A Study in Wisdom

Psalm 74

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Psalm 74:1-3 -

A Lament,

by Scott Sperling

 

A maskil of Asaph.

 

O God, why have you rejected us forever?

         Why does your anger smolder

              against the sheep of your pasture?

Remember the nation you purchased long ago,

         the people of your inheritance,

              whom you redeemed—

   Mount Zion, where you dwelt. 

Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,

         all this destruction the enemy

              has brought on the sanctuary.

 

This psalm is a prayer to God following the destruction and defiling of His “sanctuary” (vs. 3).  The psalm seems to speak of the destruction of Temple in Jerusalem, and yet no single episode of Temple destruction fits all of the elements of the Psalm.  Plumer summarizes this problem:  “To what scene of desolation does the Psalm refer? Grotius applies it to the destruction of Shiloh, the city once so famous as the place of the tabernacle, but, being despoiled of the ark by the Philistines, it fell into decay and became a proverb for desolation (see Josh. 18:1-10; Ps. 78:60; Jer. 7:12-14). But the tabernacle was not burned at Shiloh, though it had not in it the ark (see 2 Chron. 1:3). Moreover this Psalm expressly refers to Mount Zion (vss. 3, 7). A few have applied the Psalm to the invasion of Judea by Sennacherib. But that haughty invader was not permitted to enter Jerusalem, nor shoot an arrow into it, nor cast a bank against it (see 2 Kings 19:32), much less to waste it and destroy the sanctuary. Calvin, Calmet, Pool, Henry and Tholuck suppose that the Psalm had its fulfilment in the destruction of the holy city by the Chaldeans, about five hundred and eighty-eight years before Christ. The chief objection to this is a clause in v. 9: ‘There is no more any prophet.’ Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel survived this desolation; but neither of them remained in Jerusalem; and for a time they all seem to have been silent… Others extend the scope of the prophecy so as to include the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes in the times of the Maccabees, one hundred and sixty-seven years before Christ, and of course during the time of the second temple. Rosenmuller applies it to this time. But although Antiochus did many atrocious things, yet he did none of the things mentioned in vss. 6-7. He defiled the temple, but he did not destroy it… So that the reference to this dreadful persecutor, if real, cannot be exclusive. Others, following the Syriac title [which sees the psalm as ‘a prediction of the siege of the city of the Jews, forty years after the ascension’], refer it to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Clarke: ‘It is not so clear whether the desolations here refer to the days of Nebuchadnezzar, or to the desolation that took place under the Romans about the seventieth year of the Christian era.’ A full and candid examination of the whole subject would perhaps bring us to think that the Psalmist here groups together most of the appalling incidents attending the desolation of the temple and holy city from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to the days of Titus. One event followed another till the work was complete, and the prophecy fulfilled. Is there anything wild or unreasonable in this suggestion?” [Plumer, 720]. 

I tend to agree with these last statements of Plumer:  I believe that the destruction in the psalm is described prophetically, and is multiply fulfilled by various episodes in which the Temple in Jerusalem was defiled, and ultimately, destroyed.  These episodes include the original destruction by Nebuchadnezzar before the Babylonian captivity (586 BC), the destruction and defiling of the Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes during the Maccabean revolt (168 BC), and the final destruction of the Temple by the Romans (70 AD). God Himself, when speaking to Solomon just after the construction of the Temple, predicted the possibility that it would be destroyed:  “But if you or your descendants turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decrees I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. Israel will then become a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and will scoff and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why the Lord brought all this disaster on them’” (I Kings 9:6-9).  This passage in I Kings seems to directly parallel the events described in Psalm 74.  The Psalmist, in this psalm, is asking the very question that the Lord predicts will be asked:  “Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?” (I Kings 9:8).

The inscription of this psalm states that the psalm is “A maskil of Asaph.”  Asaph was a contemporary of David, who was appointed by him to lead in the worship of God (see I Chron. 16:5-11).  If this Asaph was the author, then the psalm must be a prophetic psalm, because the Temple in Jerusalem was not even built at the time of David (Solomon led its construction later).  Asaph, it seems, did have the gift of prophecy, for he “prophesied under the king’s supervision” (see I Chron. 25:2). 

Some commentators believe that the psalm was penned by one of the so-called “sons of Asaph”.  The term “sons of Asaph” seems to have been a general term for Levites who were responsible for the worship of God (see Ezra 3:10).  If one of the “sons of Asaph” wrote the psalm, this would push back the date of composition of the psalm to a later time.  Nevertheless, the psalm is prophetic, in my opinion, because it speaks of events future to the composition of any of the writings of the Old Testament.

