Psalms 74:1 [study!]
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) 
[[Maschil of Asaph.]] O God, why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
[[Maschil of Asaph.]] O God, why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
[[A Maskil of Asaph.]] O God, why have You rejected [us] forever? Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
[[Maschil of Asaph.]] O God, why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? [why] doth thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
[[An instruction: of Asaph.]] Why, O God, hast thou cast off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
[[An Instructive Psalm. Asaph's.]] Wherefore, O God, hast thou cast off utterly? Shall thine anger smoke against the flock of thine own pasturing?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
An Instruction of Asaph. Why, O God, hast Thou cast off for ever? Thine anger smoketh against the flock of Thy pasture.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
Understanding for Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off unto the end: why is thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) 
[[Maschil of Asaph.]] O God, why hast thou cast [vs] off for euer? [why] doeth thine anger smoke against the sheepe of thy pasture?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
[[[A Psalm] of instruction for Asaph.]] Wherefore hast thou rejected [us], O God, for ever? [wherefore] is thy wrath kindled against the sheep of thy pasture?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008)  
[[Maskil of Asaf.]] O Elohim, why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
, that is, a didactic
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818
Mood - Participle (See H8813
Count - 857
, the name of three Israelites, and of the family of the first.
Plural of H0433
in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God
; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates
; and sometimes as a superlative.
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what?
); but also exclamations like what!
), or indefinitely what
, and even relatively that which
); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
hast thou cast [us
A primitive root meaning to push
aside, that is, reject
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Perfect (See H8816
Count - 12562
; properly a goal
, that is, the bright object at a distance travelled towards; hence (figuratively), splendor
, or (subjectively) truthfulness
, or (objectively) confidence
; but usually (adverbially), continually
(that is, to the most distant point of view).
] doth thine anger
; properly the nose
; hence the face
, and occasionally a person
; also (from the rapid breathing in passion) ire
A primitive root; to smoke
, whether literally or figuratively.
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 19885
against the sheep
From an unused root meaning to migrate
; a collective name for a flock
(of sheep or goats); also figuratively (of men).
of thy pasture?
in the sense of feeding
; concretely a flock
_ _ Psalms 74:1-23. If the historical allusions of Psalms 74:6-8, etc., be referred, as is probable, to the period of the captivity, the author was probably a descendant and namesake of Asaph, David’s contemporary and singer (compare 2 Chronicles 35:15; Ezra 2:41). He complains of God’s desertion of His Church, and appeals for aid, encouraging himself by recounting some of God’s mighty deeds, and urges his prayer on the ground of God’s covenant relation to His people, and the wickedness of His and their common enemy.
_ _ cast ... off with abhorrence (compare Psalms 43:2; Psalms 44:9). There is no disavowal of guilt implied. The figure of fire to denote God’s anger is often used; and here, and in Deuteronomy 29:20, by the word “smoke,” suggests its continuance.
_ _ sheep ... pasture (Compare Psalms 80:1; Psalms 95:7).
