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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Psalms 81

Verses 1-16

This is a psalm for the Feast of Trumpets. In the calendar of the Hebrews this feast prepared the way for the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. The first day of the seventh month was the feast of Trumpets. The tenth day of the seventh month was Atonement. The fifteenth day of the seventh month was Tabernacles ( Lev 23:1-44 ).

The psalm opens with a call to the Feast of Trumpets, and a declaration of its Divine appointment (vv. Psa 81:1-5 ). Then the singer expresses the attitude of God to His people, and the song proceeds as in the words of Jehovah (vv. Psa 81:6-10 ). First He tells of His deliverance of them from bondage, and His answer to them at Sinai (vv. Psa 81:6-7 ). Then He reminds them of the terms of the covenant with them. He would speak and they should harken. They were to have no God but Himself, and He would be to them Jehovah God. They were to open the mouth and He would fill it (vv. Psa 81:8-10 ). They failed in refusing to hearken and obey, and therefore He abandoned them to their choice (vv. Psa 81:11-12 ). Finally He expresses His desire that they should return, and declares His ability still to deliver them (vv. Psa 81:13-16 ). It is still the same burned of the faithfulness of God, and the unfaithfulness of His people. Panic and defeat on the part of the people of God are always due to their departure from Him. The enemies who overcome us are without strength in the conflict against Him. When they overcome us it is because we have departed from Him.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Psalms 81". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". 1857-84.