77:67. And he rejected the tabernacle of Joseph: and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
77:68. But he chose the tribe of Juda, mount Sion which he loved.
77:69. And he built his sanctuary as of unicorns, in the land which he founded for ever.
As of unicorns... That is, firm and strong like the horn of the unicorn.
This is one of the chiefest of the propositions of this psalm, foreshewing the firm establishment of the one, true, and everlasting sanctuary of God, in his church.
77:70. And he chose his servant David, and took him from the flocks of sheep: he brought him from following the ewes great with young,
77:71. To feed Jacob his servant and Israel his inheritance.
77:72. And he fed them in the innocence of his heart: and conducted them by the skilfulness of his hands.
Psalms Chapter 78
Deus, venerunt gentes.
The church in time of persecution prayeth for relief. It seems to belong to the time of the Machabees.
78:1. A psalm for Asaph. O God, the heathens are come into thy inheritance, they have defiled thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.
78:2. They have given the dead bodies of thy servants to be meat for the fowls of the air: the flesh of thy saints for the beasts of the earth.
78:3. They have poured out their blood as water, round about Jerusalem and there was none to bury them.
78:4. We are become a reproach to our neighbours: a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
78:5. How long, O Lord, wilt thou be angry for ever: shall thy zeal be kindled like a fire?
78:6. Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that have not known thee: and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
78:7. Because they have devoured Jacob; and have laid waste his place.
78:8. Remember not our former iniquities: let thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor.
78:9. Help us, O God, our saviour: and for the glory of thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for thy name's sake:
78:10. Lest they should say among the Gentiles: Where is their God? And let him be made known among the nations before our eyes, By the revenging the blood of thy servants, which hath been shed:
78:11. Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before thee. According to the greatness of thy arm, take possession of the children of them that have been put to death.
78:12. And render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom: the reproach wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.
78:13. But we thy people, and the sheep of thy pasture, will give thanks to thee for ever. We will shew forth thy praise, unto generation and generation.
Psalms Chapter 79
Qui regis Israel.
A prayer for the church in tribulation, commemorating God's former favours.
79:1. Unto the end, for them that shall be changed, a testimony for Asaph, a psalm.
79:2. Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. Thou that sittest upon the cherubims, shine forth
79:3. Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasses. Stir up thy might, and come to save us.
79:4. Convert us, O God: and shew us thy face, and we shall be saved.
79:5. O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy servant?
79:6. How long wilt thou feed us with the bread of tears: and give us for our drink tears in measure?
79:7. Thou hast made us to be a contradiction to our neighbours: and our enemies have scoffed at us.
79:8. O God of hosts, convert us: and shew thy face, and we shall be saved.
79:9. Thou hast brought a vineyard out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the Gentiles and planted it.
79:10. Thou wast the guide of its journey in its sight: thou plantedst the roots thereof, and it filled the land.
79:11. The shadow of it covered the hills: and the branches thereof the cedars of God.
79:12. It stretched forth its branches unto the sea, and its boughs unto the river.
79:13. Why hast thou broken down the hedge thereof, so that all they who pass by the way do pluck it?
79:14. The boar out of the wood hath laid it waste: and a singular wild beast hath devoured it.
79:15. Turn again, O God of hosts, look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vineyard:
79:16. And perfect the same which thy right hand hath planted: and upon the son of man whom thou hast confirmed for thyself.
79:17. Things set on fire and dug down shall perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.
Things set on fire, etc... So this vineyard of thine, almost consumed already, must perish, if thou continue thy rebukes.
79:18. Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand: and upon the son of man whom thou hast confirmed for thyself.
The man of thy right hand... Christ.
79:19. And we depart not from thee, thou shalt quicken us: and we will call upon thy name.
79:20. O Lord God of hosts, convert us and shew thy face, and we shall be saved.
Psalms Chapter 80