The inscription to the psalm states that it is “A maskil.”  The exact definition of this word is unknown, but the derivation of the word seems to indicate that the psalm is meant for instruction [Vine’s].  “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 ourselves to God by faithful and fervent prayer, and we shall not find it in vain to do so” [Henry].  “Upon whatever occasion this Psalm might have been originally composed, it is plainly intended for the use of the church in time of persecution” [Horne, 260]. “In singing it, we must be affected with the former desolations of the church, for we are members of the same body, and may apply it to any present distresses or desolations of any part of the Christian church” [Henry].

The Psalmist begins:  “O God, why have you rejected us forever?” (vs. 1).  Right away, with this verse, we have an indication that this is a prophetic psalm, for at no time in which authors of the Old Testament were writing, was Israel rejected “forever”.  This verse speaks of a later time, when the work of God was to be absent from the people of Israel for hundreds, even thousands, of years (thus, seemingly “forever”). During the Old Testament times, there were ever and always prophets, and the work of God continued on behalf of the people of Israel.  Even during the exile of the people of Israel in Babylon, there were prophets, such as Daniel and Ezekiel.  Ezra and Nehemiah returned to Israel to rebuild the Temple, so one could not say that at that time the people of Israel were rejected “forever”

One can even look ahead to after the last book of the Old Testament was written (approx. 420 BC), and still see the work of God on behalf of the people of Israel. The Second Temple remained in service and in use on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Even after the desecration of this Second Temple by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 167 BC, one could not say that Israel was rejected “forever”, for after the Maccabean revolt, the Temple was restored and rededicated.  And then, as if to prepare for the coming of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ, Herod the Great (so-called) expanded the Temple grounds and brought the construction of the Temple and the Temple grounds up to near its former Solomonic glory.  This was the Temple which was still in operation until the time of Christ.

Christ Himself predicted the destruction of this Second Temple:  “Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down’” (Matt. 24:1-2).  This was fulfilled when the Romans utterly destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D.  After this, the people of Israel were dispersed throughout the world (the so-called, “Jewish Diaspora”).  Since 705 AD, an Islamic mosque has occupied the Temple Mount, along with other Islamic constructions.  And so, for nearly 2000 years, the Temple of the people of Israel has been destroyed, and the people of Israel have been, for the most part, dispersed throughout the whole world.  It is of this time, I believe, that the Psalmist prophetically asks:  “O God, why have you rejected us forever?” (vs. 1).  Seen in this way, the psalm becomes a lament to be spoken by the children of Israel during the times of the Jewish Diaspora, even during the present times.

The Psalmist continues:  “Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?” (vs. 1).  The “rejection” of the children of Israel by God, and the “smoldering anger” of God against them, was ultimately brought on by the rejection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, by the children of Israel.  They themselves, led by the chief priests and teachers of the law, the leaders of the Jews at the time of Christ, accepted (in effect) any punishment that they would incur by killing their Messiah, saying to Pilate:  “His blood is on us and on our children!” (Matt. 27:25).  Within a generation of this utterance (some forty years later), the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, and the children of Israel forcibly scattered to the ends of the earth, not to return to their promised land until some 1900 years after that.

The Psalmist appeals to God’s demonstrated love for His people, by referring to them as “the sheep of your pasture.”  “The name contains in itself an appeal to the compassion and tender care of the shepherd. Can the shepherd slay his sheep?” [Perowne, 342].

The Psalmist pleas for the returned favor of God:  “Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—Mount Zion, where you dwelt” (vs. 2).  In his misery, the Psalmist appeals to God to remember His past blessing upon the children of Israel. “In all judgements inflicted by whatsoever instruments, the Lord’s people must look first to God, and albeit wrath, and fear of utter wrath do stare them in the face, as hardly it can be otherwise when God puts hand in His own Temple, and takes away all the tokens of His presence from among a people, and seems to cast them utterly oft; yet must they make their address to God, how angry soever He seem to be” [Dickson, 164].  It is a good thing in prayer to remind (so to speak) God of His past mercies toward us, because in doing so, we are reminding ourselves of God’s past work in our lives.  “Let all God’s people ever plead His relation to them, and their relation to Him” [Plumer, 727].

