The dates and eras of many of the psalms are unknown. However, there was a period of prolific writing among the prophets during the periods leading up to, during and immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the children of Jacob/Israel.
These psalms appear to have been written during the captivity. The psalmist lamented over the condition of God’s holy temple, the city and His people. They had been slain to the extent that there were insufficient survivors remaining to bury them. God’s name was being dishonored because the nations perceived that He had been unable to protect His people. The writer appealed to the Lord to take vengeance against those nations who did not know Him. In repentance, he prayed for the merciful forgiveness of their past sins and for Israel’s salvation.
“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel…Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; Cause Your face to shine, And we shall be saved!” The psalmist’s lament regarding Israel seemed to be referring to the northern kingdom, Israel since the tribes that he mentioned had occupied that area. He likened them to a vine that God had transplanted from Egypt to a land that had been cleansed of many nations. The vine had flourished and covered the land. However, the Lord had broken it down and allowed it to be devoured by wild beasts. It is easy when times are difficult to be like the psalmist in asking God, “Why?” He stated that if God would restore them, they would remain faithful to Him.