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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 77:1

 

 

My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will hear me.

Adam Clarke Commentary

I cried unto God - The repetition here marks the earnestness of the psalmist's soul; and the word voice shows that the Psalm was not the issue of private meditation, but of deep mental trouble, which forced him to speak his griefs aloud.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-77.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I cried unto God with my voice - That is, he cried or prayed audibly. It was not mere mental prayer. See the notes at Psalm 3:4.

Even unto God with my voice - The repetition here is emphatic. The idea is that it was an earnest or fervent cry. Compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 12:8.

And he gave ear unto me - See Psalm 5:1, note; Psalm 17:6, note.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-77.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 77

THE PROBLEM OF HANDLING DOUBT IN DIFFICULT TIMES

The big factor in this psalm is the problem of doubt. It appears to us that Dummelow's analysis of this psalm is as good as any. And from that understanding of it, it is not hard to figure out why the psalmist is almost overcome with doubt.

"Here we have the psalmist's experience of personal perplexity and darkness, caused by the contemplation of Israel's national distress. It may be dated approximately in the time of the exile: (1) Psalms 77:1-3 describe the psalmist's trouble, in which prayer has brought no comfort. (2) Psalms 77:4-9 tell how his remembrance of a brighter past suggests that perhaps God has now cast off his people forever. (3) In Psalms 77:10-20, he turns for comfort to the story of God's wondrous works of old, such as (a) the deliverance of Israel from Egypt (Psalms 77:15); (b) the marvelous miracle of the Red Sea crossing (Psalms 77:16-19); and (c) God's guidance of Israel through the wilderness experiences (Psalms 77:20)."[1]

The terrible doubt and sorrow that depressed God's faithful remnant among the notoriously apostate people of Israel in the period ending in their Babylonian captivity must indeed have reached epic proportions. The reprobate nation fully deserved to be cut off forever, and their godless kingdom cried out to heaven for its destruction.

Of course, God did what God had to do. He liquidated the kingdom and sent the residue of it to Babylon, where, through generations of hardship, the righteous remnant were given the privilege of re-focusing their love, not upon an earthly state, but upon the godly lives required in those who really desired to be a part of God's "chosen people."

It was no slackening of God's love for his people that brought about the traumatic experience of the exile. It was required by the gross wickedness of the vast majority of racial Israel. It was impossible for the righteous minority to understand why things were everywhere turning into unqualified disaster and destruction for national Israel, hence, the terrible doubt of the psalmist expressed here.

Some scholars understand this psalm as a "national lament,"[2] and others think of it as the lament of an individual; but the simple truth seems to be that it is indeed the lament of an individual brought about by the terrible fate of the kingdom which was in the process of being providentially destroyed.

Psalms 77:1-3

DESCRIPTION OF THE PSALMIST'S CONDITION

"I will cry unto God with my voice,

Even unto God with my voice; and he will give ear unto me.

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord:

My hand was stretched out in the night, and slacked not;

My soul refused to be comforted.

I remember God, and am disquieted:

I complain, and my spirit is overwhelmed.

(Selah)"

One may feel nothing but sympathetic concern for all of God's children who suffered the incredible agony of living through all of the sorrows that fell upon national Israel during those days leading up to the captivity. It was indeed a time of darkness and doubt for all of them.

"I sought the Lord" (Psalms 77:2) ... "My soul refused to be comforted" (Psalms 77:2) ... "I remember God ... am disquieted ... and my spirit is overwhelmed" (Psalms 77:3). The trouble was due to the cessation of God's blessings upon national Israel in the manner that he had once so gloriously done. The impossibility was not with God; it was with Israel; their sins and rebellion against the Lord had finally reached a climax beyond which God was determined to "cut them off." The precious saints who still loved the Lord still prayed for the beloved nation; but God could no longer answer such prayers. Given the lack of understanding on the part of the saints, and the rapidly worsening conditions afflicting the nation, and their doubt is easily understood.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-77.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I cried unto God with my voice,.... Which is to be understood of prayer, and that vocal, and which is importunate and fervent, being made in distress; see Psalm 3:4, or "my voice was unto God"F8קולי אל אלהים "vox mea ad Deum", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, "fertur", Junius & Tremellius; "erat", Cocceius. , "and I cried"; it was directed to him, and expressed in a very loud and clamorous way:

even unto God with my voice; or "my voice was unto God"; which is repeated to show that he prayed again and again, with great eagerness and earnestness, his case being a very afflicted one:

and he gave ear unto me; his prayer was not without success; God is a God hearing and answering prayer, according to his promise, Psalm 50:15.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-77.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

