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Psalm 79

Plea for Mercy for Jerusalem

A Psalm of Asaph.

1

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;

they have defiled your holy temple;

they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2

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.

3

They have poured out their blood like water

all around Jerusalem,

and there was no one to bury them.

4

We have become a taunt to our neighbors,

mocked and derided by those around us.

 

5

How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?

Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

6

Pour out your anger on the nations

that do not know you,

and on the kingdoms

that do not call on your name.

7

For they have devoured Jacob

and laid waste his habitation.

 

8

Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;

let your compassion come speedily to meet us,

for we are brought very low.

9

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.


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Ps 79:1-13. This Psalm, like the seventy-fourth, probably depicts the desolations of the Chaldeans (Jer 52:12-24). It comprises the usual complaint, prayer, and promised thanks for relief.

1. (Compare Ps 74:2-7).

2, 3. (Compare Jer 15:3; 16:4).

4. (Compare Ps 44:13; Jer 42:18; La 2:15).

5. How long—(Ps 13:1).

be angry—(Ps 74:1-10).

jealousy burn—(De 29:20).

6, 7. (Compare Jer 10:25). Though we deserve much, do not the heathen deserve more for their violence to us (Jer 51:3-5; Zec 1:14)? The singular denotes the chief power, and the use of the plural indicates the combined confederates.

called upon—or, "by"

thy name—proclaimed Thy attributes and professed allegiance (Isa 12:4; Ac 2:21).

8. former iniquities—literally, "iniquities of former times."

prevent us—literally, "meet us," as in Ps 21:3.

9. for … glory of thy name [and for] thy name's sake—both mean for illustrating Thy attributes, faithfulness, power, &c.

purge … sins—literally, "provide atonement for us." Deliverance from sin and suffering, for their good and God's glory, often distinguish the prayers of Old Testament saints (compare Eph 1:7).

10. This ground of pleading often used (Ex 32:12; Nu 14:13-16).

blood … shed—(Ps 79:3).

11. prisoner—the whole captive people.

power—literally, "arm" (Ps 10:15).

12. into their bosom—The lap or folds of the dress is used by Eastern people for receiving articles. The figure denotes retaliation (compare Isa 65:6, 7). They reproached God as well as His people.

13. sheep … pasture—(Compare Ps 74:1; 78:70).




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