Psalms 81


     Ps 81:1-16. Gittith—(See on Ps 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.

     1. our strength— (Ps 38:7).

     2. unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental.

     3. the new moon—or the month.

      the time appointed—(Compare Pr 7:20).

     5. a testimony—The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people.

      Joseph—for Israel (Ps 80:1).

      went out through—or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus.

      I heard—change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.

      language—literally, "lip" (Ps 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (De 28:49).

     6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.

     7. secret place—the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Ex 14:24).

      proved thee— (Ps 7:10; 17:3) —tested their faith by the miracle.

     8. (Compare Ps 50:7). The reproof follows to Ps 81:12.

      if thou wilt hearken—He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Ps 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings.

     11, 12. They failed, and He gave them up to their own desires and hardness of heart (De 29:18; Pr 1:30; Ro 11:25).

     13-16. Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, "should have," "would have," &c., are better, "should" and "would" expressing God's intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.

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