Plea for Relief from Oppressors
A Psalm of Asaph.
1Truly God is good to the upright,
to those who are pure in heart.2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
my steps had nearly slipped.3For I was envious of the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
4For they have no pain;
their bodies are sound and sleek.5They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not plagued like other people.6Therefore pride is their necklace;
violence covers them like a garment.7Their eyes swell out with fatness;
their hearts overflow with follies.8They scoff and speak with malice;
loftily they threaten oppression.9They set their mouths against heaven,
and their tongues range over the earth.
10Therefore the people turn and praise them,
and find no fault in them.11And they say, “How can God know?
Is there knowledge in the Most High?”12Such are the wicked;
always at ease, they increase in riches.13All in vain I have kept my heart clean
and washed my hands in innocence.14For all day long I have been plagued,
and am punished every morning.
15If I had said, “I will talk on in this way,”
I would have been untrue to the circle of your children.16But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,17until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I perceived their end.18Truly you set them in slippery places;
you make them fall to ruin.19How they are destroyed in a moment,
swept away utterly by terrors!20They are like a dream when one awakes;
on awaking you despise their phantoms.
21When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,22I was stupid and ignorant;
I was like a brute beast toward you.23Nevertheless I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.24You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me with honor.25Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire other than you.26My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27Indeed, those who are far from you will perish;
you put an end to those who are false to you.28But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
to tell of all your works.Chapter 74Plea for Help in Time of National Humiliation
A Maskil of Asaph.
1O God, why do you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?2Remember your congregation, which you acquired long ago,
which you redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage.
Remember Mount Zion, where you came to dwell.3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.
4Your foes have roared within your holy place;
they set up their emblems there.5At the upper entrance they hacked
the wooden trellis with axes.6And then, with hatchets and hammers,
they smashed all its carved work.7They set your sanctuary on fire;
they desecrated the dwelling place of your name,
bringing it to the ground.8They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9We do not see our emblems;
there is no longer any prophet,
and there is no one among us who knows how long.10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?11Why do you hold back your hand;
why do you keep your hand in your bosom?
12Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the earth.13You divided the sea by your might;
you broke the heads of the dragons in the waters.14You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.15You cut openings for springs and torrents;
you dried up ever-flowing streams.16Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the luminaries and the sun.17You have fixed all the bounds of the earth;
you made summer and winter.
18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,
and an impious people reviles your name.19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals;
do not forget the life of your poor forever.
20Have regard for your covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the haunts of violence.21Do not let the downtrodden be put to shame;
let the poor and needy praise your name.22Rise up, O God, plead your cause;
remember how the impious scoff at you all day long.23Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of your adversaries that goes up continually.Chapter 75Thanksgiving for God's Wondrous Deeds
To the leader: Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
1We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.
2At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.3When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep its pillars steady. Selah4I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;5do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with insolent neck.”
6For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;7but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.8For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.9But I will rejoice forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.Chapter 76Israel's God—Judge of All the Earth
To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
1In Judah God is known,
his name is great in Israel.2His abode has been established in Salem,
his dwelling place in Zion.3There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah
4Glorious are you, more majestic
than the everlasting mountains.5The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
was able to lift a hand.6At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
both rider and horse lay stunned.
7But you indeed are awesome!
Who can stand before you
when once your anger is roused?8From the heavens you uttered judgment;
the earth feared and was still9when God rose up to establish judgment,
to save all the oppressed of the earth. Selah
10Human wrath serves only to praise you,
when you bind the last bit of your wrath around you.11Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
let all who are around him bring gifts
to the one who is awesome,12who cuts off the spirit of princes,
who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.Chapter 77God's Mighty Deeds Recalled
To the leader: according to Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1I cry aloud to God,
aloud to God, that he may hear me.2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted.3I think of God, and I moan;
I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah
4You keep my eyelids from closing;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.5I consider the days of old,
and remember the years of long ago.6I commune with my heart in the night;
I meditate and search my spirit:7“Will the Lord spurn forever,
and never again be favorable?8Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
Are his promises at an end for all time?9Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah10And I say, “It is my grief
that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”
11I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;
I will remember your wonders of old.12I will meditate on all your work,
and muse on your mighty deeds.13Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is so great as our God?14You are the God who works wonders;
you have displayed your might among the peoples.15With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
16When the waters saw you, O God,
when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
the very deep trembled.17The clouds poured out water;
the skies thundered;
your arrows flashed on every side.18The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
your lightnings lit up the world;
the earth trembled and shook.19Your way was through the sea,
your path, through the mighty waters;
yet your footprints were unseen.20You led your people like a flock
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.Chapter 78God's Goodness and Israel's Ingratitude
A Maskil of Asaph.
