74:1 cast us off. Israel’s defeat at the hands of the Babylonians indicated that God had abandoned His chosen people and would protect them no longer. The prophets (Ezek. 9–11) describe God’s abandonment of His temple, blaming it on Israel’s sin and unbelief. See note Ps. 22:1.
the sheep. The writer appeals to this metaphor of intimate relationship between God and His people in order to plead for restoration. See Ps. 23:1.