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Psalm 79 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.

O God, the nations have invaded your inheritance;
    they have defiled your holy temple,
    they have reduced Jerusalem to rubble.
They have left the dead bodies of your servants
    as food for the birds of the sky,
    the flesh of your own people for the animals of the wild.
They have poured out blood like water
    all around Jerusalem,
    and there is no one to bury the dead.
We are objects of contempt to our neighbours,
    of scorn and derision to those around us.

How long, Lord? Will you be angry for ever?
    How long will your jealousy 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;
for they have devoured Jacob
    and devastated his homeland.

Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;
    may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
    for we are in desperate need.
Help us, God our Saviour,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
    for your name’s sake.
10 Why should the nations say,
    ‘Where is their God?’

Before our eyes, make known among the nations
    that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants.
11 May the groans of the prisoners come before you;
    with your strong arm preserve those condemned to die.
12 Pay back into the laps of our neighbours seven times
    the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will praise you for ever;
from generation to generation
    we will proclaim your praise.

New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 79 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Psalm 79[a]

A psalm of Asaph.

79 O God, foreigners[b] have invaded your chosen land;[c]
they have polluted your holy temple
and turned Jerusalem into a heap of ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
to the birds of the sky,[d]
the flesh of your loyal followers
to the beasts of the earth.
They have made their blood flow like water
all around Jerusalem, and there is no one to bury them.[e]
We have become an object of disdain to our neighbors;
those who live on our borders taunt and insult us.[f]
How long will this go on, O Lord?[g]
Will you stay angry forever?
How long will your rage[h] burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations that do not acknowledge you,[i]
on the kingdoms that do not pray to you.[j]
For they have devoured Jacob
and destroyed his home.
Do not hold us accountable for the sins of earlier generations.[k]
Quickly send your compassion our way,[l]
for we are in serious trouble.[m]
Help us, O God, our deliverer!
For the sake of your glorious reputation,[n] rescue us.
Forgive our sins for the sake of your reputation.[o]
10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
Before our very eyes may the shed blood of your servants
be avenged among the nations.[p]
11 Listen to the painful cries of the prisoners.[q]
Use your great strength to set free those condemned to die.[r]
12 Pay back our neighbors in full.[s]
May they be insulted the same way they insulted you, O Lord.[t]
13 Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will continually thank you.[u]
We will tell coming generations of your praiseworthy acts.[v]


  1. Psalm 79:1 sn Psalm 79. The author laments how the invading nations have destroyed the temple and city of Jerusalem. He asks God to forgive his people and to pour out his vengeance on those who have mistreated them.
  2. Psalm 79:1 tn Or “nations.”
  3. Psalm 79:1 tn Heb “have come into your inheritance.”
  4. Psalm 79:2 tn Heb “[as] food for the birds of the sky.”
  5. Psalm 79:3 tn Heb “they have poured out their blood like water, all around Jerusalem, and there is no one burying.”
  6. Psalm 79:4 tn Heb “an [object of] taunting and [of] mockery to those around us.” See Ps 44:13.
  7. Psalm 79:5 tn Heb “How long, O Lord?”
  8. Psalm 79:5 tn Or “jealous anger.”
  9. Psalm 79:6 tn Heb “which do not know you.” Here the Hebrew term “know” means “acknowledge the authority of.”
  10. Psalm 79:6 sn The kingdoms that do not pray to you. The people of these kingdoms pray to other gods, not the Lord, because they do not recognize his authority over them.
  11. Psalm 79:8 tn Heb “do not remember against us sins, former.” Some understand “former” as an attributive adjective modifying sins, “former [i.e., chronologically prior] sins” (see BDB 911 s.v. רִאשׁוֹן). The present translation assumes that רִאשֹׁנִים (riʾshonim, “former”) here refers to those who lived formerly, that is, the people’s ancestors (see Lam 5:7). The word is used in this way in Lev 26:45; Deut 19:14 and Eccl 1:11.
  12. Psalm 79:8 tn Heb “may your compassion quickly confront us.” The prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive, indicating a tone of prayer.
  13. Psalm 79:8 tn Heb “for we are very low.”
  14. Psalm 79:9 tn Heb “the glory of your name.” Here and in the following line “name” stands metonymically for God’s reputation.
  15. Psalm 79:9 tn Heb “your name.”
  16. Psalm 79:10 tn Heb “may it be known among the nations, to our eyes, the vengeance of the shed blood of your servants.”
  17. Psalm 79:11 tn Heb “may the painful cry of the prisoner come before you.”
  18. Psalm 79:11 tn Heb “according to the greatness of your arm leave the sons of death.” God’s “arm” here symbolizes his strength to deliver. The verbal form הוֹתֵר (hoter) is a Hiphil imperative from יָתַר (yatar, “to remain; to be left over”). Here it must mean “to leave over; to preserve.” However, it is preferable to emend the form to הַתֵּר (hatter), a Hiphil imperative from נָתַר (natar, “be free”). The Hiphil form is used in Ps 105:20 of Pharaoh freeing Joseph from prison. The phrase “sons of death” (see also Ps 102:21) is idiomatic for those condemned to die.
  19. Psalm 79:12 tn Heb “Return to our neighbors sevenfold into their lap.” The number seven is used rhetorically to express the thorough nature of the action. For other rhetorical/figurative uses of the Hebrew phrase שִׁבְעָתַיִם (shivʿatayim, “seven times”) see Gen 4:15, 24; Ps 12:6; Prov 6:31; Isa 30:26.
  20. Psalm 79:12 tn Heb “their reproach with which they reproached you, O Lord.”
  21. Psalm 79:13 tn Or (hyperbolically) “will thank you forever.”
  22. Psalm 79:13 tn Heb “to a generation and a generation we will report your praise.” Here “praise” stands by metonymy for the mighty acts that prompt worship. Cf. Ps 9:14.
New English Translation (NET)

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