Psalm 81:8

Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me;

Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee,.... Of himself, his being, and perfections; what he was unto them, had done for them, and would do for them, as in the following verses: or "testify in thee" {d}, bear witness to their spirits, that they were his people, and he was their God; this is a witness which the people of God have in themselves; it is the inward testimony of the Spirit; besides which, there is the outward testimony of the word, and which also may be here meant; for it may be rendered,

I will give a testimony to thee: the law is a testimony of the will of God to his people, what he would have done, or not done; and the Gospel is a testimony of his grace, and the whole word testifies of Christ, his person, offices, obedience, sufferings, and death: some render it, "testify against thee" {e}, for their murmurings, rebellion, and idolatry, as in Psalms 50:7 and they are called upon to hear the voice of God in his word, and in his providences, being his people; and as such he addresses them, which bespeaks interest in them, affection to them, and an acknowledgment of them, and carries in it a reason why they should hear him:

O Israel, if thou wilt hearken unto me; this explains who are meant by the Lord's people, Israel, the posterity of Jacob, a chosen and special people, who are exhorted not only to hear, but to hearken and to obey; suggesting, it would be well with them, if they did as in

Psalms 81:13, and some {f} take these words to be a wish, as there; "Israel, O that thou wouldest hearken unto me": see Isaiah 48:18.

{d} Kb hdyea "testificabor in te", Gejerus.
{e} "Ut testificer contra te", Schmidt.
{f} So Michaelis, and Gussetius, and Genevenses, in ib. Comment. Ebr. p. 431.