_ _ This psalm is entitled Maschil a psalm to give instruction, for it was penned in a day of affliction, which is intended for instruction; and this instruction in general it gives us, That when we are, upon any account, in distress, it is our wisdom and duty to apply to God by faithful and fervent prayer, and we shall not find it in vain to do so. Three things the people of God here complain of:
_ _ I. The displeasure of God against them, as that which was the cause and bitterness of all their calamities. They look above the instruments of their trouble, who, they knew, could have no power against them unless it were given them from above, and keep their eye upon God, by whose determined counsel they were delivered up into the hands of wicked and unreasonable men. Observe the liberty they take to expostulate with God (Psalms 74:1), we hope not too great a liberty, for Christ himself, upon the cross, cried out, My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me? So the church here, O God! why hast thou forsaken us for ever? Here they speak according to their present dark and melancholy apprehensions; for otherwise, Has God cast away his people? God forbid, Romans 11:1. The people of God must not think that because they are cast down they are therefore cast off, that because men cast them off therefore God does, and that because he seems to cast them off for a time therefore they are really cast off for ever: yet this expostulation intimates that they dreaded God's casting them off more than any thing, that they desired to be owned of him, whatever they suffered from men, and were desirous to know wherefore he thus contended with them: Why does thy anger smoke? that is, why does it rise up to such a degree that all about us take notice of it, and ask, What means the heat of this great anger? Deuteronomy 29:24. Compare Psalms 74:20, where the anger of the Lord and his jealousy are said to smoke against sinners. Observe what they plead with God, now that they lay under the tokens and apprehensions of his wrath. 1. They plead their relation to him: “We are the sheep of thy pasture, the sheep wherewith thou hast been pleased to stock the pasture, thy peculiar people whom thou art pleased to set apart for thyself and design for thy own glory. That the wolves worry the sheep is not strange; but was ever any shepherd thus displeased at his own sheep? Remember, we are thy congregation (Psalms 74:2), incorporated by thee and for thee, and devoted to thy praise; we are the rod, or tribe, of thy inheritance, whom thou hast been pleased to claim a special property in above other people (Deuteronomy 32:9), and from whom thou hast received the rents and issues of praise and worship more than from the neighbouring nations. Nay, a man's inheritance may lie at a great distance, but we are pleading for Mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt, which has been the place of thy peculiar delight and residence, thy demesne and mansion.” 2. They plead the great things God had done for them and the vast expense he had been at upon them: “It is thy congregation, which thou hast not only made with a word's speaking, but purchased of old by many miracles of mercy when they were first formed into a people; it is thy inheritance, which thou hast redeemed when they were sold into servitude.” God gave Egypt to ruin for their ransom, gave men for them, and people for their life, Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 43:4. “Now, Lord, wilt thou now abandon a people that cost thee so dear, and has been so dear to thee?” And, if the redemption of Israel out of Egypt was an encouragement to hope that he would not cast them off, much more reason have we to hope that God will not cast off any whom Christ has redeemed with his own blood; but the people of his purchase shall be for ever the people of his praise. 3. They plead the calamitous state that they were in (Psalms 74:3): “Lift up thy feet; that is, come with speed to repair the desolations that are made in thy sanctuary, which otherwise will be perpetual an irreparable.” It has been sometimes said that the divine vengeance strikes with iron hands, yet it comes with leaden feet; and then those who wait for the day of the Lord, cry, Lord, lift up thy feet; exalt thy steps; magnify thyself in the outgoing of thy providence. When the desolations of the sanctuary have continued long we are tempted to think they will be perpetual; but it is a temptation; for God will avenge his own elect, will avenge them speedily, though he bear long with their oppressors and persecutors.
_ _ II. They complain of the outrage and cruelty of their enemies, not so much, no, not at all, of what they had done to the prejudice of their secular interests; here are no complaints of the burning of their cities and ravaging of their country, but only what they had done against the sanctuary and the synagogue. The concerns of religion should lie nearer our hearts and affect us more than any worldly concern whatsoever. The desolation of God's house should grieve us more than the desolation of our own houses; for the matter is not great what becomes of us and our families in this world provided God's name may be sanctified, his kingdom may come, and his will be done.
_ _ 1. The psalmist complains of the desolations of the sanctuary, as Daniel, Daniel 9:17. The temple at Jerusalem was the dwelling-place of God's name, and therefore the sanctuary, or holy place, Psalms 74:7. In this the enemies did wickedly (Psalms 74:3), for they destroyed it in downright contempt of God and affront to him. (1.) They roared in the midst of God's congregations, Psalms 74:4. There where God's faithful people attended on him with a humble reverent silence, or softly speaking, they roared in a riotous revelling manner, being elated with having made themselves masters of that sanctuary of which they had sometimes heard formidable things. (2.) They set up their ensigns for signs. The banners of their army they set up in the temple (Israel's strongest castle, as long as they kept closely to God) as trophies of their victory. There, where the signs of God's presence used to be, now the enemy had set up their ensigns. This daring defiance of God and his power touched his people in a tender part. (3.) They took a pride in destroying the carved work of the temple. As much as formerly men thought it an honour to lend a hand to the building of the temple, and he was thought famous that helped to fell timber for that work, so much now they valued themselves upon their agency in destroying it, Psalms 74:5, Psalms 74:6. Thus, as formerly those were celebrated for wise men that did service to religion, so now those are applauded as wits that help to run it down. Some read it thus: They show themselves, as one that lifts up axes on high in a thicket of trees, for so do they break down the carved work of the temple they make no more scruple of breaking down the rich wainscot of the temple than woodcutters do of hewing trees in the forest; such indignation have they at the sanctuary that the most curious carving that ever was seen is beaten down by the common soldiers without any regard had to it, either as a dedicated thing or as a piece of exquisite art. (4.) They set fire to it, and so violated or destroyed it to the ground, Psalms 74:7. The Chaldeans burnt the house of God, that stately costly fabric, 2 Chronicles 36:19. And the Romans left not there one stone upon another (Matthew 24:2), rasing it, rasing it, even to the foundations, till Zion, the holy mountain, was, by Titus Vespasian, ploughed as a field.
