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.