Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment - We reel as drunken men; we are giddy, like those who have drank too much wine; but our giddiness has been occasioned by the astonishment and dismay that have taken place in consequence of the prevalence of our enemies, and the unsettled state of the land. It has been remarked that the three first verses of this Psalm do not agree with the rest, and it also appears that the three first verses of Psalm 85:1-13; : do not agree with the rest of that Psalm. But let them change places, and the three first verses of this be set instead of the three first verses of Psa lxxxv., and let those be placed here instead of these and then the whole of each Psalm will be consistent. This was first suggested by Bishop Hare, and the supposition seems to be well founded. Some imagine that the whole of the Psalm refers to the distracted state of the land after the death of Saul till the time that David was anointed king over all Israel, at Hebron; others, to the disastrous war with the Syrians. See before.
Thou hast showed thy people hard things - Thou hast caused them to see reverses, disappointments, and trials. This refers, according to the supposition in the Introduction to the psalm, to some calamitous events which had occurred. The probability seems to be that the Edomites may have spread desolation over the land.
Thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment - The word rendered “astonishment” - תרעלה tar‛êlâh - occurs only here and in Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 51:22 - in both of which verses in Isaiah it is rendered trembling. It means properly reeling, drunkenness; and the idea here is, that it was as if he had given them a cup - that is, an intoxicating drink - which had caused them to reel as a drunken man; or, in other words, their efforts had been unsuccessful. Compare Psalm 11:6, note; Isaiah 51:17, note.