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Psalm 79

They Have Reduced Jerusalem to Rubble

A psalm by Asaph.

The Destruction and the Disgrace

God, the nations have invaded your possession.
They have profaned your holy temple.
They have reduced Jerusalem to a heap of ruins.
They have left the corpses of your servants
    as food for the birds of the sky.
They have given the flesh of your favored ones to the wild animals.
They have poured out their blood like water all over Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury them.
We are subjected to contempt by our neighbors,
to mockery and ridicule by those around us.

The Prayer for Justice

How long, O Lord? Will you stay angry forever?
How long will your jealous anger burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you,
on the kingdoms that do not call on your name,
because they have devoured Jacob,
and they have destroyed his pastureland.[a]
Do not charge the guilt of our fathers against us.
Hurry, let your compassion come to meet us,
for we are very weak.
God, who saves us, help us for the glory of your name.
Deliver us and make atonement for our sins for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Before our very eyes, display to the nations
    vengeance for the poured-out blood of your servants.
11 May the groaning of the prisoner come before you.
According to the great strength of your arm
    preserve those doomed to death.
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbors seven times as much scorn
    as the scorn that they directed at you, Lord.
13 Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will praise you forever.
From generation to generation we will recount your praise.


  1. Psalm 79:7 Pastureland here is figurative for their homeland.