Ps. 80:8-13 A Parable Of A Vineyard, A Confession

This parable is a confession of the goodness of God and the sins of His people. Israel was like a vine. God drove out seven wicked nations to plant it.  The ground was prepared, and it was easy for it to grow. The vine grew to cover great trees and mountains. It grew from the sea to the river – the geographic area of the height of the united kingdom. This is reminiscent of the prophecy made to Jacob, “Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a spring; Its branches run over a wall.” (Gen. 49:22)

But now the vine has lost its protection, the hedges that protected it have been broken down. Passers-by take its fruit and wild animals eat at its base.  This is same message as the prophets preached. The good vine God made corrupted itself and had to be pruned, and later removed. “Yet I planted you a choice vine, A completely faithful seed.  How then have you turned yourself before Me Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?” (Jer. 2:21) “Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard, Planted by the waters; It was fruitful and full of branches Because of abundant waters… But it was plucked up in fury; It was cast down to the ground…” (Ezek. 19:10-14)

So the next section of this psalm (vss. 14-19) is aprayer for restoration. The nation God planted, but has now chastised, would be received back. Vs. 17 could first refer to the priests that their prayers might be heard again, to the king as God’s anointed, or even to the nation of Israel as the son of God.  But it is hard not to see this applying also to the Messiah, the ultimate “man of God’s right hand.”  That is when the full restoration came.