The Psalmist, in speaking of God’s past blessings on the children of Israel, calls Israel “the nation [God] purchased” and “redeemed” (vs. 2).  This is somewhat ironic for, as we pointed out, the rejection by the people of the ultimate Redeemer, Jesus Christ, led to the destruction of the Temple.  To regain God’s blessing, the children of Israel need to seek again redemption through Jesus Christ, who paid the price for their sins.  The Apostle Paul tells us that this will occur, the children of Israel will see Jesus as their Messiah:  “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: ‘The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.  And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins’” (Rom. 11:25-27).

The Psalmist next turns the attention of God to the destruction upon the house of God, the Temple in Jerusalem, by His enemies:  “Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary” (vs. 3).  Note the finality of the destruction:  They are “everlasting ruins.”  This again speaks to the prophetic nature of this psalm. When the Temple was destroyed before the Babylonian captivity, Ezra and Nehemiah were back in Jerusalem a mere 70 years later to begin to rebuild the Temple.  So, the ruins were by no means “everlasting” at that time.  The Temple mount truly became “everlasting ruins” only after the destruction by the Romans in 70 AD.  After that destruction, the Temple still to this day has not been rebuilt; only the remnants of retaining walls remain of those “everlasting ruins.”

 

 

 

 

Psalm 74:4-11 -

The Destruction

 

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs.

They behaved like men wielding axes

         to cut through a thicket of trees.

They smashed all the carved paneling

         with their axes and hatchets.

They burned your sanctuary to the ground;

         they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.

They said in their hearts,

         “We will crush them completely!”

   They burned every place

         where God was worshiped in the land.

 

We are given no signs from God;

         no prophets are left,

              and none of us knows how long this will be.

10How long will the enemy mock you, God?

         Will the foe revile your name forever?

11Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?

         Take it from the folds of your garment

              and destroy them!

 

In the next verses, the Psalmist speaks specifically of the desecration and destruction of the Temple.  He begins:  “Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs” (vs. 4).  The enemies of God declared victory over God by placing their own victory banners in the Temple.

They destroyed the magnificent artwork and woodwork made by the children of Israel to honor God:  “They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees. They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets” (vss. 5-6).  The woodwork for the original Solomonic Temple is described in the book of I Kings:  “For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood, each ten cubits high. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits—ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. The height of each cherub was ten cubits. He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. He overlaid the cherubim with gold.  On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold” (I Kings 6:23-30).  It’s a great loss for mankind to lose such beautiful tributes to the True and Living God.

The Temple buildings were defiled and burned:  “They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name” (vs. 7).  The original burning of the Temple in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar is described in II Kings:  “He set fire to the temple of the Lord, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down” (II Kings 25:9).  The Temple was later defiled by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, bringing about the Maccabean revolt (168 BC).  The Jewish historian Josephus describes this:  “[Antiochus] compelled the Jews to dissolve the laws of their country, and to keep their infants uncircumcised, and to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the altar” [Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 1:1:2].  Josephus (37 AD – c. 100 AD), who personally witnessed the Siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, also wrote of the burning and defiling of the Temple when the Romans destroyed it:  “As the legions charged in, neither persuasion nor threat could check their impetuosity: passion alone was in command. Crowded together around the entrances many were trampled by their friends, many fell among the still hot and smoking ruins of the colonnades and died as miserably as the defeated. As they neared the Sanctuary they pretended not even to hear Caesar's commands and urged the men in front to throw in more firebrands. The partisans were no longer in a position to help; everywhere was slaughter and flight. Most of the victims were peaceful citizens, weak and unarmed, butchered wherever they were caught. Round the Altar the heaps of corpses grew higher and higher, while down the Sanctuary steps poured a river of blood and the bodies of those killed at the top slithered to the bottom” [Josephus, cited in Wikipedia, on the Siege of Jerusalem].

The burning of the Temple was not enough.  The entire destruction of the children of Israel was sought.  The Psalmist continues:  “They said in their hearts, ‘We will crush them completely!’ They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land” (vs. 8).  This reflects the utter destruction that the Roman Titus wished to inflict on the children of Israel in 70 AD:  “It is important to note that Titus was bent on ending Judaism as a religion. He would slaughter their animals, kill their men, rape their women, enslave their children, and kill their God. When he finally did breach the walls, his soldiers set upon everyone - man, woman, child, the rich, the poor, those who stayed loyal to Rome, and those who did not, the aristocrats, the priests, the old, the sick. It made no difference. They burned everything. The whole city went up in flames” [Wikipedia, on Titus].

