Psalm 74

1 God, why hast thou cast us off for ever?
Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy
pasture ?

1-9. The church with all things appertaining to it has been utterly destroyed, and its holy things profaned, they saying in their heart that religion is not anything. P. P.

2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast gotten
of old,
Which thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of thine inheritance;
And mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

2 The mountain of Zion signified the Divine good, and the church as to that good. E. 405.

Since by Israel is signified the church which is in truths derived from good, therefore Israel in the Word is called the tribes of Jehovah’s inheritance. E. 431.

Thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of thine inheritance. D. P., Page 87.

2, 10, 11. Prayer to the Lord to bring help. P. P.

3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual ruins,
All the evil that the enemy hath done in the sanctuary.
Thine adversaries have roared in the midst of thine
They have set up their ensigns for signs.

3 The vastation, desolation, and consummation of the Israelitish and Jewish church are still further mentioned. Coro. 59.

3, 4. The enemy here mentioned signifies evil from hell, the sanctuary the church, and the feast worship, hence it is evident what these words mean in a series. Roaring signifies grievous lamentation from grief of heart. E. 601.
3, 4, 9. Testifications that a thing is true are signified by signs. R. 598.

The enemy has destroyed all things in the sanctuary means that evil has destroyed the holy things of the church. The enemies have roared in the midst of thy feast signifies that falses have destroyed all things of worship, they have set signs for signs signifies that they have testified and persuaded by every means. We see not our signs signifies that no testifications of truth were received in the church, there is no more a prophet signifies no doctrine of truth. E. 706.

5 They seemed as men that lifted up
Axes upon a thicket of trees.
6 And now all the carved work thereof
They break down with hatchet and hammers.

5, 6, 7. By the axe in these places is signified falsity from one’s own intelligence, the reason is because by iron is signified truth in ultimates, which is called sensual truth, which when it is separated from rational and spiritual truth is turned into falsity. R. 847.

7 The Divine things proceeding from the Divine Human of the Lord are properly called habitations. Hence heaven itself is called a habitation. A. 9594.

See Psalm xliii. 3. E. 799.

7 They have set thy sanctuary on fire;
They have profaned the dwelling-place of thy name by
casting it to the ground.
8 They said in their heart, Let us make havoc of them
They have burned up all the synagogues of God in the
9 We see not our signs:
There is no more any prophet;
Neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
10 How long, O God, shall the adversary reproach?
Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

7-9. That lusts arising from evil loves destroyed the goods and truths of the church is signified by the enemies casting fire into the sanctuary, and defiling the dwelling place of the name of Jehovah. That they altogether destroyed all things pertaining to Divine worship is signified by their burning all the synagogues of God in the earth. That there was no longer any doctrine of truth or understanding of truth is signified by verse 9. E. 504.

11 Why drawest thou back thy hand, even thy right hand ?
Pluck it out of thy bosom and consume them.
12 Yet God is my King of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength:
Thou brakest the heads of the sea-monsters in the
14Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces;
Thou gavest him to be food to the people inhabiting
the wilderness.

12 See Psalm v. to. R. 44.

See Psalm xx. 10. R. 664.

Working salvation in the midst of the earth means in all parts. E. 313.

12-15. Before this He has overthrown the hells. P. P.
13 It is a water serpent which is here signified, for in the original serpent is expressed by the same term as whale, which is the largest fish of the sea. A whale signifies knowledges in general. As whales signify knowledges perverting the truths of faith, by them are also signified reasonings from fallacies, whence come fallacies. A. 7293.

13, 14. In Isaiah xliii. 20 and Jeremiah xiv. 6 the same word is used for dragons as for serpents in general, and whales in the sea are also meant by the same word, by which also the same is signified, namely, the natural principle of man in common, which is the sensual. E. 714.

13-15. The subject here treated of in the internal sense is concerning sciences destroying the truths of faith, the whales whose head shall be broken are scientifics in general, so also Leviathan. The people of Ziim are they who are in falses, or falses themselves. Hence it is evident that the sea is the scientific misapplied to weaken and destroy truths. – – A. 9755.