1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.2I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,3things that we have heard and known,
that our ancestors have told us.4We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
5He established a decree in Jacob,
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach to their children;6that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,7so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;8and that they should not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The Ephraimites, armed with the bow,
turned back on the day of battle.10They did not keep God's covenant,
but refused to walk according to his law.11They forgot what he had done,
and the miracles that he had shown them.12In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels
in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.13He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
and made the waters stand like a heap.14In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
and all night long with a fiery light.15He split rocks open in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.16He made streams come out of the rock,
and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
17Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.18They tested God in their heart
by demanding the food they craved.19They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the wilderness?20Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out
and torrents overflowed,
can he also give bread,
or provide meat for his people?”
21Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of rage;
a fire was kindled against Jacob,
his anger mounted against Israel,22because they had no faith in God,
and did not trust his saving power.23Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven;24he rained down on them manna to eat,
and gave them the grain of heaven.25Mortals ate of the bread of angels;
he sent them food in abundance.26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
and by his power he led out the south wind;27he rained flesh upon them like dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas;28he let them fall within their camp,
all around their dwellings.29And they ate and were well filled,
for he gave them what they craved.30But before they had satisfied their craving,
while the food was still in their mouths,31the anger of God rose against them
and he killed the strongest of them,
and laid low the flower of Israel.
32In spite of all this they still sinned;
they did not believe in his wonders.33So he made their days vanish like a breath,
and their years in terror.34When he killed them, they sought for him;
they repented and sought God earnestly.35They remembered that God was their rock,
the Most High God their redeemer.36But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.37Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not true to his covenant.38Yet he, being compassionate,
forgave their iniquity,
and did not destroy them;
often he restrained his anger,
and did not stir up all his wrath.39He remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that passes and does not come again.40How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!41They tested God again and again,
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.42They did not keep in mind his power,
or the day when he redeemed them from the foe;43when he displayed his signs in Egypt,
and his miracles in the fields of Zoan.44He turned their rivers to blood,
so that they could not drink of their streams.45He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.46He gave their crops to the caterpillar,
and the fruit of their labor to the locust.47He destroyed their vines with hail,
and their sycamores with frost.48He gave over their cattle to the hail,
and their flocks to thunderbolts.49He let loose on them his fierce anger,
wrath, indignation, and distress,
a company of destroying angels.50He made a path for his anger;
he did not spare them from death,
but gave their lives over to the plague.51He struck all the firstborn in Egypt,
the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.52Then he led out his people like sheep,
and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.53He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.54And he brought them to his holy hill,
to the mountain that his right hand had won.55He drove out nations before them;
he apportioned them for a possession
and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
56Yet they tested the Most High God,
and rebelled against him.
They did not observe his decrees,57but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors;
they twisted like a treacherous bow.58For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
they moved him to jealousy with their idols.59When God heard, he was full of wrath,
and he utterly rejected Israel.60He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
the tent where he dwelt among mortals,61and delivered his power to captivity,
his glory to the hand of the foe.62He gave his people to the sword,
and vented his wrath on his heritage.63Fire devoured their young men,
and their girls had no marriage song.64Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a warrior shouting because of wine.66He put his adversaries to rout;
he put them to everlasting disgrace.
