Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 78:71

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

From following the ewes - Instances of this kind are not unfrequent in the ancient Greek and Roman history. Croesus said that Gypes, who was the first of his race, was a slave, and rose to sovereignty, succeeding his predecessor, of whose sheep he had been the pastor.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

From following the ewes great with younq - Margin, as in Hebrew, From after. The meaning is, that he followed after them; that is, he attended them, or watched over them as a shepherd. The single word rendered “the ewes great with young” - עול ‛ûl - is a participle from עלוה ‛âlâhô to ascend, to go up; and then, to bring up, to nourish. The exact idea here is doubtless that of bringing up, or of sucking them, and the word should have been so translated here. It is so rendered by Luther. The idea in our translation has been derived from the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. The meaning is, that he brought him from being a shepherd to be the ruler of his people - expressed still in the language of a shepherd life.

To feed Jacob his people - Rather, to be a shepherd to them; to perform toward them the office of a shepherd, including the ideas of governing them, providing for them, and defending them. See the notes at Psalm 23:1-2.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.