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Psalm Seventy Nine

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Psalm of Asaph.

Psalm 79:1 O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

the heathen are come. Psalms 73-83 are attributed to Asaph, who was one of David's chief musicians. The reigns of David and Solomon represented the zenith of Israel's power. Several of Asaph's psalms, especially Psalm 79, describe a situation in Jerusalem and all Israel long after the time of David. However, the “sons of Asaph” continued to serve as temple singers until at least the times of Josiah (2 Chronicles 35:15). It is possible that they continued even to the time of the exile, in which case they could have written these psalms and included them in the collection of their revered ancestor. Or, alternatively, Asaph himself could have written them as prophecies of Jerusalem's future, seeing in vision its future destruction and the impending exile of its people (Psalm 79:2-5).

Psalm 79:2 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.

Psalm 79:3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

Psalm 79:4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.

Psalm 79:5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

Psalm 79:6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.

Psalm 79:7 For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.

Psalm 79:8 O remember not against us former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.

Psalm 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.

Psalm 79:10 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.

Psalm 79:11 Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;

Psalm 79:12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.

Psalm 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will show forth thy praise to all generations.

to all generations. The prophet had seen forward to the destruction of Jerusalem (Psalm 79:1) and the suffering of Israel at the hand of other nations, but then also could see beyond that to the future kingdom age and restoration of Israel to God's everlasting favor.