67He rejected the tent of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;68but he chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which he loves.69He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
like the earth, which he has founded forever.70He chose his servant David,
and took him from the sheepfolds;71from tending the nursing ewes he brought him
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
of Israel, his inheritance.72With upright heart he tended them,
and guided them with skillful hand.Chapter 79Plea for Mercy for Jerusalem
A Psalm of Asaph.
1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.2They 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.3They have poured out their blood like water
all around Jerusalem,
and there was no one to bury them.4We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us.
5How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?6Pour out your anger on the nations
that do not know you,
and on the kingdoms
that do not call on your name.7For they have devoured Jacob
and laid waste his habitation.
8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors;
let your compassion come speedily to meet us,
for we are brought very low.9Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and forgive our sins,
for your name's sake.10Why 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.
11Let the groans of the prisoners come before you;
according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.12Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors
the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!13Then we your people, the flock of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise.Chapter 80Prayer for Israel's Restoration
To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
you who lead Joseph like a flock!
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
Stir up your might,
and come to save us!
3Restore us, O God;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
4O Lord God of hosts,
how long will you be angry with your people's prayers?5You have fed them with the bread of tears,
and given them tears to drink in full measure.6You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
our enemies laugh among themselves.
7Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.
8You brought a vine out of Egypt;
you drove out the nations and planted it.9You cleared the ground for it;
it took deep root and filled the land.10The mountains were covered with its shade,
the mighty cedars with its branches;11it sent out its branches to the sea,
and its shoots to the River.12Why then have you broken down its walls,
so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?13The boar from the forest ravages it,
and all that move in the field feed on it.
14Turn again, O God of hosts;
look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,15the stock that your right hand planted.16They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down;
may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
the one whom you made strong for yourself.18Then we will never turn back from you;
give us life, and we will call on your name.
19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
let your face shine, that we may be saved.Chapter 81God's Appeal to Stubborn Israel
To the leader: according to The Gittith. Of Asaph.
1Sing aloud to God our strength;
shout for joy to the God of Jacob.2Raise a song, sound the tambourine,
the sweet lyre with the harp.3Blow the trumpet at the new moon,
at the full moon, on our festal day.4For it is a statute for Israel,
an ordinance of the God of Jacob.5He made it a decree in Joseph,
when he went out over the land of Egypt.
I hear a voice I had not known:6“I relieved your shoulder of the burden;
your hands were freed from the basket.7In distress you called, and I rescued you;
I answered you in the secret place of thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you;
O Israel, if you would but listen to me!9There shall be no strange god among you;
you shall not bow down to a foreign god.10I am the Lord your God,
who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.
Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.
11“But my people did not listen to my voice;
Israel would not submit to me.12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts,
to follow their own counsels.13O that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!14Then I would quickly subdue their enemies,
and turn my hand against their foes.15Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him,
and their doom would last forever.16I would feed you with the finest of the wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”Chapter 82A Plea for Justice
A Psalm of Asaph.
1God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:2“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked? Selah3Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.4Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
5They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6I say, “You are gods,
children of the Most High, all of you;7nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.”
8Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!Chapter 83Prayer for Judgment on Israel's Foes
A Song. A Psalm of Asaph.
1O God, do not keep silence;
do not hold your peace or be still, O God!2Even now your enemies are in tumult;
those who hate you have raised their heads.3They lay crafty plans against your people;
they consult together against those you protect.4They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;
let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”5They conspire with one accord;
against you they make a covenant—6the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites,
Moab and the Hagrites,7Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;8Assyria also has joined them;
they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah
9Do to them as you did to Midian,
as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,10who were destroyed at En-dor,
who became dung for the ground.11Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,
all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,12who said, “Let us take the pastures of God
for our own possession.”
13O my God, make them like whirling dust,
like chaff before the wind.14As fire consumes the forest,
as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,15so pursue them with your tempest
and terrify them with your hurricane.16Fill their faces with shame,
so that they may seek your name, O Lord.17Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever;
let them perish in disgrace.18Let them know that you alone,
whose name is the Lord,
are the Most High over all the earth.