The Psalmist next speaks of the silence of God following the destruction of the Temple:  “We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be” (vs. 9).  During the 70 years of Babylonian exile, when the Temple lay destroyed, there were prophets at work (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi, Ezra and Nehemiah).  So again, as in other places in this psalm, this verse fits best the time after the Temple was destroyed by the Romans, even the time in which we live today.  The last “prophet” sent by God to the children of Israel was John the Baptist; the last “sign from God” for the children of Israel was the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the “sign of Jonah”, for “as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man [was] three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40).

The Psalmist seeks vengeance on the enemies of God: “How long will the enemy mock you, God?  Will the foe revile your name forever?  Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?  Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!” (vss. 10-11).  It is right to be upset at those who “mock” God, and “revile His name”, but in the Christian era, the Kingdom of God is expanded through the power of Christ’s love and God’s grace, not by the power of a conquering army.  We are to “overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).

 

 

Psalm 74:12-17 -

God’s Past Work

 

12But God is my King from long ago;

         he brings salvation on the earth.

 

13It was you who split open the sea by your power;            

         you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.

14It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan

         and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.

15It was you who opened up springs and streams;

         you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.

16The day is yours, and yours also the night;

         you established the sun and moon.

17It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.

 

The Psalmist next remembers God’s work in the past on behalf of His people:  “But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth” (vs. 12).  The Psalmist speaks of how God brought “salvation” for the children of Israel through great and powerful works:  “It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.  It has you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.  It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever-flowing rivers” (vss. 13-15).  The children of Israel always and ever sought “salvation” by the great and powerful works of God, but in the times after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans—even now when the children of Israel wander the earth looking for “signs from God” and “prophets” (see vs. 9)—their “salvation” is very near them, not in the form of great powerful works sent down from heaven, but in the simple turn of the heart, and whisper from the mouth.  Paul explains:  “But the righteousness that is by faith says: ‘Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?”’ (that is, to bring Christ down) ‘or “Who will descend into the deep?”’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead)”—in other words, don’t look for great and heroic acts, such as ascending to heaven or descending into the deep, to bring about salvation.  Paul continues: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:6-10).  This is the “salvation” sought by the Psalmist and by the children of Israel:  to believe in and accept the work of “salvation” of their God-sent Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Psalmist goes on to speak of God as creator and sustainer of all life on earth:  “The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon.  It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter” (vss. 16-17).  “From the wonders wrought by God on behalf of His people in their history, the Poet rises to the wider view of His ever-continued, ever displayed power and majesty in the world of nature” [Perowne, 347].  “From the miraculous interpositions of God, in behalf of his people, the church passes to those ordinary and standing evidences of his goodness towards us, the sweet vicissitudes of light and darkness, and the grateful succession of times and seasons; by which man is taught, in the most sorrowful night, to look for a joyful morning; and, during the severest winter, to expect a reviving spring. Thus is the revolving year our constant instructor and monitor; incessantly inculcating the duties of faith and hope, as well as those of adoration, gratitude, and praise” [Horne, 264]. 

 

 

Psalm 74:18-23 -

An Appeal to God

 

18Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord, how foolish people have reviled your name.

19Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives

of your afflicted people forever.

20Have regard for your covenant,

  because haunts of violence

fill the dark places of the land.

21Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;

may the poor and needy praise your name.

22Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;

remember how fools mock you all day long.

23Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,

  the uproar of your enemies,

which rises continually.

 

The Psalmist ends with a plea for God’s mighty work to again be performed on behalf of His people:  “Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord, how foolish people have reviled your name.  Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts; do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.  Have regard for your covenant, because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land” (vss. 18-20).  The word translated “Remember” is better translated “Keep in mind” [UBS], for God, of course, does not forget.  The Psalmist appeals to God’s “covenant” with the children of Israel.  “The enemies of God and of His Church may indeed destroy her outward sanctuaries, abolish her sacred seasons, forbid the assembling of the faithful, prevent and interrupt the service of God; but they cannot annul the covenant which God has ordained, nor prevent the outward restoration of the Church, when the day of her trial is over” [Lange’s, 423].

