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Plea for Help in Time of National Humiliation

A Maskil of Asaph.

74 O God, why dost thou cast us off for ever?
    Why does thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast gotten of old,
    which thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of thy heritage!
    Remember Mount Zion, where thou hast dwelt.
Direct thy steps to the perpetual ruins;
    the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!

Thy foes have roared in the midst of thy holy place;
    they set up their own signs for signs.
At the upper entrance they hacked
    the wooden trellis with axes.[a]
And then all its carved wood
    they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
They set thy sanctuary on fire;
    to the ground they desecrated the dwelling place of thy name.
They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
    they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our signs;
    there is no longer any prophet,
    and there is none among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
    Is the enemy to revile thy name for ever?
11 Why dost thou hold back thy hand,
    why dost thou keep thy right hand in[b] thy bosom?

12 Yet God my King is from of old,
    working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy might;
    thou didst break the heads of the dragons on the waters.
14 Thou didst crush the heads of Leviathan,
    thou didst give him as food[c] for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 Thou didst cleave open springs and brooks;
    thou didst dry up ever-flowing streams.
16 Thine is the day, thine also the night;
    thou hast established the luminaries and the sun.
17 Thou hast fixed all the bounds of the earth;
    thou hast made summer and winter.

18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
    and an impious people reviles thy name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of thy dove to the wild beasts;
    do not forget the life of thy poor for ever.

20 Have regard for thy[d] covenant;
    for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21 Let not the downtrodden be put to shame;
    let the poor and needy praise thy name.

22 Arise, O God, plead thy cause;
    remember how the impious scoff at thee all the day!
23 Do not forget the clamor of thy foes,
    the uproar of thy adversaries which goes up continually!


  1. Psalm 74:5 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb uncertain
  2. Psalm 74:11 Cn: Heb consume thy right hand from
  3. Psalm 74:14 Heb food for the people
  4. Psalm 74:20 Gk Syr: Heb the

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