God Implored to Rescue His People from Their Calamities.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] “Lilies, a Testimony.” A Psalm of Asaph.
80 Hear us O Shepherd of Israel, You who lead Joseph like a flock; You who sit enthroned above the cherubim [of the ark of the covenant], shine forth! 2 Before [a]Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Your power And come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; Cause Your face to shine on us [with favor and approval], and we will be saved.
4 O Lord God of hosts, How long will You be angry with the prayers of Your people? 5 You have fed them the bread of tears, And You have made them drink [bitter] tears in abundance. 6 You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, And our enemies laugh [at our suffering] among themselves. 7 Restore us, O God of hosts; And cause Your face to shine on us [with favor and approval], and we will be saved.
8 You uprooted a vine (Israel) from Egypt; You drove out the [Canaanite] nations and planted the vine [in Canaan]. 9 You cleared away the ground before it, And it took deep root and filled the land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shadow, And its branches were like the cedars of God. 11 Israel sent out its branches to the [Mediterranean] Sea, And its branches to the [Euphrates] River. 12 Why have You broken down its [b]walls and hedges, So that all who pass by pick its fruit? 13 A boar from the woods eats it away, And the insects of the field feed on it.
14 Turn again [in favor to us], O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, and take care of this vine, 15 Even the stock which Your right hand has planted, And [look down on] the son that You have reared and strengthened for Yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your [angry] appearance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You have made strong for Yourself. 18 Then we shall not turn back from You; Revive us and we will call on Your name. 19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine on us [in favor and approval], and we shall be saved.
Psalm 80:2It is believed that these three tribes represented all twelve tribes of Israel, Benjamin being incorporated into Judah, Manasseh inhabiting the country beyond the Jordan, and Ephraim the remainder of the land. It was natural for the Israelites to think of the three in one group, for they had camped together on the west side of the tabernacle during the years in the wilderness, and they were also the only descendants of Jacob’s wife Rachel.
Psalm 80:12I.e. dry-stone walls, built without mortar from loose stones in the fields.