So it is with the children of Israel.  The “covenant” of God has by no means been annulled, for “all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (II Cor. 1:20, KJV). The Apostle Paul enlightens us on God’s plan with respect to the children of Israel.  First, Paul answers a question many have as to whether the children of Israel are still God’s chosen people:  “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew” (Rom. 11:1-2).  Next, Paul answers whether the rejection of Christ by the children of Israel has caused them to “fall beyond recovery”“Again I ask:  Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery?  Not at all!  Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.  But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!” (Rom. 11:11-12).  Finally, Paul speaks to the ultimate destiny for the children of Israel, His covenant people:  “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited:  Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved… As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.  Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.  For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all” (Romans 11:25-26, 28-32; italics mine).  Paul is awed at greatness of God’s wisdom, as demonstrated in the perfection of His plan, and bursts out into his famous doxology, celebrating these things: 

 

Oh, the depth of the riches

of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments,

  and his paths beyond tracing out!

 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?

  Or who has been his counselor?”

 “Who has ever given to God,

  that God should repay them?”

For from him and through him

and for him are all things.

  To him be the glory forever!

Amen.

(Romans 11:33-36)

 

We have applied this psalm (for the most part) as a psalm that should be sung by the children of Israel after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, a psalm that can be sung by the children of Israel even today.  However, the children of God in the Kingdom of Christ can also find some application to their lives in this psalm by remembering that our bodies are today’s temples of the Holy Spirit, as Paul taught:  “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (I Cor. 6:19-20). And just as the enemies of God ravaged the Temple in Jerusalem, so also, at times, the enemy devastates and desecrates the temple of our bodies.  Our temples are laid waste by the ravages of sin and unbelief.  “The desolation of the spiritual temple is worse still, and what most concerns us all.  And the wasters of that are not wicked men who assail us from without, but spiritual foes whom we have sheltered within. It is unbelief which lays waste the spiritual temple. Worse than fire, or axe, or sword, it makes havoc of the soul. And wickedness following hard on its footsteps completes the work which it has begun.” [Pulpit Comm., 86-87].  At these times, when your temple of your body is ravaged, call on God for restoration, as the Psalmist did.  And remember, God will restore and rebuild your temple, for “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:28).

 

 

 

Bibliography and Suggested Reading

 

Alexander, Joseph Addison. The Psalms Translated and Explained.  Edinburgh: Andrew Elliot, 1864. 

Bonar, Andrew. Christ and His Church in the Book of Psalms.  New York:  Robert Carter & Brothers, 1860.

Bratcher, Robert G.; Reyburn, William D. UBS Handbooks for the Old Testament. “Proverbs”. American Bible Society.

Calvin, John.  A Commentary on the Book of Psalms.  3 Vols.  Oxford: D. A. Talboys, 1840. (Originally published in Latin in 1557). 

Clarke, Adam. The Holy Bible with a Commentary and Critical Notes.  Vol. III.  London:  William Tegg & Co., 1854.  (Originally published in 1831). 

Cowles, Henry.  The Psalms with Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Practical.  New York:  D. Appleton & Co., 1872.

Delitzsch, Franz.  Biblical Commentary on the Psalms. Edinburgh:  T & T Clark, 1892. (Originally published in 1860).

Dickson, David. An Explication of the Other Fifty Psalms, from Ps. 50 to Ps. 100. Cornhill, U.K.:  Ralph Smith, 1653. 

Exell, Joseph S. and Henry Donald Spence-Jones, eds. The Pulpit Commentary. Vols. 17, 18, & 19. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1884. 

Henry, Matthew.  An Exposition of All the Books of the Old and New Testament.  Vol. II.  London: W. Baynes, 1806. (Originally published in 1710).

Horne, George. A Commentary on the Book of Psalms.  New York:  Robert Carter & Brothers, 1854.

Jamieson, Robert; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David.  A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments.  Glasgow:  William Collins, Queen’s Printer, 1863.

Lange, John Peter, ed. and Philip Schaff, trans.  A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical.  New York:  Charles Scribner & Co., 1865. 

Perowne, J. J. Stewart.  The Book of Psalms:  A New Translation with Explanatory Notes.  London:  George Bell & Sons, 1880.

Plumer, William S.  Studies in the Book of Psalms.  Philadelphia:  J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1872.

Spurgeon, Charles.  The Treasury of David.  6 Vols.  London: Marshall Brothers, Ltd., 1885.

VanGemeren, Willem A. “Psalms” from The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. VIII, ed. by Frank Gaebelein.  Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1984.

 

All of these books, except for The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, can be downloaded free of charge from: 

http://www.ClassicChristianLibrary.com