennacharib and Rab-shakeh referred to in v.16.),
O God, our fathers have rehearsed (cp. Ex. 12:26; 13:14. Josh. 4:6,7),
What work You didst in their days, in the times of old.
2 How You did drive out the nations (i.e. the Canaanites) with Your hand, and planted them (i.e. Your People Israel);
How You did afflict the peoples (i.e. the Canaanites), and spread them out. (As a vine [Isa. 5]; "them" referring to Israel in both clauses.)
3 For they got not the land in possession by their own sword,
Neither did their own arm save them:
For (giving the reason) Your right hand, and Your arm, and the light of Your countenance,
Because You had a favor to them. (Cp. Deut. 4:37; 7:7,8)
4 You Yourself are He my King, O God:
Command a great deliverance for Jacob.
5 Through Your will we push down our adversaries:
Through Your name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
6 For I will not confide in my bow,
Neither shall my sword save me. (Cp. 2 Kings 19:32)
7 For You did save (referring to vv. 1-4) us from our enemies,
And did put them to shame that hated us.
8 In God we have boasted all the day long,
And praise Your name for ever. Selah. (Connecting the wondrous past with the depressing present, introducing the which called forth the Psalm itself, and marking the important break determining the Structure.)
F e 9. You have cast us off. f 10,11. Enemies' acts. e 12. You have cast us off. f 13,14. Enemies' words.
9 But now (very emphatic, marking great contrast, as in 68:16 ["Yes"]) You have cast off (as with contempt. Cp. 43:2), and put us to shame;
And go not forth with our armies.
10 You make us to turn back from the enemy:
And they which hate us have plundered at their will. (See Sennacherib's boast on his cylinder.)
11 You have given us like sheep appointed for meat;
And have scattered us among the heathen. (Israel had already been removed. Sennacherib says he had taken away 200,150)
12 You sell Your people for nothing,
And do not increase Your wealth by their price.
13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors, (Cp. Rab-shakeh's harangue [2 Kings 18:P27-38] with vv. 13,14)
A scorn and a derision to them that are round about us.
14 You make us a byword among the heathen,
A shaking of the head among the people.
15 My confusion is continually before me,
And the shame of my face has covered me,
16 For the voice of him that reproaches and blasphemes;
By reason of the enemy and him that takes vengeance. (Cp. 8:2. Here = Sennacherib.)
F g 17,18. Righteousness. h 19. Calamities. g 20,21. Righteousness. h 22. Calamities.
17 All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten You,
Neither have we dealt falsely in Your covenant.
18 Our heart is not turned back,
Neither have our goings declined from Your way;
19 Though You have sore broken us in the place of jackals (put for a desert place),
And covered us with the shadow of death.
20 If we have forgotten the name of our God,
Or stretched out our hands to a strange god;
21 Shall not God search this out?
For He knows the secrets of the heart.
22 Surely, for Your sake are we killed all the day long;
We are counted as sheep for the slaughter. (Quoted in Rom. 8:38)
D i 23,24. Prayer. "Awake". k 25-. Affliction. i -25. Affliction. k 26. Prayer. "Awake".
23 Awake, why do You sleep, O Lord?
Arise, cast us not off for ever.
24 Wherefore hide You Your face,
And forget our affliction and our oppression?
25 For we ourselves are bowed down to the dust:
Our belly cleaves to the earth.
26 Arise for our help,
and deliver us for Your mercy's (or loving-kindness) sake.
(Lilies put for "Spring", "Spring" put for the great spring festival, the Passover. Written by Hezekiah for his special circumstances; but on account of vv. 1-8 was handed over for general use at the Feast of Passover)