"To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph." I cried unto God with my a voice, [even] unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

(a) The prophet teaches us by his example to flee to God for help in our necessities.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-77.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalm 77:1-20. To Jeduthun - (See on Psalm 39:1, title). In a time of great affliction, when ready to despair, the Psalmist derives relief from calling to mind God‘s former and wonderful works of delivering power and grace.

expresses the purport of the Psalm.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-77.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.My voice came to God, and I cried. This is not a mere complaint, as some interpreters explain it, denoting the surprise which the people of God felt in finding that he who hitherto had been accustomed to grant their requests shut his ears to them, and was called upon in vain. It appears more probable that the prophet either speaks of the present feeling of his mind, or else calls to remembrance how he had experienced that God was inclined and ready to hear his prayers. There can be no doubt that he describes the greatness of the sorrow with which he was afflicted; and, in nay opinion, he denotes a continued act both by the past and the future tenses of the verbs. In the first place, he declares that he did not foolishly rend the air with his cries, like many who pour forth bitter cries without measure and at random under their sorrows; but that he addressed his speech to God when necessity constrained him to cry. The copula and, which is joined to the verb cried, should be resolved into the adverb of time when, in this way, When I cried my voice came to God At the same time, he also shows, that although he had been constrained often to reiterate his cries, he had not given over persevering in prayer. What is added immediately after is intended for the confirmation of his faith: And he heard me. The copula and, as in many other places, is here put instead of the causal adverb for. The meaning is, that he encouraged himself to cry to God, from the consideration that it was God’s usual manner to show his favor and mercy towards him.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-77.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Jeduthun

(See Scofield "Psalms 39:1").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Psalms 77:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/psalms-77.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 77:1 « To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph. » I cried unto God with my voice, [even] unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

A Psalm of Asaph] Or, for Asaph; David’s melancholy psalm some call it, made by him when he was in grievous affliction and desertion. Out of which he seeketh to wind by earnest prayer, by deep meditation upon God’s former favours and unchangeable nature; and, lastly, by calling to mind God’s wondrous works of old, both in proving and in preserving his Church and chosen.

Ver. 1. I cried unto God with my voice, &c.] I prayed instantly and constantly, and sped accordingly. No faithful prayer is ineffectual.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-77.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 77.

The Psalmist sheweth what fierce combat he had with diffidence; and the victory which he had by the consideration of God's great and gracious works.

To the chief musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.

Title. מזמור ףּלאס ידותון על למנצח lamnatseach al ieduthun leasaph mizmor.] Whoever was the author of this psalm, he was manifestly under a great dejection of mind when he penned it. He speaks of himself as deserted of God, and given up to be a prey to the sorrows of his own disturbed and tormented heart, see Psalms 77:2-3. What the particular grief was which gave rise to this mournful complaint, does not appear; but, whatever it was, the sting of it lay in this, that the Psalmist apprehended himself to be forsaken of God, and, without doubt, this is of all afflictions the most insupportable; a grief which no medicine can reach, which all the powers of reason cannot assist: for the soul refuses to be comforted: that the Psalmist speaks of the sorrows of a religious well-disposed heart, is manifest from the description that he gives of his conduct and behaviour under his distress. He was sorely troubled; but in the day of his trouble he sought the Lord. He was afflicted, but in his affliction he remembered God, Psalms 77:3. Whatever doubts he entertained as to his own condition, and the favour of God towards him, yet of the being, the power, and wisdom of God, he never doubted: this faith, which in his utmost extremity he held fast, proved to be his sheet-anchor, and saved him from the shipwreck, which the storms and tempests raised in his own breast seemed to threaten. See Bishop Sherlock's Discourses, vol. 2: p. 229 and the note on the last verse.

Psalms 77:1. I cried, &c.— My voice was unto God, and I cried: my voice was unto God, &c.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-77.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The church is here evidently under exercises. Some mighty foes come against her, and her resource can only be found in her God. The Psalmist thus speaks of his confidence, confesses that God's ways are dark and mysterious, but a happy end shall be to all his appointments.

To the chief musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.

Psalms 77:1

I venture here, as in many former instances, to believe that, under the spirit of prophecy, the man of God is particularly describing His cries and supplications, who, in the days of his flesh, we know, offered them up, and, though a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8.


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Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-77.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PSALM 77

THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm was composed upon the occasion of some sore and long calamity of God’s people; either the Babylonish captivity, or some other.

Either that Asaph who lived and prophesied in David’s time; or one of his successors long after him, called, as was usual, by his progenitor’s name.

