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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 80



Verse 1

Psalms 80:1 « To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph. » Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest [between] the cherubims, shine forth.

Upon Shoshannim-Eduth] Which some render the lilies of the testimony, and interpret of the Jewish polity or commonwealth, called by Josephus θεοκρατεια, that is, a God-government. Kimchi saith that Shoshannim-Eduth is species toni nobis hodie ignota, a kind of musical strain not known to us today.

Ver. 1. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel] Thou that feedest thy people, watchest over them, defendest, redeemest, reducest them; thou that handlest them, curest them, washest them, drivest them as they are able to go, carryest them in thy bosom, doest all the offices of a good shepherd for them. In calling upon God it is wisdom to make choice of fit appellations and attributes, such as may strengthen our faith and increase our fervour.

Thou that leadest Joseph] Joseph is named quia nobilis inter fratres, saith Austin; the first birthright was taken from Reuben, and given to Joseph, 1 Chronicles 5:1, hence he is put for the whole people.

Thou that dwellest between (or sittest upon) the cherubims] Those winged creatures that covered the mercy seat, the ark, and the two tables of the law within it; and all, to set forth Christ covering the curses of the law, and graciously dwelling with the sons of men, to the admiration of angels.

Shine forth] Show thy power in saving thy people and punishing their enemies. Shine as the sun doth in his strength.

Verse 2

Psalms 80:2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come [and] save us.

Ver. 2. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh] These three tribes went next after the ark, when it removed, Numbers 2:18-24; Numbers 10:22-24

Stir up thy strength] Which seemeth at present to lie dormant.

Verse 3

Psalms 80:3 Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Ver. 3. Turn us again] Turn again our captivity, or show thyself reconciled unto us in Christ, who is here called the face of God, as some conceive.

Verse 4

Psalms 80:4 O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?

Ver. 4. O Lord God of hosts] Iehova bellipotens Deus. God hath his upper and nether forces, as his horse and foot, ready pressed, say the Rabbis.

How long wilt thou be angry] Heb. wilt thou smoke? As angry people seem to send out smoke at their nostrils.

Against the prayer of thy people] This is a sore affliction to the saints, that their prayers seem to be ineffectual.

Verse 5

Psalms 80:5 Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

Ver. 5. Thou feedest them with the bread of tears] Panibus fletu intinctis (Chald.). It is as ordinary with them to weep as it is with men to eat and drink (Kimchi).

And givest them tears to drink in great measure] Trientales they are Tricongii in a sense, to their sorrow. They are afflicted even to utmost satiety. See Psalms 42:3. Holy Bradford oft mused at his meal, having his hat over his eyes, from whence came commonly plenty of tears dropping on his trencher (Acts aud Mon. 1457).

Verse 6

Psalms 80:6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Ver. 6. Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours] We have as many enemies as neighbours, all striving to enslave us. We are crushed between them as corn is between millstones.

And our enemies laugh among themselves] Make them merry in our misery, revel in our ruins.

Verse 7

Psalms 80:7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Ver. 7. Turn us again, O God of hosts] See Psalms 80:3, and observe that there it was only, "Turn us again, O God," here, "O God of hosts," and Psalms 80:19, "O Lord God of hosts." As the bird by much waving gathereth wind under the wing, and mounteth higher; so doth faith in prayer, viresque acquirit eundo.

Verse 8

Psalms 80:8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

Ver. 8. Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt] The Church is oft set forth by this similitude. The Rabbis say that Solomon made a vine of gold in the temple. Athenaeus telleth us that the kings of Persia sat under a golden vine having bunches of smaragds and other stately stones. All this was nothing to God’s vine, that plant of renown, brought out of Egypt (where it got no good, Ezekiel 34:29; Ezekiel 20:8), and set in a better soil.

Verse 9

Psalms 80:9 Thou preparedst [room] before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

Ver. 9. Thou preparedst room before it] Espying out a fit place to plant it in, Ezekiel 20:6, and making clean work before it, as some render the words ( Expurgasti coram ea), by pulling up those bad and barren weeds, the Canaanites, that might have hindered its growth.

And didst cause it to take deep root] viz. By thy digging, dressing, watering, and mounding it; as of all possessions, none requireth greater care than that of vineyards, saith Care; and there is a peculiar affection in men toward the vine above all trees, as another observeth.

Verse 10

Psalms 80:10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof [were like] the goodly cedars.

Ver. 10. The hills were covered, &c.] The Israelites grew amain in wealth, power, and multitude of men; witness their huge armies and valiant acts, though the country was not above 200 miles long, and 50 miles broad.

Verse 11

Psalms 80:11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

Ver. 11. She sent out her boughs unto the sea] The midland sea.

And her branches unto the river] Euphrates. This was first done in David’s days.

Verse 12

Psalms 80:12 Why hast thou [then] broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

Ver. 12. Why hast thou then broken down her hedges?] i.e. Taken away thy mighty hand hitherto held over her. This befell not till they degenerated into a strange vine, Jeremiah 2:21, and brought forth wild grapes, Isaiah 5:4.

Verse 13

Psalms 80:13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

Ver. 13. The boar out of the wood] All swine (but wild ones especially) are vitibus inimici, saith Theodoret, destructions to vines. And Melancthon thinks that therefore God forbad the Jews to eat swine’s flesh, Eo quod sues omnia sursum deorsum vertant vastentque, because they turn up all, rooting things up by the roots, as the word here signifieth, Exvineavit, ελυμηνατο αυτην (Sept.). Austin understands it of Vespasian, others of Antiochus, or Antichrist.

And the wild beast] The soldiers, 2 Chronicles 25:18.

Verse 14

Psalms 80:14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;

Ver. 14. Visit this vine] Some understand it of Christ’s incarnation, Luke 1:78.

Verse 15

Psalms 80:15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch [that] thou madest strong for thyself.

Ver. 15. And the vineyard] Vitiarium, surculum, plantulam.

Verse 16

Psalms 80:16 [It is] burned with fire, [it is] cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

Ver. 16. They perish] Scilicet palmites, et propagines, Psalms 80:10-11.

Verse 17

Psalms 80:17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man [whom] thou madest strong for thyself.

Ver. 17. The man of thy right hand] i.e. Israel, or the Messiah.

Verse 18

Psalms 80:18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

Ver. 18. So will not we go back] A promise of gratitude, which is usually annexed to prayers for deliverance.

Verse 19

Psalms 80:19 Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Ver. 19. Turn us again] See Psalms 80:7. Prayers are like arrows of deliverance, which would be multiplied and enlarged, 2 Kings 13:17.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

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