Psalm 79

Jerusalem had been devastated and the saints were slaughtered. Asaph asks the LORD to send his compassion quickly.




A Psalm by Asaph.


VERSE 1. God, the nations have come into your inheritance. They have defiled your holy temple. They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.

have come into your inheritance. Enemy nations have conquered the land.


VERSE 2. They have given the dead bodies of your servants to be food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of your holy ones to the animals of the earth.


VERSE 3. Their blood they have shed like water around Jerusalem. There was no one to bury them.

Their blood they have shed like water. Mass executions were reported after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem.


VERSE 4. We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scoffing and derision to those who are around us.


VERSE 5. How long, LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?

Will you be angry forever. Asaph equates defeat in battle with God’s displeasure.


VERSE 6. Pour out your wrath on the nations that don’t know you; on the kingdoms that don’t call on your name;


VERSE 7. For they have devoured Jacob, and destroyed his homeland.


VERSE 8. Don’t hold the iniquities of our forefathers against us. Let your tender mercies speedily meet us, for we are in desperate need.

the iniquities of our forefathers against us. In earlier centuries it was assumed that children should be made to suffer for the sins of their parents.

Exodus 20:5. … I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,

Let your tender mercies speedily meet us. That is, “may your compassion come quickly” (NAB translation). They need relief, and they need it now.


VERSE 9. Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of your name. Deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.


VERSE 10. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let it be known among the nations, before our eyes, that vengeance for your servants’ blood is being poured out.

Where is their God. We will see this again in Psalm 115:

Psalm 115:2. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God, now?”


VERSE 11. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before you. According to the greatness of your power, preserve those who are sentenced to death.

the sighing of the prisoner. That is, the “moaning” of the prisoner.


VERSE 12. Pay back to our neighbors seven times into their bosom their reproach with which they have reproached you, Lord.


VERSE 13. So we, your people and sheep of your pasture, will give you thanks forever. We will praise you forever, to all generations.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.