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A Psalm of Asaph

A Prayer for Jerusalem

79 God, nations have invaded your land[a]
    to desecrate your holy Temple,
        to destroy Jerusalem,
to give the corpses of your servants
    as food for the birds of the skies
and the flesh of your godly ones
    to the beasts of the earth;
to make their blood flow like water around Jerusalem,
    with no one being buried.
We have become a reproach to our neighbors,
    a mockery and a derision to those around us.

How long, Lord, will you be angry? Forever?
    Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath upon the nations
    that do not acknowledge you,
and over the kingdoms
    that do not call on your name.
    For they consumed Jacob,
    making his dwelling place desolate.

Don’t charge[b] us for previous iniquity,
    but let your compassion come quickly to us,
        for we have been brought very low.
Help us, God, our deliverer,
    on account of your glorious name,
deliver us and forgive[c] our sins
    on account of your name.

10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”
    Let vengeance for the blood of your servants be meted[d] out
        before our eyes and among the nations.
11 Let the cries of the prisoners reach you.
    With the strength of your power,
        release those condemned to death.[e]
12 Pay back our neighbors seven times[f]
    the reproach with which they reproached you, Lord.
13     Then we, your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will praise you always, from generation to generation.
        We will declare your praise.


  1. Psalm 79:1 Lit. your possession; or your inheritance
  2. Psalm 79:8 Lit. remember
  3. Psalm 79:9 Lit. cover
  4. Psalm 79:10 Lit. spilled
  5. Psalm 79:11 Lit. the sons of death
  6. Psalm 79:12 Or seven-fold

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.

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

How long,(J) Lord? Will you be angry(K) forever?
    How long will your jealousy burn like fire?(L)
Pour out your wrath(M) on the nations
    that do not acknowledge(N) you,
on the kingdoms
    that do not call on your name;(O)
for they have devoured(P) Jacob
    and devastated his homeland.

Do not hold against us the sins of past generations;(Q)
    may your mercy come quickly to meet us,
    for we are in desperate need.(R)
Help us,(S) God our Savior,
    for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins
    for your name’s sake.(T)
10 Why should the nations say,
    “Where is their God?”(U)

Before our eyes, make known among the nations
    that you avenge(V) the outpoured blood(W) 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(X) of our neighbors seven times(Y)
    the contempt they have hurled at you, Lord.
13 Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture,(Z)
    will praise you forever;(AA)
from generation to generation
    we will proclaim your praise.

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