corner graphic

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 80:4

 

 

O LORD God of hosts, How long will You be angry with the prayer of Your people?

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

O Lord God of hosts - Yahweh, God of armies. That is either

(a) the God who rules among the hosts of heaven - the inhabitants of that holy world; or

(b) God of the hosts of the sky - the worlds above - the stars, that seem marshalled as hosts or armies, and that are led forth each night with such order and grandeur; or

(c) God of the hosts on earth - the armies that are mustered for war. The phrase is one which is often applied to God. See the notes at Psalm 24:10; and at Isaiah 1:24.

How long wilt thou be angry - Margin, as in Hebrew, wilt thou smoke. The allusion is derived from the comparison of anger with fire. See the notes at Psalm 74:1.

Against the prayer of thy people - That is, Thou dost not answer their prayer; thou seemest to be angry against them even when they pray; or in the act of calling upon thee. The earnest inquiry here is, how long this was to continue. It seemed as if it would never end. Compare the notes at Psalm 77:7-9.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-80.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Psalms 80:4

O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of Thy people?

God’s anger

The Lord God of hosts is not properly a title of creation, but of providence. All creatures have their existence from God as their Maker; but so have they also their order from Him as their Governor. So that here, God would be respected, not as a creator, but as a general. His anger, therefore, seems so much the more fearful, as it is presented to us under so great a title, “The Lord God of hosts is angry.” They talk of Tamerlane, that he could daunt his enemies with the very look of his countenance. Oh! then what terror dwells in the countenance of the offended God!

I. God may be angry; and sin the cause of His anger. He hath scourged some in very mercy, till they have smarted under His rod (Job 6:4; Psalms 88:15-16). If He will do thus much in love, what shall be the terrors of His wrath? If the sun were wanting, it would be night for all the stare; and if God frown upon a man, for all the glittering honours of this world, he sits in the shadow of death. Thus terrible is the anger of God; now, what is He angry withal but sin? That is the perpetual make-bate between God and us; the fuel of the fire of His indignation (Isaiah 59:2; Isaiah 63:10).

II. God may be long angry. It is some favour when we have the respite to cry, “How long, Lord, wilt thou be angry with us?” There is some hope of remedy when we once complain of our sickness. Yet God may be long angry, and long continue sensible testimonies of His anger (Psalms 95:10). But how, then, doth the prophet say “that he retaineth not anger”? Well enough; for He never retaineth it one moment longer than we retain the cause of it. So soon as we ever cease sinning against Him, He ceaseth to be angry with us.

III. God may be angry with the whole people. The universality of sin calls for the universality of repentance, or else it will provoke God’s anger to strike us with universal judgments. If the whole people be guilty, the whole people must fall to deprecation. Such was the Ninevite’s repentance, “every man turning from his evil ways.”

IV. God may be angry with His own people. Yea, their sins anger Him most of all, because, together with wickedness, there is unkindness. As dearly as He loves them, their sins may provoke Him. Our interest in God is so far from excusing our iniquities, that it aggravates them. The nearer we are to Him, the nearer do our offences torch Him; as a man more takes to heart a discourtesy done by a friend than a great injury by a stranger.

V. God may be angry with His people that prayeth.

1. There may be infirmities enough in our very prayers to make them unacceptable.

2. But such is the mercy of our God, that He will wink at many infirmities in our devotions, and will not reject the prayer of an honest heart because of some weakness in the petitioner. It must be a greater cause than all this that makes God angry at our prayers. In general, it is sin (John 9:31; Psalms 66:18; Isaiah 1:15). God will have none of those petitions that are presented to Him with bloody hands.

3. In particular, it is the hypocrisy of sin, or the sin of hypocrisy, that makes God so angry with our prayers. (T. Adams.)

Obstructed prayer

I. In what sense God may be said to be angry with our prayers.

1. When He denies our requests.

2. When He delays His answers.

3. When He bestows blessings under a different form, and in a different manner from what we expected.

II. Some of the causes for this.

1. Our desires may be, and no doubt often are, improper.

2. Desires, not in themselves improper, may be unsuitable to us, such as would not, if granted, become our case or circumstances.

3. Prayers may be ill-timed.

4. They may be polluted and spoiled by sins.

5. They may be incompatible with the plans of infinite wisdom.

III. Improvement.

1. Instead of restraining prayer, this should make us more importunate.

2. Though we should not give over praying, we ought to give over sinning.

3. Acquiesce in all the Divine proceedings.

4. Be thankful that whatever favours God may see fit to withhold or suspend, He bestows far more than we have deserved. (Essex Remembrancer.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Psalms 80:4". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/psalms-80.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

O Lord God of hosts,.... Aben Ezra and Kimchi observe, that the word "Elohe" is here understood, and the words to be read, "O Lord God, the God of hosts"; of the armies above and below, against whom there is no standing, nor any before him when he is angry:

how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people? which must be put up in a wrong manner, in a very cold and lukewarm way, without faith and love, and with wrath and doubting; or otherwise God is not angry with, nor sets himself against the prayer of his people; nor does he despise, but is highly delighted with it: or how long wilt thou be angry with thy people, and continue the tokens of thy displeasure, though they pray, and keep praying, unto thee? it is in the Hebrew text, "how long wilt thou smokeF13עשנת "fumabis", Pagninus, Vatablus; "fumaturus es", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "fumasti", Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis, & Ainsworth. at the prayer of thy people?" that is, cause thine anger to smoke at it; in which it is thought there is an allusion to the smoke of the incense, to which prayer is compared; see Psalm 141:2, and denotes the acceptance of it with God through the mediation of Christ; but here his displicency at it, not being offered up through him, and by faith in him; such were the prayers of the Pharisees, Matthew 6:5.


Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-80.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be d angry against the prayer of thy people?

(d) The faithful fear God's anger, when they perceive that their prayers are not heard immediately.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-80.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

be angry — (Compare Margin.)


Copyright Statement
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 80:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-80.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

4O Jehovah, God of Hosts! God having in the Scriptures freely promised, and so often assured us, that the prayers of his people will not be disappointed, it may excite our surprise to find the faithful here alleging before him, that he continues unpacified, although they betake themselves to him. They complain not only that they are not heard, but also that he is angry, when they call upon him; as if he purposely rejected this religious service. Where, then, it may be said, is that promise recorded in Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call I will answer?” To this I would answer, That as God, by delaying to succor his people, tries their patience, the prophet, speaking according to the judgment of the flesh, represents him as deaf to their prayers. Not that it is proper for those who pray to rest in this opinion, which would throw an insuperable obstacle in their way to the throne of grace. It rather becomes them to strive to cherish, in opposition to it, the judgment of faith; and to penetrate even into heaven, where they may behold a hidden salvation. But still God permits them, the more effectually to disburden their minds, to tell him of the cares, anxieties, griefs, and fears, with which they are distressed. In the mention here made of the smoke of God’s wrath, there appears to be an implicit allusion to the incense which was used in the sacrifices under the law. The smoke of the incense served to purify the air; but the Israelites complain that the heavens were so obscured by a different smoke, that their sighs could not come up to God.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-80.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-80.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 80:4. How long wilt thou be angry? &c.— How long dost thou preserve thy wrath during the prayer of thy people? Mudge.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-80.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Thou art so far from answering our prayers whereby we seek to appease thee, that by thy continuance and increase of our miseries thou seemest to be the more incensed against us by them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-80.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. Angry against the prayer of thy people—Hebrew, smoke against the “prayer.” So Psalms 74:1. An intensive form of representing anger or displeasure. As the judgment was not abated, notwithstanding the “prayer” of his “people,” the “prayer” seemed repulsed by the divine displeasure.

Lamentations 3:8; Habakkuk 1:2


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-80.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

New moon of Tisri, Leviticus xxiii. 24. --- Noted. Hebrew, "in the obscure, in the day of our solemnity." (Calmet) --- Protestants, "in the time appointed, on our solemn feast-day." Cose may denote "obscure or appointed;" (St. Jerome) "in the middle of the month;" (Haydock) which alludes to the feast of tabernacles, when the Jews dwelt under the shade of tents, made of branches. This was esteemed "the most holy and greatest" of their festivals. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] viii. 2.) (Numbers xxix. 12., and Proverbs vii. 20.) (Calmet) --- It may also be explained of the new moon of Tisri, (Menochius) when the people were admonished of the beginning of the civil year, or of the three great festivals to be then celebrated, perhaps (Haydock) in memory of the world's creation, at that season. (Berthier) --- How carefully ought we not, therefore, to celebrate the Christian holidays, which are instituted to excite our gratitude for greater benefits! (Haydock) --- The days of the new moons (Numbers xxviii. 11.) were consecrated, to acknowledge God's constant providence; and that of Tisri in particular, (Numbers xxix. 1.) to thank him for the preservation of Isaac, Genesis xxii. 18. (Worthington) --- But the Lord's day reminds us not only of the world's creation, but also of its redemption, &c., Romans iv. 25. (Berthier)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-80.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

O LORD God of hosts. Hebrew. Jehovah.Elohim Zebaioth. See note on 1 Samuel 1:3. Not common in the Psalms, but occurring in Psalms 59:6 and Psalms 84:8.

How long . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-80.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry - literally, 'dost thou smoke?' Compare Psalms 18:8; Psalms 74:1; Deuteronomy 29:20. Smoke is the attendant of fire; the consuming fire of God's vengeance. Smoke was the symbol of prayer, and of the burnt offering which expressed self-dedication (Psalms 141:2; Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3-4; Isaiah 6:4). The smoke of prayer should smother the fire of Gods wrath (Leviticus 16:13). But now, alas! God opposes the smoke of His anger to the smoke of prayer (Hengstenberg). The title LORD-Hebrew, Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) - expresses His covenant relation to Israel as His people's "Shepherd" (Psalms 80:1). "God of hosts" expresses the infinitude of His resources, His omnipotence as the God that dwells between the cherubims (Psalms 80:1).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-80.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) How long wilt thou be angry?—Literally, until when hast thou fumed? A pregnant construction combining two clauses. Thou hast been long angry; how long wilt thou continue to be angry? (Comp. Psalms 13:2, Note, and Exodus 10:3.) Others say the preterite here has the sense of a future perfect, which comes to the same thing: “How long wilt thou have fumed? (See Müller’s Syntax, § i. 3, rem. (a), Prof. Robertson’s trans.)

Against the prayer.—Literally, in, i.e., during the prayer. The smoke of the Divine anger is, perhaps, conceived of as a cloud through which the prayer (often symbolised by an ascending incense) cannot penetrate.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-80.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
how long
85:5; Isaiah 58:2,3,6-9; Lamentations 3:44; Matthew 15:22-28; Luke 18:1-8
be angry
Heb. smoke.
74:1; Deuteronomy 29:20

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 80:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-80.html.

To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology