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Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
INTRODUCTION TO Psalm 80
To the chief Musician upon Shoshannimeduth, A Psalm of Asaph. Of the word "shoshannim", see Gill on Psalm 45:1, and of "shushaneduth", see Gill on Psalm 60:1 which seems to be the same with this here, and is thought by some to be the name of a musical instrument now unknown, as Kimchi and Ben Melech; though these two words are not to be read together as one, for there is a dividing accent on "shoshannim", and which may be rendered "concerning the lilies" (a); and so may denote the subject matter of the psalm, or respect the people of God, comparable to lilies for their beauty, purity, and holiness in Christ, Sol 6:2, and to lilies among thorns, Sol 2:2, being in great afflictions and persecutions, as appears from Psalm 80:5, the word "eduth" is to be read not along with "shoshannim", but with what follows, thus, "Eduth unto Asaph a psalm"; some render the word "eduth" an ornament or glory, as R. Marinus in Aben Ezra; and take the sense to be, that the psalm was a glorious one, and desirable to Asaph; but it rather signifies a testimony, and is by the Targum interpreted of the testimony of the law; but it is rather to be understood of the testimony of the Gospel, which is the testimony of Christ, and bears witness of him; and there is a testimony of him in this psalm, Psalm 80:17, and there seem to be in it many breathings after his coming and appearance in the flesh. Some take this psalm to be of the same argument with the foregoing, and think it refers to the destruction of the Jews, the two tribes, by the Chaldeans; so Theodoret; but there is no mention made of the temple, nor of Jerusalem, as in the preceding psalm; and besides, why should Manasseh and Ephraim be mentioned? wherefore others are of opinion that it has regard to the captivity of the ten tribes by Salmaneser; but then it may be asked, why is Benjamin taken notice of, which had no concern in the affliction? this has led others to conclude that it respects some time of affliction before either of these captivities, or between them both; and it may be applied to any affliction of the people of God in any age or period of time; and no doubt was written by Asaph, or by David, and put into his hands before the distress was, under a spirit of prophecy. Kimchi interprets it of the present captivity of the Jews, and Jarchi of their three captivities.
(a) "super liliis", Tigurine version, Cocceius; "pro liliis", Musculus.
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.
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,.... The title of a shepherd for the most part belongs to the Messiah, and who is expressly called the Shepherd and stone of Israel, as distinct from the God of Jacob, Genesis 49:24 and may be so called because he was to be, and was of Israel, according to the flesh, and sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and appointed by his Father as a Shepherd over them; and it is on the mountains of Israel he provides a good fold, and pasture for his sheep, Romans 9:4 and it is for the spiritual Israel, his sheep, his elect, both among Jews and Gentiles, for whom he laid down his life; by which it appears that he is the good Shepherd, as he also is the great, the chief, the only one; though this character also may be given, and agrees unto God the Father, who rules, and governs, and feeds his people, his spiritual Israel, as a shepherd his flock; and who is addressed by his people, and is desired to "give ear" to their cries and prayers in their affliction and distress: God has an ear to hear his people's prayers, though sometimes they think he does not hear them; but he not only hears, but answers sooner or later, and in his own way; and the consideration of his character as a shepherd may be an encouragement to their faith, that he will hear, and will not withhold any good thing from them, Psalm 23:1.
thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; the posterity of Joseph, the same with Israel, the spiritual Israel, who are like a flock of sheep, a separate people, distinguished by the grace of God, and purchased by the blood of Christ; and as there is but one Shepherd, so one fold, and one flock, and that but a little one neither; and which is sometimes called a flock of slaughter, because exposed to the rage and fury of men; yet a beautiful one in the eye of Christ, which he undertook to feed: and this he leads on gently and softly, gradually, and proportionate to their strength, or as they are able to bear; he leads in and out, and they find pasture; he leads them out of their former state and condition, in which he finds them, out of the pastures of sin and self-righteousness into the green pastures of his love, grace, word, and ordinances:
thou that dwellest between the cherubim; which were over the mercy seat, and were either emblems of angels, among whom Jehovah dwells, and is surrounded by them; by whom Christ was ministered to on earth, and now in heaven, and among whom he was when he ascended thither, and where they are subject to him: or of the two Testaments, which look to Christ, the mercy seat, and agree with each other in their testimony of him, and in other things; and where these are truly opened and explained, there the Lord dwells: or rather of the saints of both dispensations, who look to Christ alone for salvation, and expect to be saved by his grace; are both partakers of it, as they will be of the same glory; and among these the Lord dwells as in his temple; though it seems best of all to consider them as emblems of Gospel ministers, since Ezekiel's four living creatures are the "cherubim", Ezekiel 10:20, and these the same with John's four beasts, or living creatures, who were certainly men, being redeemed by the blood of Christ; and were ministers, being distinguished from the four and twenty elders, Revelation 4:6 and among these the Lord dwells, and with them he has promised his presence shall be unto the end of the world:
shine forth; either God the Father, who dwelt between the cherubim, over the mercy seat, who sits upon a throne of grace, from whence he communes with his people and communicates to them; and then the request is, that he would shine forth in the perfections of his nature, as he has done in his Son, the brightness of his glory, and in redemption and salvation by him, where they are all illustriously displayed; and particularly in his lovingkindness through him, which has appeared and shone forth in the mission of Christ, and in giving him up for us all; and by granting his gracious presence unto his people in Zion, in his house and ordinances; see Psalm 1:2, or the Messiah, the Shepherd of Israel, and the Leader of his flock, and under whom the living creatures and cherubim are, Ezekiel 1:26, that he would shine forth in human nature; that this bright morning star would appear; that the dayspring from on high would visit men, and that the sun of righteousness would arise with healing in his wings; and that the glorious light of his Gospel would break forth, and the grace of God, the doctrine of it, appear and shine out unto all men, Jews and Gentiles.
2Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.
Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh, stir up thy strength,.... Which Christ did in the public ministry of the word, speaking as one having authority, and not as the Scribes and Pharisees; and in the performance of miracles, openly, and in the sight of all; and in his sufferings and death for the salvation of his people; in which he appeared to be the mighty God, travelling in the greatness of his strength, and mighty to save. These tribes design all Israel, before whom the above things were done; and the allusion is to these three tribes marching immediately after the Kohathites, who carried the ark on their shoulders in journeying, Numbers 2:17 which is called the Lord's strength, and the ark of his strength, Psalm 78:61. The Targum in the king's Bible reads, to the children of Ephraim, &c. reading instead of see the Masorah, and Proverbs 4:3,
and come and save us; come from heaven to earth, not by change of place, but by assumption of nature; this was promised and expected, and is here prayed for; Christ is now come in the flesh, which to deny is antichristian; and his end in coming was to save his people from their sins, from the curse and condemnation of the law, and wrath to come; and as he came on this errand, he is become the author of eternal salvation, in working out which he has shown his great strength.
3Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Turn us again, O God,.... From our captivity, as the Targum, into our own land; or return us backsliding sinners to thyself by repentance; turn us, and we shall be turned; for the prayer shows it was not in their power, but must be effected by the grace of God; or restore our souls, which have been wandering, and them to their former flourishing and comfortable condition:
and cause thy face to shine; grant thy gracious presence, lift up the light of thy countenance; favour with the manifestations of thyself, the enjoyment of thee, and communion with thee through Christ; indulge us with the discoveries of thy love, the joys of salvation, the comforts of the Spirit, and larger measures of grace:
and we shall be saved; be in a very happy and comfortable condition; see Psalm 4:6.
4O LORD God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
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 smoke (m) 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.
(m) "fumabis", Pagninus, Vatablus; "fumaturus es", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "fumasti", Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis, & Ainsworth.
5Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears,.... With tears instead of bread, having none to eat; or their bread is mingled with their tears, "dipped" therein, as the Targum; such was their constant grief, and the occasion of it, that they could not cease from tears while they were eating their meals, and so ate them with them (n):
and givest them tears to drink in great measure; or the wine of tears "three fold", as the Targum. Jarchi interprets it of the captivity of Babylon, which was the third part of the two hundred and ten years of Israel's being in Egypt; which exposition, he says, he learned from R. Moses Hadarsan; but he observes, that some interpret it of the kingdom of Grecia, which was the third distress: and so Kimchi and Arama explain it of the third captivity; but Menachem, as Jarchi says, takes "shalish" to be the name of a drinking vessel, and so does Aben Ezra; the same it may be which the Latins call a "triental", the third part of a pint; unless the Hebrew measure, the "seah", which was the third part of an "ephah", is meant; it is translated a "measure" in Isaiah 40:12 and seems to design a large one, and so our version interprets it; compare with this Isaiah 30:20.
(n) "----lachrymisque suis jejunia pavit", Ovid. Metamorph. l. 4. Fab. 6.
6Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves.
Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours,.... Either obliges us to contend with them for our defence and safety; or having given us into their hands, they strive and contend one with another about dividing the spoil:
and our enemies laugh among themselves; at us, and because there is no help for us in God, as they imagine; or at God himself, as Kimchi, saying he cannot save as.
7Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Turn us again, O God of hosts,.... The same with Psalm 80:3, only instead of God there, here it is "the God of hosts"; the repetition of these words shows what was uppermost on the minds of God's people; what they were longing for, and most desirous of, namely, the light of God's countenance.
8Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt,.... The house of Israel, who are like unto a vine, as the Targum paraphrases it; and to a vine or vineyard are they often compared; see Isaiah 5:1, Jeremiah 2:21. These were in Egypt awhile, where they were grievously oppressed and trampled upon; and yet the more they were afflicted, the more they grew and multiplied; and from hence the Lord brought them in due time, with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
he caused them to go out; the word (o) used fitly expresses their journeyings from thence, and through the wilderness; they were a type of the church of Christ, and special people of God, who also are frequently compared to vines and vineyards; see Sol 2:13 the vine tree is fruitful, and bears fruit in clusters but its wood is very useless and unprofitable, Ezekiel 15:2 and it is a tree very weak, and cannot rise and support itself, it must be propped up; so believers in Christ, though fruitful through the grace of God, yet are unprofitable to him, and very weak in themselves, and are upheld by the right hand of his righteousness, on whom they lean and stay themselves; and these, in their natural state, are in worse than Egyptian bondage, darkness, and idolatry, out of which they are brought, in the effectual calling, into Gospel liberty, marvellous light, and the true worship and service of God; and out of the antichristian Egypt will all the Lord's people be brought one day; see Revelation 11:8.
thou hast cast out the Heathen; the Targum adds, out of the land of Israel, that is, Canaan; it designs the expulsion of the seven nations from thence, to make way for the Israelites, Deuteronomy 7:1 and was an emblem of the ejection of Satan out of the Gentile world, and out of the souls of men, through the ministry of the word; and of sin, and the lusts of it, when the King of glory enters in, so as that they shall not any more have dominion; though as the Canaanites were left in the land to be pricks and thorns in the eyes and sides of the Israelites, so indwelling sin remains in God's people to the distress of their souls, and the trial of their graces. The Papists are sometimes called the Heathens and Gentiles; and there will be a time when they shall be cast out, and be no more in the land, Psalm 10:16,
and planted it; the vine, the Israelites, in the land of Canaan; see Exodus 15:17. So saints are planted not only in Christ, the true vine, of which they are branches; but in a Gospel church state, where they flourish and become fruitful and pleasant plants, plants of renown; and being of the Lord's planting, he is glorified by them, and they shall never be rooted up, nor wither, but prosper and thrive; see Psalm 1:3.
(o) "fecisti proficisci", Paginus, Montanus, Vatablus.
9Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.
Thou preparedst room before it,.... By sending the hornet before the Israelites, and driving the Canaanites out of the land, Exodus 23:28 and so the Targum,
"thou didst remove from before thee the Canaanites;''
which made way and room for them: and thus the Lord prepared room for his interest, church, and people, in the Gentile world, in the first times of Christianity, by sending the Gospel into all parts of it, and making it successful, and still there is room, Luke 14:22.
and didst cause it to take deep root; which denotes the settlement of the people of Israel in Canaan, in church and state, as a body ecclesiastic and politic; so believers, being rooted in Christ, are grounded, settled, and established in him, and in a Gospel church state, and so become fruitful; see Colossians 2:7.
and it filled the land; with people, who, in the days of Solomon, were as the sand of the sea, 1 Kings 4:20 and so the Gentile world was filled with Christian converts in the first times of the Gospel; and the interest and church of Christ will fill the whole world another day, Isaiah 11:9.
