Psalm 81 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Psalm 81)

Ps 81:1-16. Gittith--(See on Ps 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.

1. our strength-- (Ps 38:7).

2. unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental.

3. the new moon--or the month.
the time appointed--(Compare Pr 7:20).

5. a testimony--The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people.
Joseph--for Israel (Ps 80:1).
went out through--or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus.
I heard--change of person. The writer speaks for the nation.
language--literally, "lip" (Ps 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (De 28:49).

6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.

7. secret place--the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Ex 14:24).
proved thee-- (Ps 7:10; 17:3) --tested their faith by the miracle.

8. (Compare Ps 50:7). The reproof follows to Ps 81:12.
if thou wilt hearken--He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Ps 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings.

11, 12. They failed, and He gave them up to their own desires and hardness of heart (De 29:18; Pr 1:30; Ro 11:25).

13-16. Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, "should have," "would have," &c., are better, "should" and "would" expressing God's intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.