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A Prayer for Retribution against Oppressors

94 O Yahweh, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth.
Rise up, O Judge of the earth.
Repay upon the proud what is their rightful due.
How long will the wicked, O Yahweh,
how long will the wicked exult?
They gush words[a] unrestrained.
All the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O Yahweh;
they oppress your inheritance.
They kill widow and stranger,
and they murder orphans,
while[b] they say, “Yah[c] does not see,”
and “The God of Jacob does not pay attention.”
You pay attention, O brutes among the people.
And you fools, when you will show insight?
Will the one who planted the ear not hear?
Will the one who formed the eye not see?
10 Will the one who instructs nations not rebuke,
the one who teaches humankind knowledge?
11 Yahweh knows the thoughts of humankind,
that they are to no purpose.[d]
12 Blessed is the man, O Yah, whom you instruct
and teach from your law,
13 to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For Yahweh will not abandon his people,
nor forsake his inheritance.
15 For judgment will return to righteousness,[e]
and all the upright in heart will follow after it.
16 Who rose up for me against the wicked?
Who stood up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17 If Yahweh had not been my help,
my soul would soon have dwelt in silence.
18 When I thought,[f] “My foot is slipping,”
your loyal love, O Yahweh, supported me.
19 When my troubled thoughts were many within me,[g]
your consolations cheered my soul.
20 Can there be allied with you a throne of destruction,
one that forms trouble based on statute?
21 They band together against the life of the righteous,
and declare the blameless guilty of blood.[h]
22 But Yahweh has become my high stronghold,
and my God has become my rock of refuge.
23 And he will repay on them their iniquity,
and by[i] their evil he will destroy them.
Yahweh our God will destroy them.


  1. Psalm 94:4 Literally “They gush, they speak,” which is probably a hendiadys
  2. Psalm 94:7 Hebrew “and”
  3. Psalm 94:7 A shortened form of “Yahweh”
  4. Psalm 94:11 Literally “they are a breath” or “a vanity”
  5. Psalm 94:15 That is, the court system will operate correctly
  6. Psalm 94:18 Hebrew “If/When I said,” that is, said to myself
  7. Psalm 94:19 Literally “in my inward parts”
  8. Psalm 94:21 Or “condemn innocent blood”
  9. Psalm 94:23 Or “in”