10The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.
The hills were covered with the shadow of it,.... Alluding to the land of Canaan, which was a mountainous and hilly country, at least some part of it; hence we read of the hill country of Judea, Luke 1:39 and to the nature of vines, which delight to grow on hills and mountains (p): in a figurative sense this may denote the subjection of kings and kingdoms, comparable to hills, to the Israelites in the times of David and Solomon, 2 Samuel 8:1 and the exaltation of the church of Christ, in the latter day, over the hills and mountains, Isaiah 2:2. The Targum is,
"the mountains of Jerusalem were covered with the shadow of the house of the sanctuary, and of the houses of the schools:''
and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars; to these the righteous are compared, Psalm 92:13, the Targum is,
"the doctors, the mighty preachers, who are like to the strong cedars:''
the words may be rendered, "the boughs thereof cover the goodly cedars", or "cedars of God" (q); that is, overrun and overtop the goodly cedars; alluding to vines running and growing upon high and goodly trees; and so may denote, as before, the power of Israel over the princes and potentates of the earth, comparable to cedars, the most excellent; as things most excellent have often the name of God added to them; see Psalm 104:16.
(p) "Bacchus amat colles----" Virgil Georgic. l. 2. v. 113. (q) "rami ejus cedros Dei", Tigurine version; so Sept. "et ramia ejus cedri Dei", Musculus, Cocceius; "palmitibus ejus cedri altissimae operiebantur", Piscator, De Dieu; "ramis ejus opertae sunt cedri Dei", Michaelis.
11She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.
She sent out her boughs unto the sea,.... The Mediterranean, or midland sea, which was the border of the land of Canaan to the west:
and her branches unto the river; the river Euphrates, which was its border to the east; see Deuteronomy 11:24. This, in the spiritual sense of it, will have its accomplishment in the church of Christ, when he shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth, Psalm 72:8. The Targum is,
"she sent out her disciples to the great sea, and to the river Euphrates her babes;''
12Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
Why hast thou then broken down her hedges,.... After having done all this for her; which signifies the Lord's removing his presence, power, and protection, from Israel; which were the hedge he set about them, and by which they were secured and defended from their enemies; but these being gone, they became an easy prey to them; see Job 1:10, the hedge about the church and people of God are the angels that encamp about them; salvation, which is as walls and bulwarks to them; and the Lord himself, who is a wall of fire around them; which may be said to be broken down when he withdraws his presence, and does not exert his power in the protection of them; but suffers them to be exposed to the persecutions of men:
so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? the hedge being broken down, all passengers and travellers plucked the fruit of the vine as they passed along, there being noticing to keep them off from it: this may denote the plunder of the Israelites by their enemies, when left of God, they fell into their hands; and the havoc persecutors make of the church of Christ, and their spoiling them of their goods and substance, when they are permitted to do it.
13The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.
The boar out of the wood doth waste it,.... As Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, who carried the ten tribes captive; the title of this psalm in the Septuagint version is, a psalm for the Assyrian. Vitringa, on Isaiah 24:2 interprets this of Antiochus Epiphanes, to whose times he thinks the psalm refers; but the Jews (r) of the fourth beast in Daniel 7:7, which designs the Roman empire: the wild boar is alluded to, which lives in woods and forests (s), and wastes, fields, and vineyards:
and the wild beast of the field doth devour it; as Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who carried the two tribes captive, and who for a while lived among and lived as the beasts of the field; both these, in their turns, wasted and devoured the people of Israel; see Jeremiah 50:17. Jarchi interprets this of Esau or Edom, that is, Rome; and says the whole of the paragraph respects the Roman captivity; that is, their present one; but rather the words describe the persecutors of the Christian church in general, comparable to wild boars and wild beasts for their fierceness and cruelty; and perhaps, in particular, Rome Pagan may be pointed at by the one, and Rome Papal by the other; though the latter is signified by two beasts, one that rose out of the sea, and the other out of the earth; which have made dreadful havoc of the church of Christ, his vine, and have shed the blood of the saints in great abundance; see Revelation 12:3, unless we should rather by the one understand the pope, and by the other the Turk, as the Jews interpret them of Esau and of Ishmael.
