Ps 81:1-16. Gittith--(See on Ps 8:1, title). A festal Psalm, probably for the passover (compare Mt 26:30), in which, after an exhortation to praise God, He is introduced, reminding Israel of their obligations, chiding their neglect, and depicting the happy results of obedience.
2. unites the most joyful kinds of music, vocal and instrumental. 3. the new moon--or the month. the time appointed--(Compare Pr 7:20). 5. a testimony--The feasts, especially the passover, attested God's relation to His people. Joseph--for Israel (Ps 80:1). went out through--or, "over," that is, Israel in the exodus. I heard--change of person. The writer speaks for the nation. language--literally, "lip" (Ps 14:1). An aggravation or element of their distress that their oppressors were foreigners (De 28:49). 6. God's language alludes to the burdensome slavery of the Israelites.
7. secret place--the cloud from which He troubled the Egyptians (Ex 14:24). proved thee--(Ps 7:10 17:3)--tested their faith by the miracle.
8. (Compare Ps 50:7). The reproof follows to Ps 81:12. if thou wilt hearken--He then propounds the terms of His covenant: they should worship Him alone, who (Ps 81:10) had delivered them, and would still confer all needed blessings. 11, 12. They failed, and He gave them up to their own desires and hardness of heart (De 29:18 Pr 1:30 Ro 11:25). 13-16. Obedience would have secured all promised blessings and the subjection of foes. In this passage, "should have," "would have," &c., are better, "should" and "would" expressing God's intention at the time, that is, when they left Egypt.