Psalm 44:22
Yes, for your sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) For thy sake.—For St. Paul’s quotation of this verse (Romans 8:36), see Note, N. Test. Commentary.

Psalm 44:22. Yea, or but, for thy sake we are killed all the day — We do not suffer for our apostacy, but because we will not apostatize from thee. We are persecuted and put to death because we are thy people, and continue constantly and resolutely in the profession and practice of thy worship, which they abhor, and from which they seek to draw or drive us. It is well known that the Jews were exposed to a variety of evils from their conquerors, on account of their strict adherence to the Mosaic law. And it is well observed by a learned writer, “that as this and the like passages of this Psalm may be applied primarily to the persecuted Jews; so do they, in a secondary sense, refer to suffering Christians, and their persecutions from heathen and unbelieving adversaries; and, accordingly, St. Paul so accommodates the present verse, Romans 8:36.”44:17-26 In afflictions, we must not seek relief by any sinful compliance; but should continually meditate on the truth, purity, and knowledge of our heart-searching God. Hearts sins and secret sins are known to God, and must be reckoned for. He knows the secret of the heart, therefore judges of the words and actions. While our troubles do not drive us from our duty to God, we should not suffer them to drive us from our comfort in God. Let us take care that prosperity and ease do not render us careless and lukewarm. The church of God cannot be prevailed on by persecution to forget God; the believer's heart does not turn back from God. The Spirit of prophecy had reference to those who suffered unto death, for the testimony of Christ. Observe the pleas used, ver. 25,26. Not their own merit and righteousness, but the poor sinner's pleas. None that belong to Christ shall be cast off, but every one of them shall be saved, and that for ever. The mercy of God, purchased, promised, and constantly flowing forth, and offered to believers, does away every doubt arising from our sins; while we pray in faith, Redeem us for thy mercies' sake.Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long - That is, we are continually or constantly subjected to these calamities. It is not a single defeat, but it is a continued slaughter. This verse contains, in the apprehension of the psalmist, the true cause of the calamities which had come upon the nation. The emphasis in the passage lies in the phrase "for thy sake." The meaning is, It is on thy account; it is in thy cause; it is because we are thy friends, and because we worship thee. It is not on account of our national sins; it is not because there is any prevalent idolatry, but it is because we are the worshippers of the true God, and we are, therefore, martyrs. All these calamities have come upon us in consequence of our attachment to thee. There is no evidence that there was any self-glorying in this, or any intention to blame God as if he were unjust or severe, but it is the feeling of martyrs as suffering in the cause of religion. This passage is applied by the apostle Paul to Christians in his time, as fitly describing their sufferings, and the cause of the calamities which came upon them. See the notes at Romans 8:36.

We are counted as sheep for the slaughter - We are reckoned like sheep designed for the slaughter. That is, It is not because we are guilty, but we are regarded and treated as innocent sheep who are driven to be slaughtered. See the notes at Romans 8:36. Their attachment to the true religion - their devotion to Yahweh as the true God - was the secret cause of all the calamities which had come upon them. As a nation they were his friends, and as such they were opposed by the worshippers of other gods.

22. Their protracted sufferings as God's people attests the constancy. Paul (Ro 8:36) uses this to describe Christian steadfastness in persecution. Yea; or, but. We do not suffer for our apostacy, but because we will not apostatize from thee.

For thy sake; because we are thy people, and continue constantly and resolutely in the profession and practice of thy worship, which they abhor, and from which they seek to draw or drive us. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long,.... These words are cited by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:36; and are applied to his times, showing the then close attachment of the saints to Christ, and their strong love and affection for him; and they have the same sense here, being an instance and proof of the church's integrity and faithfulness in the cause of God, amidst the sorest afflictions and persecutions; for the truth of which she appeals to the searcher of hearts; and had their accomplishment in the ten persecutions under the Heathen emperors, and under the Papal tyranny; and may be understood of their being threatened with death, being in danger of it, and exposed unto it continually, 1 Corinthians 15:31; or of their being in such troubles and afflictions, which may be called death, 2 Corinthians 1:8; or of the actual slaying them: and what was done to many of the members of the church she attributes to herself, because of the union between them; and for the sake of the worship of the true God, because they would not worship the gods of the Heathens, nor the image of the beast, multitudes of them were put to death; and that all the day long, and every day, and that for a long series and course of time, or continually; and indeed, ever since the Gospel day or dispensation began, this killing work has been more or less; and it will continue during the reign of antichrist, until the measure of his iniquity is filled up, and the afflictions of the saints are accomplished;

we are counted as sheep for the slaughter; or "as sheep of slaughter" (q); see Zechariah 11:4; that is, either as sheep to be slaughtered for food, their enemies delighting to eat their flesh and drink their blood; See Gill on Psalm 44:11, or for sacrifice, they reckoning it doing God good service to take away their lives, as though they sacrificed a lamb or a sheep unto him; and which, like sheep, they have patiently endured: this is the account made of them, not by the Lord, in whose sight their death is precious; nor by the saints, with whom their memory is dear; but by their furious persecutors, among whom they are as sheep among wolves; see 1 Corinthians 4:13.

(q) "ut pecus mactationis", Montanus, Vatablus; so Musculus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis, Ainsworth.

Yea, for thy sake {r} are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.

(r) The faithful take comfort in this, that the wicked punish them not for their sins, but for because of God, Mt 5:10, 1Pe 4:14.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. Yea, for thy sake] Or, Nay, but for thy sake. Not only have we not been unfaithful to Thee, but we are actually suffering as martyrs for Thy sake. Such a protest was no doubt particularly true in the persecution of Antiochus, but not in that period only. Cp. the complaints of Psalm 69:7; Jeremiah 15:15.

This verse is quoted by St Paul in Romans 8:36, to encourage his converts in view of the possibility that they might have to face even death for Christ’s sake. If the saints of old time had to suffer persecution even to the death, they need not be surprised if a like fate should befall them. And the quotation is doubtless intended (as so often) to carry with it the thought of its context, and to remind them of the steadfastness of the Old Testament saints under the sharpest trial of their faith.Verse 22. - Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; or, continually, as the phrase is often translated. Not only are the Israelites not suffering on account of any previous desertion of God, or other misconduct, but they are suffering for their fidelity to God. The heathen hate them, and make war upon them, as worshippers of one exclusive God, Jehovah, and contemners of their many gods, whom they hold to be "no-gods." They are martyrs, like the Christians of the early Church (see Romans 8:36). We are counted as sheep for the slaughter (comp. ver. 11). (Heb.: 44:14-17) To this defeat is now also added the shame that springs out of it. A distinction is made between the neighbouring nations, or those countries lying immediately round about Israel (סביבות, as in the exactly similar passage Psalm 79:4, cf. Psalm 80:7, which closely resembles it), and the nations of the earth that dwell farther away from Israel. משׁל is here a jesting, taunting proverb, and one that holds Israel up as an example of a nation undergoing chastisement (vid., Habakkuk 2:6). The shaking of the head is, as in Psalm 22:8, a gesture of malicious astonishment. In נגדּי תּמיד (as in Psalm 38:18) we have both the permanent aspect or look and the perpetual consciousness. Instead of "shame covers my face," the expression is "the shame of my face covers me," i.e., it has overwhelmed my entire inward and outward being (cf. concerning the radical notions of בּושׁ, Psalm 6:11, and חפר, Psalm 34:6). The juxtaposition of "enemy and revengeful man" has its origin in Psalm 8:3. In Psalm 44:17 מקּול and מפּני alternate; the former is used of the impression made by the jeering voice, the other of the impression produced by the enraged mien.
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