(r) Gloss. in T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 118. 2.((s) Homer. Odyss. xix. v. 439.
14Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;
Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts,.... The Lord had been with his vine, the people of Israel, when he brought them out of Egypt, and planted and settled them in the land of Canaan, and made them a flourishing people; but had departed from them when he suffered the hedges about them to be broken down, and the boar and wild beast to enter and devour them; and here he is entreated to return and restore them to their former prosperity. So the Lord sometimes departs from his church and people, and hides his face from them; and may be said to return, when he manifests himself, shows his face and his favour again, and grants his gracious presence, than which nothing is more desirable; and if he, the Lord of hosts and armies, above and below, is with his people, none can be against them to their hurt; they have nothing to fear from any enemy:
look down from heaven: the habitation of his holiness, the high and holy place where he dwells, and his throne is, from whence he takes a survey of men and things; where he now was at a distance from his people, being returned to his place in resentment, and covered himself with a cloud from their sight; and from whence it would be a condescension in him to look on them on earth, so very undeserving of a look of love and mercy from him:
and behold; the affliction and distress his people were in, as he formerly beheld the affliction of Israel in Egypt, and sympathized with them, and brought them out of it:
and visit this vine; before described, for whom he had done such great things, and now was in such a ruinous condition; the visit desired is in a way of mercy and kind providence; so the Targum,
"and remember in mercies this vine;''
so the Lord visits his chosen people by the mission and incarnation of his Son, and by the redemption of them by him, and by the effectual calling of them by his Spirit and grace through the ministration of the Gospel; and which perhaps may, in the mystical sense, be respected here; see Luke 1:68.
15And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.
And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted,.... The word "Cannah" is only used in this place, and the first letter of it is larger than usual, to keep in perpetual remembrance, as is thought by some (t), the bringing of this vine out of Egypt, and the great things done for it in the land of Israel; and the letter, being crooked, may denote the oppression of this vine by various calamities. The Targum renders the word, a branch or shoot; and Kimchi, according to the scope of the place, a plant; and observes, that others interpret it an habitation or dwelling place; and so may be understood of Jerusalem, or the temple. Aben Ezra takes it to be an adjective, and to signify "prepared" or "established", which is said of this vine, Psalm 80:9. It is an Egyptian word used by the psalmist, treating of the vine brought out of Egypt, and signifies a plant; hence the ivy is by the Greeks called the plant of Osiris (u); the clause carries in it a reason or argument, enforcing the above petition, taken from this vine being of the Lord's planting, as in Psalm 80:8 and therefore his own honour and glory were concerned in it:
and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself: meaning the same thing, and the same people whom he confirmed in the land of Canaan, and made strong for his service and glory. The word (w) translated "branch" signifies a son, as Israel was, to the Lord, son and firstborn. The Targum understands it of Christ, and paraphrases it thus,
"and for the King Messiah, whom thou hast strengthened for thyself;''
that is, for the sake of Christ, whom thou hast appointed to work out the salvation of thy people by his great strength, and who was to come from this vine, or descend from Israel; for the sake of him destroy it not, nor suffer it to be destroyed; and is the same with the Son of man, Psalm 80:17, and so it is read in a manuscript.
(t) Vid. Buxtorf. Tiberias, c. 14. (u) Plutarch de lsid. & Osir. (w) "super filium", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "propter filium", Junius & Tremellius, Michaelis.
16It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
It is burnt with fire, it is cut down,.... That is, the vine of Israel, and the branch before spoken of, alluding to a vine, and its branches; which, when become unprofitable, are cut down or cut off, and cast into the fire; see John 15:6, so Jerusalem and the temple were burnt with fire by Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards by Vespasian:
they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance; that is, the Israelites, signified by the vine, whose destruction was owing to the wrath of God upon them for their sins; he frowned upon them, and rebuked them in his hot displeasure, and to that their ruin was owing; others were only instruments in his hands. Some understand this as a wish or imprecation, let them that cut down the vine, and burn it with fire, perish at the rebuke of thy countenance; see Psalm 68:1, so the Targum.
17Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.
Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand,.... Which some understand of the people of Israel in general, beloved, supported, and strengthened, by the Lord: and others of the then king of Israel, or Judah, the vinedresser, or keeper of the vineyard under God; praying that he might be directed, supported, and protected, by the Lord; but it seems better to understand it with R. Obadiah on the place, and Abarbinel (x) of the Messiah; and so Aben Ezra interprets it either of Israel, or of Messiah the son of Ephraim. Christ is called the "man", though as yet he was not really man, because it was purposed and promised that he should; and he had agreed to become man, and had appeared often in an human form; and it was certain that he would be incarnate: and also the man of God's "right hand", which is expressive of the power of God, because by him, who, in time, became man, even the Son of God, the world, and all things in it, were made; and by him all things are upheld in their being; by him his people were to be redeemed, and have been redeemed from all their enemies; and by him they are upheld, kept, and preserved from a final and total falling away, and will be raised at the last day: and the phrase may design the support and strength the human nature of Christ, which was weak in itself, was to have, and had, not only from its union in the Son of God, but from God the Father; who promised and gave support and strength to it, under all the sufferings endured in it: to which may be added, that this phrase is expressive of love and affection; so Benjamin had his name, which signifies the son of the right hand, from the great affection of his father; so Christ is the Son of God's love, his dear and well beloved Son; as appears by hiding nothing from him, by putting all things into his hands, and appointing him the Head and Saviour of his people, and the Judge of the world; and his love to him is a love of complacency and delight, is everlasting and unchangeable: moreover, he may be so called, because he was to be, and now is, exalted at the right hand of God, in human nature, as a Prince and Saviour, above angels, authorities, and powers, and above every name whatever: and the prayer is either that the hand of vindictive justice might not be upon the vine, or the church of God, but upon Christ their surety, who was able to bear it, and had engaged to do it; or the hand of divine power and support might be upon him, to strengthen him for the work of redemption and salvation, that so that might prosper in his hand; and the hand of love, grace, and mercy, might be turned upon his people: it is added,
upon the son of man, whom thou madest strong for thyself; for the accomplishment of his purposes, promises, and covenant, for the bringing about the salvation of his own people, and for ends of his own glory: the same person is here meant as before; and his being called "the Son of Man", which is a very usual phrase for Christ in the New Testament, and which seems to be taken from hence, and from Daniel 7:13, shows that he could not be really from eternity, since he was to be the Son of Man, as he was, of Abraham, David, &c.
(x) Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 81. 2.
18So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
So will not we go back from thee,.... From thy fear, as the Targum; or from thy service, as Kimchi; doing as above would encourage them to stand before the Lord, and worship him; which they could not do, if he marked their sins, and demanded satisfaction from them for them; but if he looked to his Son and their surety, and took it from him, this would encourage their faith and hope, and give them boldness in his presence, and attach them to his service:
quicken us, and we will call upon thy name; the people of God are sometimes dead and lifeless in their frames, and in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty, and have need of the quickening influences of the Spirit and grace of God; and which are necessary to a fervent calling upon the name of the Lord in prayer, and without which none will stir up themselves so to do. Kimchi interprets this of quickening, or of raising to life, from the death of the captivity; and so Abarbinel, who thinks also that it respects the resurrection of the dead in the times of the Messiah.
19Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.
Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts,.... This is a repetition of Psalm 80:3, in which may be observed an increase of the names or titles of the Divine Being: in Psalm 80:3, it is only "O God"; in Psalm 80:7 "O God of hosts"; and here, "Lord God of hosts"; some have thought that the doctrine of the Trinity is here suggested; which is a better thought than that of Jarchi's, who supposes that three captivities of Israel are pointed at: but as it follows,
cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved; it appears that this was the burden of their song, being in darkness and distress, that they might have the light of God's countenance, and therefore repeat it again and again.