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A Lament for Jerusalem after Its Destruction

A psalm of Asaph.[a]

79 O God, the nations have entered your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have reduced Jerusalem to ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
as food for the birds of the heavens,
the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was none to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
a derision and a scorn to those around us.
How long, O Yahweh? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name,
because they[b] have devoured Jacob
and have laid waste his habitation.
Do not remember against us former iniquities;
let your mercies meet us quickly
because we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
and deliver us and forgive[c] our sins
for the sake of your name.
10 Why should the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Let it[d] be known among the nations before our eyes,
by the avenging of the blood of your servants
that was poured out.
11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before you.
According to the greatness of your power,[e]
spare[f] the children appointed to death.
12 And return to our neighbors sevenfold upon them[g]
their taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord.
13 Then we, your people and the flock of your pasture,
we will give thanks to you forever.
Generation after generation[h]
we will tell of your praise.


  1. Psalm 79:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
  2. Psalm 79:7 Hebrew “he”
  3. Psalm 79:9 Hebrew “make atonement for”
  4. Psalm 79:10 That is, God’s name
  5. Psalm 79:11 Literally “arm”
  6. Psalm 79:11 Or “leave a remnant of”
  7. Psalm 79:12 Hebrew “into their bosom”
  8. Psalm 79:13 Literally “to a generation and a generation”