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Psalm 60 by Alexander Maclaren

Psalm 60 by Alexander Maclaren

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Published by glennpease
PSALM LX.

1 O God, Thou bast cast us off, hast broken u%
Hast been angry with us — restore us again.
PSALM LX.

1 O God, Thou bast cast us off, hast broken u%
Hast been angry with us — restore us again.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 20, 2013
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PSALM 60 BY ALEXADER MACLAREPSALM LX.1 O God, Thou bast cast us off, hast broken u%Hast been angry with us — restore us again.2 Thou hast shaken the land, hast rent it-Heal its breaches, for it trembles.3 Thou hast made Thy people see hard things,Thou hast given them to drink reeling as wine.4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee,[Only] that they may flee before the bow. Selah.5 That Thy beloved ones may be delivered,Save with Thy right hand, and answer us.6 God has spoken in His holiness, — I will exult :I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succotl7 Mine is Gilead, and mine Manasseh,And Ephraim is the strength of my head,Judah, my baton of command.8 Moab is my wash basin,Upon Edom will I throw my shoe,Because of me, Philistia, shout aloud.9 Who will bring me into the fenced city tWho has guided me into Edom ?io Hast not Thou, O God, cast us off?And goest not out, O God, with our hosts.
 
1 1 Give us help from the oppressor,For vain is help of man.12 In God we shall do prowess :And He, He will tread down our oppressors.THIS psalm has evidently a definite historical back-ground. Israel has been worsted in fight, butstill continues its campaign against Edom. MeditatingVOL. II. 2 °9 14310 THE PSALMSon God's promises, the psalmist anticipates victory,which will cover defeat and perfect partial successes,and seeks to breathe his own spirit of confidence intcthe ranks of his countrymen. But the circumstancesanswering to those required by the psalm are hard tcfind. The date assigned by the superscription cannotbe called satisfactory ; for David's war there referred tc(2 Sam. viii.) had no such stunning defeats as are herelamented. The Divine Oracle, of which the substanceis given in the central part of the psalm, affords butdubious indications of date. At first sight it seems toimply the union of all the tribes in one kingdom, andtherefore to favour the Davidic authorship. But itmay be a question whether the united Israel of theOracle is fact or prophecy. To one school of com-mentators, the mention of Ephraim in conjunction withJudah is token that the psalm is prior to the greatrevolt ; to another, it is proof positive that the date isafter the destruction of the northern kingdom. TheMaccabean date is favoured by Olshausen, Hitzig, andCheyne among moderns; but, apart from other objec-
 
tions, the reappearance of w. 5-12 in Psalm cviii.implies that this piece of Hebrew psalmody wasalready venerable when a later compiler wove partof it into that psalm. On the whole, the Davidicauthorship is possible, though clogged with the difficultyalready mentioned. But the safest conclusion seemsto be Baethgen's modest one, which contrasts stronglywith the confident assertions of some other critics — namely, that assured certainty in dating the psalm " isno longer possible."It falls into three parts of four verses each, of whichthe first (w. 1-4) is complaint of defeat and prayer forhelp; the second (w. 5-8), a Divine Oracle assuringIx.] THE PSALMS anvictory; and the third (w. 9-12), the flash of freshhope kindled by that God's-word.The first part blends complaint and prayer in thefirst pair of verses, in each of which there is, first, adescription of the desperate state of Israel, and thena cry for help. The nation is broken, as a wallis broken down, or as an army whose ordered ranksare shattered and scattered. Some crushing defeat ismeant, which in ver. 2 is further described as an earth-quake. The land trembles, and then gapes in hideousclefts, and houses become gaunt ruins. The state isdisorganised as in consequence of defeat. It is anunpoetical mixture of fact and figure to see in the"rending" of the land allusion to the separation of the kingdoms, especially as that was not the result of defeat.There is almost a tone of wonder in the designationof Israel as " Thy people," so sadly does the fate metedout to them contrast with their name. Stranger still

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