A Maskil of Asaph
Why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke
Against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation!
You acquired it long ago.
You redeemed it.
It was to be the tribe of your heritage.
Remember Mount Zion!
There you came to dwell.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins!
The enemy has destroyed everything
In the sanctuary.”
Like the preceding psalm, Psalm 74 is a Maskil or psalm of Asaph, the Temple singer, part of the series that begins book 3 of the psalms. This appears to be a national lamentation, post-exilic, after the destruction of the Temple. This starts out as a cry for help. Asaph wants to know why God has cast them off forever. Why was God angry at his own sheep? God should remember his congregation that he acquired long ago. He had redeemed this tribe at Mount Zion to be his heritage as he dwelt there. Somehow the idea that God lived in the Temple was a common theme. However, here was the problem. The Temple was in ruins, destroyed by the enemy. Everything in the sanctuary had been destroyed. What is the exact reference? Was this the Babylonian captivity?