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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.(A)
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.(B)
They have poured out their blood like water
    all around Jerusalem,
    and there was no one to bury them.(C)
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
    mocked and derided by those around us.(D)

How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
    Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?(E)
Pour out your anger on the nations
    that do not know you
and on the kingdoms
    that do not call on your name.(F)
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.(G)
Help us, O God of our salvation,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins,
    for your name’s sake.(H)
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.(I)

11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
    according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die.(J)
12 Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
    the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!(K)
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.(L)

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(M)
    before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
    and come to save us!(N)

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

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

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.(S)
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.(T)
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?(U)
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it.(V)

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

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


  1. 80.6 Syr: Heb strife
  2. 80.15 Heb adds from 80.17 and upon the one whom you made strong for yourself

Israel’s Rejection Is Not Final

11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.(A) God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?(B) “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”(C) So, too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.[a](D)

What then? Israel has not achieved what it was pursuing. The elect have achieved it, but the rest were hardened,(E) as it is written,

“God gave them a sluggish spirit,
    eyes that would not see
    and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”(F)

And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
    a stumbling block and a retribution for them;(G)
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
    and keep their backs forever bent.”

The Salvation of the Gentiles

11 So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling[b] salvation has come to the gentiles, so as to make Israel[c] jealous.(H) 12 Now if their stumbling[d] means riches for the world and if their loss means riches for gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you gentiles. Inasmuch as I am an apostle to the gentiles, I celebrate my ministry(I) 14 in order to make my own people[e] jealous and thus save some of them.(J) 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted among the others to share the rich root[f] of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember: you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

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  1. 11.6 Other ancient authorities add But if it is by works, it is no longer on the basis of grace, otherwise work would no longer be work
  2. 11.11 Or transgression
  3. 11.11 Gk them
  4. 11.12 Or transgression
  5. 11.14 Gk my flesh
  6. 11.17 Other ancient authorities read the root and the richness