_ _ 2. He complains of the desolations of the synagogues, or schools of the prophets, which, before the captivity, were in use, though much more afterwards. There God's word was read and expounded, and his name praised and called upon, without altars or sacrifices. These also they had a spite to (Psalms 74:8): Let us destroy them together; not only the temple, but all the places of religious worship and the worshippers with them. Let us destroy them together; let them be consumed in the same flame. Pursuant to this impious resolve they burnt up all the synagogues of God in the land and laid them all waste. So great was their rage against religion that the religious houses, because religious, were all levelled with the ground, that God's worshippers might not glorify God, and edify one another, by meeting in solemn assemblies.
_ _ III. The great aggravation of all these calamities was that they had no prospect at all of relief, nor could they foresee an end of them (Psalms 74:9): “We see our enemy's sign set up in the sanctuary, but we see not our signs, none of the tokens of God's presence, no hopeful indications of approaching deliverance. There is no more any prophet to tell us how long the trouble will last and when things concerning us shall have an end, that the hope of an issue at last may support us under our troubles.” In the captivity in Babylon they had prophets, and had been told how long the captivity should continue, but the day was cloudy and dark (Ezekiel 34:12), and they had not as yet the comfort of these gracious discoveries. God spoke once, yea, twice, good words and comfortable words, but they perceived them not. Observe, They do not complain, “We see not our armies; there are no men of war to command our forces, nor any to go forth with our hosts;” but, “no prophets, none to tell us how long.” This puts them upon expostulating with God, as delaying, 1. To assert his honour (Psalms 74:10): How long shall the adversary reproach and blaspheme thy name? In the desolations of the sanctuary our chief concern should be for the glory of God, that it may not be injured by the blasphemies of those who persecute his people for his sake, because they are his; and therefore our enquiry should be, not “How long shall we be troubled?” but “How long shall God be blasphemed?” 2. To exert his power (Psalms 74:11): “Why withdrawest thou thy hand, and dost not stretch it out, to deliver thy people and destroy thy enemies? Pluck it out of thy bosom, and be not as a man astonished, as a mighty man that cannot save, or will not,” Jeremiah 14:9. When the power of enemies is most threatening it is comfortable to fly to the power of God.
"Maschil of Asaph." O God, (a) why hast thou cast [us] off for ever? [why] doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
(a) The Church of God is oppressed by the tyranny, either of the Babylonians or of Antiochus, and prays to God by whose hand the yoke was laid on them for their sins.
- O God:
Psalms 10:1 Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? [why] hidest thou [thyself] in times of trouble?
Psalms 42:9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalms 44:9 But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
Psalms 60:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.]] O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.
Psalms 60:10 [Wilt] not thou, O God, [which] hadst cast us off? and [thou], O God, [which] didst not go out with our armies?
Psalms 77:7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
Jeremiah 31:37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 33:24-26 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. ... Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, [so] that I will not take [any] of his seed [to be] rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.
Romans 11:1-2 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, [of] the tribe of Benjamin. ... God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Psalms 79:5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?
Deuteronomy 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
- the sheep:
Psalms 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
Psalms 95:7 For he [is] our God; and we [are] the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
Psalms 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
Ezekiel 34:8 [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because [there was] no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
Ezekiel 34:31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, [are] men, [and] I [am] your God, saith the Lord GOD.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
John 10:26-30 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. ... I and [my] Father are one.
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