The prophet showeth what great striving and combat (though by prayer and watching) he had with diffidence, Psalms 77:1-9. By the consideration of God’s wonderful works and former mercies, he is raised and strengthened, Psalms 77:10-20.

This verse seems to contain the sum of the whole Psalm, consisting of two parts, to wit, his earnest cry to God in his deep distress; and God’s gracious return to his prayers, by supporting him under them, and giving him assurance of a good issue out of them; of both which he speaks more distinctly and particularly, of the first from Psalms 77:2-10, of the latter thence to the end.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-77.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. I cried unto God— “My distresses were great, and I had none but God to go to.”Hammond.

He gave ear unto me—The rabbinical construction takes the verb as a peculiar form of the imperative, (hear thou me,) which suits better the feelings of the psalmist as not having yet received the answer to prayer. The complaint goes on to Psalms 77:9, and the subsequent part of the psalm describes only the triumph of faith, not the formal fulfilment of his request. Compare Habakkuk 3:17-19


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-77.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 77:1. I cried unto God, &c. — This verse seems to contain the sum of the whole Psalm, consisting of two parts, namely, his earnest cry to God in his deep distress, and God’s gracious answer to his prayers, by supporting him under his troubles, and giving him assurance of a good issue out of them; of both which he speaks distinctly and particularly as he proceeds in the Psalm.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/psalms-77.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Asaph. David composed this, to declare the rights of Juda to the throne, in preference to the tribe of Ephraim, (Lyranus) which had kept possession of the ark a long time; which was henceforth to be on Mount Sion. (Haydock) --- It seems to relate to the times of Asa, who reunited several of the other tribes to his dominion, (2 Paralipomenon xv. 8.; Calmet) and contains a moral instruction, delivered in the person of Christ, (ver. 2.; Eusebius; Berthier) and submitted to the attentive consideration of the faithful. (Worthington) --- Law. Given to Moses, (Berthier) and sanctioned by the divine authority. (Haydock) --- The law, and the people were not David's, but God's, in whose name he speaks. (St. Gregory in Job ii.) (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-77.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

To the chief Musician. See App-64.

to Jeduthun. See App-65.

Title. A Psalm. Hebrew. mizmor. App-65.

of Asaph = for Asaph. The sixth of the twelve Asaph Psalms. App-63.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

He gave ear. Inf. = "to give ear". Therefore supply Ellipsis (App-6): "He [condescended] to give ear".


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-77.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.

Psalms 77:1-20.-Complaint under desertion by God; past deliverances remembered, aggravate present pain (Psalms 77:1-3); cause of grief, God holds His eyes sleepless even at night; he can scarcely speak for grief, and can only ask, Will the Lord cast off forever? (Psalms 77:4-9;) faith rises above infirmity; he calls to mind God's past wonders, as the deliverance at the Red Sea, and His leading Israel like a flock: the remembrance no longer aggravates his pain, but assures of deliverance (Psalms 77:10-20). Habakkuk 3:1-19 seems derived from this psalm in part. So this psalm cannot be later than Josiah's reign, when Habakkuk lived. The carrying away of the Ten tribes, and the prospect of Judah sharing a like fate, was probably the cause of the Psalmist's grief. Hence, he alludes to the deliverance out of Egyptian bondage, now that a like bondage existed in part, and was in part impending.

On the Title, Jeduthun, see note on title, Psalms 39:1-13; Psalms 62:1-12.

I cried unto God with my voice ... and he gave ear unto me. He anticipates the result at the beginning, giving at one glance a view of the whole psalm. The Hebrew is literally 'My voice to God! and I will cry [the final Hebrew character, he (h), implies effort] ... and by hearing unto me.' As the first verse is joined with the second and third in the strophe, and does not stand by itself as an introduction, it is perhaps better to translate, 'My voice (shall be directed) to God, and I will cry ... and may He hear me!'


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-77.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) I cried . . .—Better, following the Hebrew literally,

“My voice to God—and let me cry;

My voice to God—and He hears me.”

The Authorised Version has followed the LXX. and Vulg. in neglecting the striking changes in mood running through this psalm. Soliloquy and narrative alternate as the poet’s mood impels him—now to give vent to his feelings in sobs and cries, now to analyse and describe them.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-77.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
A. M. cir. 3463. B.C. cir. 541. (Title.) Jeduthun
39:1; 62:1; *titles; 1 Chronicles 16:41,42; 25:3,6
A Psalm
This Psalm is allowed by the best judges to have been written during the Babylonian captivity.
of Asaph
or, for Asaph.
50:1; *title
I cried
3:4; 34:6; 55:16,17; 142:1-3
gave
116:1,2

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 77:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-77.html.

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