15 Thou didst cleave fountain and flood:
Thou driedst up mighty rivers.
16 The day is thine, the night also is thine:
Thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth:
Thou hast made summer and winter.

Here also by fountains and rivers are signified the falsities of doctrine which are from self-derived intelligence, the mighty rivers are confirmed principles of what is false thence derived. By the dragons and by leviathan are signified the scientifics belonging to the sensual and natural man, from which all that is false is derived, when the spiritual man is shut over them. The people inhabiting the wilderness, to whom leviathan is said to be given for meat, signify those who are immersed in infernal falsities. E. 483.

14 See Psalm lxxiv. 13. A. 7293.

Diabolical love is the love of self. This love causes its lust to appear in the distance in hell where it reigns like various species of wild beasts, some like foxes and leopards, some like wolves and tigers, and some like crocodiles and venomous serpents. The ochim, tziim, and ijim, which are mentioned in the prophetical portions of the Word, where the love of ruling from the love of self is spoken of are nothing else. T. 45.

The whale also which is understood by the leviathan signifies the natural man as to scientifics. E. 455.

14, 15. To dry up mighty rivers means to dissipate the more powerful falsities. A. 8185.

See Psalm xviii. 5. E. 518.

16 By light in general Divine truth is signified, which is truth from the Word. By the light of the sun spiritual Divine truth, and by the light of the moon and stars natural Divine truth, both from the Word. The Divine truth in the spiritual sense of the Word is like the light of the sun in the day, and in the natural sense of the Word like the light of the moon and stars in the night. R. 414. By light from the sun, which is called the light of the day and also day, spiritual light is understood, such as the angels enjoy who see the Lord as a sun, and by light from the moon and stars, which is called the light of the night and also night, is understood natural light, such as the angels enjoy who behold the Lord as a moon. E. 527. 16, 17. Alternations with those who are to be regenerated are likened to cold and heat, but the alternations with those who are regenerated to summer and winter. Such alternations are given with the regenerate man not only while he lives in the body, but also when he comes into the other life, for without alternations as of summer and winter as to what is of his will, and as of day and night as to what is of his understanding, he cannot be perfected and rendered happier. But these alternations in the other life are like those of summer and winter in the temperate zones, and as the changes of day and night in springtime. A. 935.

17 Time signifies those things which appertain to time as spring, summer, autumn, and winter, by which are signified states of a person about to be regenerated, and of a regenerate person. Similar things are also signified by the times of the day, morning, noon, evening, and night. E. 610.

And before this, being protected, He has established a church. P. P.

18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O
And that a foolish people hath blasphemed thy name.

18, 19. See Psalm 1. 10, 11. R. 567.
By the enemy who reproachest Jehovah is signified hell and evil thence derived, by the foolish people who despise His name falses which are opposed to the truth of doctrine. People stand for those who are in truth, and in the opposite sense those who are in falses, who are the foolish people. The name Jehovah means all truths of doctrine and of the church.

19 Oh deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the wild
Forget not the life of thy poor for ever.
20 Have respect unto the covenant;
For the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations
of violence.

Verse 19 signifies not to give spiritual good to those who are in the lusts of evil. The life of thine afflicted means the spiritual life oppressed by evils and falses. E. 650.

The states of the church are described by beasts. Coro. 3.

18-21. Let there therefore be compassion, that the church perish not, P. P.

19 Wild animals stand for those who are of no charity, the soul of the turtle-dove for the life of faith. A. 870.
Wild animal in the opposite sense is taken in the Word for what is not living. A. 908.

The turtle-dove signifies spiritual good, thus also those who are in that good. The wild beast signifies the falsity of evil desiring to destroy, consequently those are meant who are in that falsity. E. 388.

21 Oh let not the oppressed return ashamed:
Let the poor and needy praise thy name.

21 See Psalm ix. 19. R. 209.
See Psalm ix. 19. E. 238.

22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause:
Remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee all
the day.
23 Forget not the voice of thine adversaries:
The tumult of those that rise up against thee ascendeth

22, 23. through the uprising of evil. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)