The Message

Psalm 79

An Asaph Psalm

11-4 God! Barbarians have broken into your home,
    violated your holy temple,
    left Jerusalem a pile of rubble!
They’ve served up the corpses of your servants
    as carrion food for birds of prey,
Threw the bones of your holy people
    out to the wild animals to gnaw on.
They dumped out their blood
    like buckets of water.
All around Jerusalem, their bodies
    were left to rot, unburied.
We’re nothing but a joke to our neighbors,
    graffiti scrawled on the city walls.

5-7 How long do we have to put up with this, God?
    Do you have it in for us for good?
    Will your smoldering rage never cool down?
If you’re going to be angry, be angry
    with the pagans who care nothing about you,
    or your rival kingdoms who ignore you.
They’re the ones who ruined Jacob,
    who wrecked and looted the place where he lived.

8-10 Don’t blame us for the sins of our parents.
    Hurry up and help us; we’re at the end of our rope.
You’re famous for helping; God, give us a break.
    Your reputation is on the line.
Pull us out of this mess, forgive us our sins—
    do what you’re famous for doing!
Don’t let the heathen get by with their sneers:
    “Where’s your God? Is he out to lunch?”
Go public and show the godless world
    that they can’t kill your servants and get by with it.

11-13 Give groaning prisoners a hearing;
    pardon those on death row from their doom—you can do it!
Give our jeering neighbors what they’ve got coming to them;
    let their God-taunts boomerang and knock them flat.
Then we, your people, the ones you love and care for,
    will thank you over and over and over.
We’ll tell everyone we meet
    how wonderful you are, how praiseworthy you are!

Amplified Bible

Psalm 79

A Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Prayer for Help.

A Psalm of Asaph.

1O God, the nations have invaded [the land of Your people] Your inheritance;
They have defiled Your sacred temple;
They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

They have given the dead bodies of Your servants as food to the birds of the heavens,
The flesh of Your godly ones to the beasts of the earth.

They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem,
And there was no one to bury them.

We have become an object of taunting to our neighbors [because of our humiliation],
A derision and mockery to those who encircle us.

How long, O Lord? Will You be angry forever?
Will Your jealousy [which cannot endure a divided allegiance] burn like fire?

Pour out Your wrath on the [Gentile] nations that do not know You,
And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.

For they have devoured Jacob
And made his pasture desolate.


O do not remember against us the sins and guilt of our forefathers.
Let Your compassion and mercy come quickly to meet us,
For we have been brought very low.

Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name;
Rescue us, forgive us our sins for Your name’s sake.
10 
Why should the [Gentile] nations say, “Where is their God?”
Let there be known [without delay] among the nations in our sight [and to this generation],
Your vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been poured out.
11 
Let the groaning and sighing of the prisoner come before You;
According to the greatness of Your power keep safe those who are doomed to die.
12 
And return into the lap of our neighbors sevenfold
The taunts with which they have taunted You, O Lord.
13 
So we Your people, the sheep of Your pasture,
Will give You thanks forever;
We will declare and publish Your praise from generation to generation.