Psalm 80 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 80)

Verse 1

[1] Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.

Joseph — The children of Joseph or Israel. The name of Joseph, the most eminent of the patriarchs, is elsewhere put for all the tribes.

Cherubim — Which were by the mercy seat above the ark.

Verse 2

[2] Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us.

Before Ephraim — Here is an allusion to the ancient situation of the tabernacle in the wilderness, where these tribes were placed on the west-side of the tabernacle, in which the ark was, which consequently was before them.

Verse 3

[3] Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Turn us — To thy self.

Verse 9

[9] Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

Preparedst — Thou didst root out the idolatrous nations.

Deep root — Thou gavest them a firm settlement.

Verse 10

[10] The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.

The hills — They filled not only the fruitful valleys, but even the barren mountains.

Verse 11

[11] She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

The river — They possessed the whole land, from the mid-land sea to the river Euphrates.

Verse 12

[12] Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

Hedges — Taken away thy protection.

Verse 16

[16] It is burned with fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

They — Thy people, signified by the vine. So now he passes from the metaphor to the thing designed by it.

Verse 17

[17] Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

Be — To protect and strengthen him.

Right-hand — Benjamin signifies the son of the right hand, a dearly beloved son, as Benjamin was to Jacob.

Son of man — The people of Israel, who are often spoken of as one person, as God's son and first-born.

Verse 18

[18] So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

Go back — Revolt from thee to idolatry or wickedness.

Quicken — Revive and restore us to our tranquility.