A Prayer to Bring Israel Back
For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies of the Agreement.” A psalm of Asaph [C a Levitical musician, a descendant of Gershon, at the time of David; 1 Chr. 6:39; 15:17; 2 Chr. 5:12].
80 Shepherd of Israel, ·listen to us [give ear].
You ·lead [guide] the people of Joseph [C the northern empire of Israel] like a flock.
You sit on your throne between the ·gold creatures with wings [L cherubim; Ex. 25:18–22; 1 Kin. 8:7].
·Show your greatness [L Shine forth] 2 to the people of Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.
·Use [Arouse] your strength,
and come to ·save us [give us victory].
4 Lord God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts],
how long will you ·be angry [L smoke/fume at us]
at the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed your people ·with tears [L the bread/food of tears];
you have made them drink ·many tears [tears by measure/L the third].
6 You made ·those around us fight over us [L us the strife of our neighbors],
and our enemies ·make fun of [ridicule] us.
7 God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], ·take us back [restore us].
·Show us your kindness [L Make your face shine on us; 31:16; 67:1; Num. 6:24–26] so we can ·be saved [have victory].
8 You brought ·us out of Egypt as if we were a vine [L a vine out of Egypt; Gen. 49:22; Is. 5:1–7; 27:2–6; Jer. 2:21; 12:10; Ezek. 15:1–8; 19:10–14; Hos. 10:1].
You ·forced out [dispossessed] other nations and planted us in the land.
9 You cleared the ground for us.
We took root and filled the land.
10 We covered the mountains with our shade.
We had branches like the mighty cedar tree.
11 Our branches reached the Mediterranean Sea,
and our shoots went to the Euphrates River.
12 So why did you ·pull [break] down our walls?
Now everyone who passes by ·steals from us [picks our fruit].
13 Like ·wild pigs [L boars of the forest] they ·walk over us [ravage us; gobble us up];
like ·wild animals [L creatures of the field] they feed on us.
14 God ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts], ·come back [restore us].
Look down from heaven and see.
Take care of us, your vine.
15 You planted this ·shoot [root] with your own hands
and strengthened this child [C the king].
16 Now it is cut down and burned with fire;
you destroyed us by ·your angry looks [L the rebuke of your face].
17 ·With your hand,
strengthen the one you have chosen for yourself [L Let your hand be on the man of your right hand; C the king].
18 Then we will not ·turn away from [deviate from; be disloyal to] you.
Give us life again, and we will call ·to you for help [L on your name].