Psalm 79:4
We are become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
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(4) This verse occurs Psalm 44:13. Also possibly a Maccabæan psalm. (See Introduction to that psalm.)

The scenes still witnessed by travellers at the Jews’ wailing-place offer a striking illustration of the foregoing verses, showing, as they do, how deep-seated is the love of an ancient place in the Oriental mind. (See a striking description in Porter’s Giant Cities of Bashan.)

Psalm 79:4. We are become a reproach, &c. — We, who were the terror of our neighbours, and whom they stood in awe of, and were afraid to offend, are now neither feared nor pitied, but are become the objects of their scoffs and reproaches. For they study to abuse us and load us with contempt, upbraiding us with our sins and sufferings, and giving the lie to our relation to God, and expectations from him. If God’s professing people degenerate from what themselves and their fathers were, they must expect to be told of it; and it is well if a just reproach will help to bring them to a true repentance. But it has been the lot of the gospel Israel to be unjustly made a reproach and derision. The apostles and evangelists themselves, who were the wisest and best men that ever lived, and the greatest friends and benefactors of the human race, were counted as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things.79:1-5 God is complained to: whither should children go but to a Father able and willing to help them? See what a change sin made in the holy city, when the heathen were suffered to pour in upon them. God's own people defiled it by their sins, therefore he suffered their enemies to defile it by their insolence. They desired that God would be reconciled. Those who desire God's favour as better than life, cannot but dread his wrath as worse than death. In every affliction we should first beseech the Lord to cleanse away the guilt of our sins; then he will visit us with his tender mercies.We are become a reproach to our neighbours - See the language in this verse explained in the notes at Psalm 44:13. The words in the Hebrew are the same, and the one seems to have been copied from the other. 4. (Compare Ps 44:13; Jer 42:18; La 2:15). We, who were their terror and scourge, are now neither feared nor pitied, but become the matter of their scoffs and reproaches. See Psalm 80:6 137:7 Ezekiel 35:2,12, &c. We are become a reproach to our neighbours,.... That is, those that remained; so the Jews were to the Edomites, especially at the time of the Babylonish captivity, Psalm 137:7,

a scorn and derision to them that are round about us; as the Christians in all ages have been to the men of the world, and especially will be insulted and triumphed over when the witnesses are slain, Revelation 11:10.

We are become a reproach to our {d} neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.

(d) Of which some came from Abraham but were degenerate: and others were open enemies to your religion, but they both laughed at our miseries.

4. A repetition of Psalm 44:13, with the change of ‘thou makest us’ to ‘we are become.’ Cp. Psalm 80:6; Ezekiel 22:4; Ezekiel 25:6 ff. Daniel 9:16 combines this verse with Psalm 79:8 a.Verse 4. - We are become a reproach to our neighbours (comp. Psalm 44:13; Lamentations 2:15; Lamentations 5:1. The "neighbours" intended are the nations in the vicinity of the Holy Land - the Syrians, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, etc. Their attitude towards Israel under the circumstances may be gathered from what is related of the Edomites in Psalm 137:7. A scorn and derision to them that are round about us. It was not so much the "reproaches" of their enemies that vexed and grieved Israel, as the jeers and scoffs which they heard on every side (comp. Lamentations 1:7, 20; Lamentations 2:15; Lamentations 3:62, 63). The rejection of Shiloh and of the people worshipping there, but later on, when the God of Israel is again overwhelmed by compassion, the election of Judah, and of Mount Zion, and of David, the king after His own heart. In the time of the Judges the Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh (Joshua 18:1); there, consequently, was the central sanctuary of the whole people, - in the time of Eli and Samuel, as follows from 1 Samuel 1:1, it had become a fixed temple building. When this building was destroyed is not known; according to Judges 18:30., cf. Jeremiah 7:12-15, it was probably not until the Assyrian period. The rejection of Shiloh, however, preceded the destruction, and practically took place simultaneously with the removal of the central sanctuary to Zion; and was, moreover, even previously decided by the fact that the Ark of the covenant, when given up again by the Philistines, was not brought back to Shiloh, but set down in Kirjath Jearm (1 Samuel 7:2). The attributive clause שׁכּן בּאדם uses שׁכּן as השׁכּין is used in Joshua 18:1. The pointing is correct, for the words to not suffice to signify "where He dwelleth among men" (Hitzig); consequently שׁכּן is the causative of the Kal, Leviticus 16:16; Joshua 22:19. In Psalm 78:61 the Ark of the covenant is called the might and glory of God (ארון עזּו, Psalm 132:8, cf. כבוד, 1 Samuel 4:21.), as being the place of their presence in Israel and the medium of their revelation. Nevertheless, in the battle with the Philistines between Eben-ezer and Aphek, Jahve gave the Ark, which they had fetched out of Shiloh, into the hands of the foe in order to visit on the high-priesthood of the sons of Ithamar the desecration of His ordinances, and there fell in that battle 30,000 footmen, and among them the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests (1 Samuel 4). The fire in Psalm 78:63 is the fire of war, as in Numbers 21:28, and frequently. The incident mentioned in 1 Samuel 6:19 is reasonably (vid., Keil) left out of consideration. By לא הוּלּלוּ (lxx erroneously, οὐκ ἐπένθησαν equals הוללוּ equals הילילוּ) are meant the marriage-songs (cf. Talmudic הלּוּלא, the nuptial tent, and בּית הלוּלים the marriage-house). "Its widows (of the people, in fact, of the slain) weep not" (word for word as in Job 27:15) is meant of the celebration of the customary ceremony of mourning (Genesis 23:2): they survive their husbands (which, with the exception of such a case as that recorded in 1 Samuel 14:19-22, is presupposed), but without being able to show them the last signs of honour, because the terrors of the war (Jeremiah 15:8) prevent them.

