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An Instruction of Asaph

1 Wherefore, O God! hast thou cast us off for ever? [Why] smoketh thy wrath against the flock of thy pastures?

2 Remember thy congregation which thou hast possessed of old; 345345     In French version it is, “which thou hast acquired of old.” Which thou hast redeemed, the rod of thy inheritance, This Mount Zion in which thou hast dwelt.

3 Lift up thy strokes to desolations perpetual, Against every enemy who doeth mischief to the sanctuary.

4 Roared like lions have thy adversaries in the midst of thy sanctuaries; They have set up their signs for signs.

5 He was renowned as doing an excellent work Who lifted up the axes upon the thick trees. 346346     From the obscurity of the literal translation of the Latin version, the free reading of the French version is adopted in these two lines.

6 And now the carved works thereof together, With the hatchet and with hammers they break in pieces.

7 They have set on fire thy sanctuaries; Leveling it with the ground, they have polluted the dwelling-place of thy name.

8 They have said in their heart, “Let us destroy them altogether.” They have burned all the tabernacles of God in the land.

9 Our signs we see not; There is no longer a prophet, Nor is there with us one who knoweth how long! —

10 How long, O God! shall the adversary reproach? Shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

11 How long wilt thou withdraw thy hand, and thy right hand? In the midst, of thy bosom consume them.

12 But God is my king from the beginning, Working salvations in the midst of the earth.

13 Thou didst divide 347347     Literally “break.” by thy power the sea; Thou didst break the heads of dragons in the waters.

14 Thou didst break the head of the leviathan; Thou gavest him for food to thy people in the wilderness.

15 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the torrent: Thou didst dry up mighty rivers.

16 Thine is the day; thine also is the night: Thou hast ordained the light and the sun.

17 Thou hast fixed all the boundaries of the earth: The summer and the winter thou hast made.

18 Remember this: the enemy hath reproached Jehovah; And a worthless people hath done despite to thy name.

19 Give not to the beast the soul of thy turtle dove: The congregation of thy poor ones forget not for ever.

20 Have regard to thy covenant; For filled are the dark places of the earth with the abodes of violence.

21 Let not the afflicted one return ashamed; Let the poor and needy one praise thy name.

22 Arise, O God! plead thy own cause: Remember thy reproach, which is done thee by the foolish man daily.

23 Forget not the voice of thy adversaries: The tumult of those who rise up against thee ascendeth continually.

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