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Psalm 81 by Alexander Maclaren

Psalm 81 by Alexander Maclaren

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Published by glennpease
PSALM LXXXI

I Shout for joy to God our strength,

Shout aloud to the God of Jacob.
PSALM LXXXI

I Shout for joy to God our strength,

Shout aloud to the God of Jacob.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 20, 2013
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02/28/2014

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PSALM 81 BY ALEXADER MACLAREPSALM LXXXII Shout for joy to God our strength,Shout aloud to the God of Jacob.S Lift up the song, and sound the timbrelThe pleasant lyre with the harp.3 Blow the trumpet on the new moon,On the full moon, for the day of our feast.4 For this is a statute for Israel,An ordinance of the God of Jacob.5 For a testimony in Joseph He appointed it,When He went forth over the land of Egypt. — A language which I know not I hear.6 I removed his shoulder from the burden,His hands were freed from the basket.7 In straits thou didst call and I delivered thee,I answered thee in the secret place of thunder,I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.8 Hear, My people, and I will witness to thee;O Israel, would that thou wouldest hearken to Mel9 There shall be no strange god in thee,And thou shalt not bow down to an alien god.10 I, I am Jehovah thy God,
 
Who brought thee up from the land of Egypt.Open wide thy mouth, and I will fill it.1 1 But My people hearkened not to My voice.And Israel did not yield to Me.12 Then I let them go in the stubbornness of their heart,That they might walk in their own counsels.13 Would that My people would hearken to Me,That Israel would walk in My ways!14 Easily would I humble their enemies,And against their adversaries turn My hand.414lxxxi.] THE PSALMS 41515 The haters of Jehovah would come feigning to Him,But their time should endure for ever.16 And He would feed thee with the fat of wheat,And with honey from the rock would I satisfy thte.THE psalmist summons priests and people to a.solemn festival, commemorative of Israel's deliver-ance from Egypt, and sets forth the lessons which thatdeliverance teaches, the learning of which is the trueway of keeping the feast. There has been muchdiscussion as to which feast is in the psalmist's mind.That of Tabernacles has been widely accepted asintended, chiefly on the ground that the first day of the month in which it occurred was celebrated by theblowing of trumpets, as the beginning of the civil year.This practice is supposed to account for the languageof ver. 3, which seems to imply trumpet-blowing both
 
at new and full moon. But, on other grounds, thePassover is more likely to be intended, as the psalmdeals with the manifestations of Divine power attend-ing the beginning of the Exodus, which followed thefirst Passover, as well as with those during the desertsojourn, which alone were commemorated by the feastof Tabernacles. True, we have no independent know-ledge of any trumpet-blowing on the first day of thePassover month (isan) ; but Delitzsch and otherssuggest that from this psalm it may be inferred " thatthe commencement of each month, and more espe-cially the commencement of the month (isan), whichwas at the same time the commencement of the ecclesi-astical year, was signalised by the blowing of horns."On the whole, the Passover is most probably the feastin question.Olshausen, followed by Chcync, regards the psalmas made up of two fragments (vv. i~$ a, and 50-16).416 THE PSALMSBut surely the exhortations and promises of the latterportion are most relevant to the summons to the festivalcontained in the former part, and there could be nomore natural way of preparing for the right com-memoration of the deliverance than to draw out itslessons of obedience and to warn against departurefrom the delivering God. Definiteness as to date isunattainable. The presupposed existence of the fullTemple ceremonial shows that the psalm was notwritten in exile, nor at a time of religious persecution.Its warning against idolatry would be needless in apost-exilic psalm, as no tendency thereto existed afterthe return from captivity. But beyond such generalindications we cannot go. The theory that the psalm

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