This psalm manifestly foretells the time of the Machabees, and the profanation of the temple by Antiochus.
73:5. And they knew not both in the going out and on the highest top. As with axes in a wood of trees,
73:6. They have cut down at once the gates thereof, with axe and hatchet they have brought it down.
73:7. They have set fire to thy sanctuary: they have defiled the dwelling place of thy name on the earth.
73:8. They said in their heart, the whole kindred of them together: Let us abolish all the festival days of God from the land.
73:9. Our signs we have not seen, there is now no prophet: and he will know us no more.
73:10. How long, O God, shall the enemy reproach: is the adversary to provoke thy name for ever?
73:11. Why dost thou turn away thy hand: and thy right hand out of the midst of thy bosom for ever?
73:12. But God is our king before ages: he hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.
73:13. Thou by thy strength didst make the sea firm: thou didst crush the heads of the dragons in the waters.
The sea firm... By making the waters of the Red Sea stand like firm walls, whilst Israel passed through: and destroying the Egyptians called here dragons from their cruelty, in the same waters, with their king: casting up their bodies on the shore to be stripped by the Ethiopians inhabiting in those days the coast of Arabia.
73:14. Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon: thou hast given him to be meat for the people of the Ethiopians.
73:15. Thou hast broken up the fountains and the torrents: thou hast dried up the Ethan rivers.
Ethan rivers... That is, rivers which run with strong streams. This was verified in Jordan, Jos. 3, and in Arnon, Num. 21.14.
73:16. Thine is the day, and thine is the night: thou hast made the morning light and the sun.
73:17. Thou hast made all the borders of the earth: the summer and the spring were formed by thee.
73:18. Remember this, the enemy hath reproached the Lord: and a foolish people hath provoked thy name.
73:19. Deliver not up to beasts the souls that confess to thee: and forget not to the end the souls of thy poor.
73:20. Have regard to thy covenant: for they that are the obscure of the earth have been filled with dwellings of iniquity.
The obscure of the earth... Mean and ignoble wretches have been filled, that is, enriched, with houses of iniquity, that is, with our estates and possessions, which they have unjustly acquired.
73:21. Let not the humble be turned away with confusion: the poor and needy shall praise thy name.
73:22. Arise, O God, judge thy own cause: remember thy reproaches with which the foolish man hath reproached thee all the day.
73:23. Forget not the voices of thy enemies: the pride of them that hate thee ascendeth continually.
Psalms Chapter 74
There is a just judgment to come: therefore let the wicked take care.
74:1. Unto the end, corrupt not, a psalm of a canticle for Asaph.
Corrupt not... It is believed to have been the beginning of some ode or hymn, to the tune of which this psalm was to be sung. St. Augustine and other fathers take it to be an admonition of the spirit of God, not to faint or fail in our hope: but to persevere with constancy in good: because God will not fail in his due time to render to every man according to his works.
74:2. We will praise thee, O God: we will praise, and we will call upon thy name. We will relate thy wondrous works:
74:3. When I shall take a time, I will judge justices.
When I shall take a time... In proper times: particularly at the last day, when the earth shall melt away at the presence of the great Judge: the same who originally laid the foundations of it, and as it were established its pillars.
74:4. The earth is melted, and all that dwell therein: I have established the pillars thereof.
74:5. I said to the wicked: Do not act wickedly: and to the sinners: Lift not up the horn.
74:6. Lift not up your horn on high: speak not iniquity against God.
74:7. For neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert hills:
74:8. For God is the judge. One he putteth down, and another he lifteth up:
74:9. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup of strong wine full of mixture. And he hath poured it out from this to that: but the dregs thereof are not emptied: all the sinners of the earth shall drink.
74:10. But I will declare for ever: I will sing to the God of Jacob.
74:11. And I will break all the horns of sinners: but the horns of the just shall be exalted.
Psalms Chapter 75
Notus in Judaea.
God is known in his church: and exerts his power in protecting it. It alludes to the slaughter of the Assyrians, in the days of king Ezechias.
75:1. Unto the end, in praises, a psalm for Asaph: a canticle to the Assyrians.
75:2. In Judea God is known: his name is great in Israel.
75:3. And his place is in peace: and his abode in Sion:
75:4. There hath he broken the powers of bows, the shield, the sword, and the battle.
75:5. Thou enlightenest wonderfully from the everlasting hills.
75:6. All the foolish of heart were troubled. They have slept their sleep; and all the men of riches have found nothing in their hands.
75:7. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, they have all slumbered that mounted on horseback.
75:8. Thou art terrible, and who shall resist thee? from that time thy wrath.