To the chief musician upon Shoshannim, Eduth,
A Psalm of Asaph.

This psalm relates to the distressed condition of the Hebrew church and nation, perhaps during the Syrian, Assyrian, or Chaldean invasions, 2 Kings 12-13, 15, 17-19, 24-25. Here are, (1.) Earnest supplications for God’s special presence and favour, ver. 1-3, 7, 19. (2.) Mournful complaints of the lasting appearances of God’s anger; of the overflowings of their grief; of abuse and derision by their neighbours; and of the unhinging of their constitution, which God himself had fixed, when he brought them out of Egypt, ver. 4-13. (3.) Further supplications, that God would consider and pity his vineyard, their church and nation; assist their king, his vine-dresser; and convert them to, and quicken them in, his service, ver. 14-19.

While I sing, let me be affected with the distresses of God’s church. Let me pant for the fullest manifestations of his glory, and the blessings of his presence. Let me insist that his Spirit may glorify Jesus Christ, the Man of his right hand,in taking what is his, and showing it unto me.

1 Hear, Isr’el’s Shepherd! like a flock
thou that dost Joseph guide;
Shine forth, O thou that dost between
the cherubims abide.

2 In Ephraim’s, and Benjamin’s
and in Manasseh’s sight,
O come for our salvation;
stir up thy strength and might.

3 Turn us again, O Lord our God,
and upon us vouchsafe
To make thy countenance to shine,
and so we shall be safe.

4 O Lord of hosts, Almighty God,
how long shall kindled be
Thy wrath against the prayer made
by thine own folk to thee?

5 Thou tears of sorrow giv’st to them
instead of bread to eat;
Yea, tears instead of drink thou giv’st
to them in measure great.

6 Thou makest us a strife unto
our neighbours round about;
Our enemies among themselves
at us do laugh and flout.

7 Turn us again, O God of hosts,
and upon us vouchsafe
To make thy countenance to shine,
and so we shall be safe.

8 A vine from Egypt brought thou hast,
by thine outstretched hand;
And thou the heathen out didst cast,
to plant it in their land.

9 Before it thou a room didst make,
where it might grow and stand;
Thou causedst it deep root to take,
and it did fill the land.

10 The mountains vail’d were with its shade,
as with a covering;
Like goodly cedars were the boughs
which out from it did spring.

11 Upon the one hand to the sea
her boughs she did out send;
On th’ other side unto the flood
her branches did extend.

12 Why hast thou then thus broken down,
and ta’en her hedge away?
So that all passengers do pluck,
and make of her a prey.

13 The boar who from the forest comes
doth waste it at his pleasure;
The wild beast of the field also
devours it out of measure.

14 O God of hosts, we thee beseech,
return now unto thine;
Look down from heav’n in love, behold,
and visit this thy vine:

15 This vineyard, which thine own right hand
hath planted us among;
And that same branch, which for thyself
thou hast made to be strong.

16 Burnt up it is with flaming fire,
it also is cut down:
They utterly are perished,
when as thy face doth frown.

17 O let thy hand be still upon
the Man of thy right hand,
The Son of man, whom for thyself
thou madest strong to stand.

18 So henceforth we will not go back,
nor turn from thee at all:
O do thou quicken us, and we
upon thy name will call.

19 Turn us again, Lord God of hosts,
and upon us vouchsafe
To make thy countenance to shine,
and so we shall be safe.