Psalms 79:1 MEANING

Psalm 79:1
(1) Inheritance.--Probably intended to embrace both land and people. (Exodus 15:17; Psalm 74:2, &c.)

Heaps--i.e., ruins. (Comp. Micah 3:12; Jeremiah 26:18; and in singular, Micah 1:6.)

Verse 1. - O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance (comp. Psalm 74:2; Psalm 78:62). Israel - alike the people and the land - is "God's inheritance." Thy holy temple have they defiled. The Babylonians defiled the temple by breaking into it, seizing its treasures and ornaments (Jeremiah 52:17-23), and finally setting fire to it (Jeremiah 52:13). They have laid Jerusalem on heaps. This was certainly not done either by Shishak or by Antiochus Epiphanes; but was done, as prophesied (Jeremiah 9:11; Jeremiah 26:18; Micah 3:12), by the Babylonians.

79:1-5 God is complained to: whither should children go but to a Father able and willing to help them? See what a change sin made in the holy city, when the heathen were suffered to pour in upon them. God's own people defiled it by their sins, therefore he suffered their enemies to defile it by their insolence. They desired that God would be reconciled. Those who desire God's favour as better than life, cannot but dread his wrath as worse than death. In every affliction we should first beseech the Lord to cleanse away the guilt of our sins; then he will visit us with his tender mercies.O God, the Heathen are come into thine inheritance,.... The land of Canaan, divided among the children of Israel by lot and line for an inheritance, out of which the Heathen were cast, to make room for them; but now would come into it again; see Psalm 89:35, and this is called the Lord's inheritance, because he gave it as such to the people of Israel, and dwelt in it himself; and the rather this is observed as something marvellous, that he should suffer Heathens to possess his own inheritance; or the city of Jerusalem, which was the place the Lord chose to put his name in; or the temple, where he had his residence, called the mountain of his inheritance, Exodus 15:17, and into which it was always accounted a profanation for Heathens to enter; see Acts 21:28, into each of these places the Heathen came; the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar; the Syrians under Antiochus, as in the Apocrypha:

"Insomuch that the inhabitants of Jerusalem fled because of them: whereupon the city was made an habitation of strangers, and became strange to those that were born in her; and her own children left her.'' (1 Maccabees 1:38)

"Now Jerusalem lay void as a wilderness, there was none of her children that went in or out: the sanctuary also was trodden down, and aliens kept the strong hold; the heathen had their habitation in that place; and joy was taken from Jacob, and the pipe with the harp ceased.'' (1 Maccabees 3:45)

the Romans under Pompey, Vespasian, and Titus; and the Papists have since entered among the people of God, who are his heritage or inheritance, and have lorded it over them, and made havoc of them, and who are called Heathens and Gentiles, Psalm 10:16,

thy holy temple have they defiled: this was done in the times of Antiochus, by entering into it, taking away the holy vessels out of it, shedding innocent blood in it, and setting up the abomination of desolation on the altar, and sacrificing to it, as in the Apocrypha:

"Every bridegroom took up lamentation, and she that sat in the marriage chamber was in heaviness,'' (1 Maccabees 1:27)

"Thus they shed innocent blood on every side of the sanctuary, and defiled it:'' (1 Maccabees 1:37)

"And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:'' (1 Maccabees 1:46)

"And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king's commandment was, that they should put him to death.'' (1 Maccabees 1:57)

"For thy sanctuary is trodden down and profaned, and thy priests are in heaviness, and brought low.'' (1 Maccabees 3:51)

"And they called upon the Lord, that he would look upon the people that was trodden down of all; and also pity the temple profaned of ungodly men;'' (2 Maccabees 8:2)

and by burning it in the times of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus; see Psalm 74:7, and the church, which is the holy temple of God, has been defiled by antichrist sitting in it, and showing himself there as if he was God, by his dreadful blasphemies, idolatrous worship, and false doctrines, 2 Thessalonians 2:4,

they have laid Jerusalem on heaps; the walls and buildings being pulled down, and made a heap of stones and rubbish: in the times of Antiochus and of the Maccabees, it was set on fire, and the houses and the walls pulled down on every side, and was greatly defaced, and threatened to be laid level with the ground, as in the Apocrypha:

"And when he had taken the spoils of the city, he set it on fire, and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side.'' (1 Maccabees 1:31)


Courtesy of Open Bible