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Psalm 79-81 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 79

Plea for Mercy for Jerusalem

A Psalm of Asaph.

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
    they have defiled your holy temple;
    they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants
    to the birds of the air for food,
    the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water
    all around Jerusalem,
    and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
    mocked and derided by those around us.

How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
    Will your jealous wrath 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.
For they have devoured Jacob
    and laid waste his habitation.

Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
    let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
    for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation,
    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?”
Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants
    be known among the nations before our eyes.

11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
    according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.
12 Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
    the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!
13 Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Psalm 80

Prayer for Israel’s Restoration

To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
    you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
    before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
    and come to save us!

Restore us, O God;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved.

O Lord God of hosts,
    how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
You have fed them with the bread of tears,
    and given them tears to drink in full measure.
You make us the scorn[a] of our neighbors;
    our enemies laugh among themselves.

Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved.

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches;
11 it sent out its branches to the sea,
    and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
    so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts;
    look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
15     the stock that your right hand planted.[b]
16 They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;[c]
    may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.
17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
    the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you;
    give us life, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Psalm 81

God’s Appeal to Stubborn Israel

To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.

Sing aloud to God our strength;
    shout for joy to the God of Jacob.
Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
    the sweet lyre with the harp.
Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
    at the full moon, on our festal day.
For it is a statute for Israel,
    an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
He made it a decree in Joseph,
    when he went out over[d] the land of Egypt.

I hear a voice I had not known:
“I relieved your[e] shoulder of the burden;
    your[f] hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you;
    I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.Selah
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
    O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you;
    you shall not bow down to a foreign god.
10 I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
    Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11 “But my people did not listen to my voice;
    Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
    to follow their own counsels.
13 O that my people would listen to me,
    that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
    and turn my hand against their foes.
15 Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
    and their doom would last forever.
16 I would feed you[g] with the finest of the wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 80:6 Syr: Heb strife
  2. Psalm 80:15 Heb adds from verse 17 and upon the one whom you made strong for yourself
  3. Psalm 80:16 Cn: Heb it is cut down
  4. Psalm 81:5 Or against
  5. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  6. Psalm 81:6 Heb his
  7. Psalm 81:16 Cn Compare verse 16b: Heb he would feed him
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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