With Psalm 78:65 the song takes a new turn. After the punitive judgment has sifted and purified Israel, God receives His people to Himself afresh, but in such a manner that He transfers the precedence of Ephraim to the tribe of Judah. He awakes as it were from a long sleep (Psalm 44:24, cf. Psalm 73:20); for He seemed to sleep whilst Israel had become a servant to the heathen; He aroused Himself, like a hero exulting by reason of wine, i.e., like a hero whose courage is heightened by the strengthening and exhilarating influence of wine (Hengstenberg). התרונן is not the Hithpal. of רוּן in the Arabic signification, which is alien to the Hebrew, to conquer, a meaning which we do not need here, and which is also not adapted to the reflexive form (Hitzig, without any precedent, renders thus: who allows himself to be conquered by wine), but Hithpo. of רנן: to shout most heartily, after the analogy of the reflexives התאונן, התנודד, התרועע. The most recent defeat of the enemy which the poet has before his mind is that of the Philistines. The form of expression in Psalm 78:66 is moulded after 1 Samuel 5:6. God smote the Philistines most literally in posteriora (lxx, Vulgate, and Luther). Nevertheless Psalm 78:66 embraces all the victories under Samuel, Saul, and David, from 1 Samuel 5:1-12 and onwards. Now, when they were able to bring the Ark, which had been brought down to the battle against the Philistines, to a settled resting-place again, God no longer chose Shiloh of Ephraim, but Judah and the mountain of Zion, which He had loved (Psalm 47:5), of Benjamitish-Judaean (Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:8, Judges 1:21) - but according to the promise (Deuteronomy 33:12) and according to the distribution of the country (vid., on Psalm 68:28) Benjamitish - Jerusalem.

(Note: According to B. Menachoth 53b, Jedidiah (Solomon, 2 Samuel 12:25) built the Temple in the province of Jedidiah (of Benjamin, Deuteronomy 33:12).)

There God built His Temple כּמו־רמים. Hitzig proposes instead of this to read כּמרומים; but if נעימים, Psalm 16:6, signifies amaena, then רמים may signify excelsa (cf. Isaiah 45:2 הדוּרים, Jeremiah 17:6 חררים) and be poetically equivalent to מרומים: lasting as the heights of heaven, firm as the earth, which He hath founded for ever. Since the eternal duration of heaven and of the earth is quite consistent with a radical change in the manner of its duration, and that not less in the sense of the Old Testament than of the New (vid., e.g., Isaiah 65:17), so the לעולם applies not to the stone building, but rather to the place where Jahve reveals Himself, and to the promise that He will have such a dwelling-place in Israel, and in fact in Judah. Regarded spiritually, i.e., essentially, apart from the accidental mode of appearing, the Temple upon Zion is as eternal as the kingship upon Zion with which the Psalm closes. The election of David gives its impress to the history of salvation even on into eternity. It is genuinely Asaphic that it is so designedly portrayed how the shepherd of the flock of Jesse (Isai) became the shepherd of the flock of Jahve, who was not to pasture old and young in Israel with the same care and tenderness as the ewe-lambs after which he went (עלות as in Genesis 33:13, and רעה ב, cf. 1 Samuel 16:11; 1 Samuel 17:34, like משׁל בּ and the like). The poet is also able already to glory that he has fulfilled this vocation with a pure heart and with an intelligent mastery. And with this he closes.

From the decease of David lyric and prophecy are retrospectively and prospectively turned towards David.

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