Psalms 79
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1  A psalm of Asaf. O Hashem, heathens have entered Your domain, defiled Your holy temple, and turned Yerushalayim into ruins.

miz-MOR l’-a-SAF e-lo-HEEM BA-u go-YIM b’-na-kha-la-TE-kha ti-m’-U et hay-KHAL kod-SHE-kha SA-mu et y’-ru-sha-LA-im l’-i-YEEM

א  מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף אֱ‍לֹהִים בָּאוּ גוֹיִם בְּנַחֲלָתֶךָ טִמְּאוּ אֶת־הֵיכַל קָדְשֶׁךָ שָׂמוּ אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם לְעִיִּים׃

79:1   Defiled Your holy temple

In some Jewish communities, this psalm is recited on the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, which is the saddest day of the year as it commemorates the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash. As Yirmiyahu does in Megillat Eicha, the psalmist laments the day when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylonia, and his general Nebuzaradan entered the city of Yerushalayim. Nebuchadnezzar and Nebuzaradan defiled and burned the Beit Hamikdash, destroyed the city, slaughtered many of its inhabitants and exiled the rest of the nation. This grave day has been etched into the consciousness of every Jew throughout history. The conclusion of the psalm is a plea for God’s vengeance so that the nations of the world will know the true justice of Hashem, and His name will remain glorified in the world.1 comment

2  They have left Your servants’ corpses as food for the fowl of heaven, and the flesh of Your faithful for the wild beasts.

ב  נָתְנוּ אֶת־נִבְלַת עֲבָדֶיךָ מַאֲכָל לְעוֹף הַשָּׁמָיִם בְּשַׂר חֲסִידֶיךָ לְחַיְתוֹ־אָרֶץ׃

3  Their blood was shed like water around Yerushalayim, with none to bury them.

ג  שָׁפְכוּ דָמָם כַּמַּיִם סְבִיבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם וְאֵין קוֹבֵר׃

4  We have become the butt of our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.

ד  הָיִינוּ חֶרְפָּה לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ לַעַג וָקֶלֶס לִסְבִיבוֹתֵינוּ׃

5  How long, Hashem, will You be angry forever, will Your indignation blaze like fire?

ה  עַד־מָה יְהֹוָה תֶּאֱנַף לָנֶצַח תִּבְעַר כְּמוֹ־אֵשׁ קִנְאָתֶךָ׃

6  Pour out Your fury on the nations that do not know You, upon the kingdoms that do not invoke Your name,

ו  שְׁפֹךְ חֲמָתְךָ אֶל־הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־יְדָעוּךָ וְעַל מַמְלָכוֹת אֲשֶׁר בְּשִׁמְךָ לֹא קָרָאוּ׃

7  for they have devoured Yaakov and desolated his home.

ז  כִּי אָכַל אֶת־יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת־נָוֵהוּ הֵשַׁמּוּ׃

8  Do not hold our former iniquities against us; let Your compassion come swiftly toward us, for we have sunk very low.

ח  אַל־תִּזְכָּר־לָנוּ עֲוׂנֹת רִאשֹׁנִים מַהֵר יְקַדְּמוּנוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ כִּי דַלּוֹנוּ מְאֹד׃

9  Help us, O Hashem, our deliverer, for the sake of the glory of Your name. Save us and forgive our sin, for the sake of Your name.

ט  עָזְרֵנוּ אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעֵנוּ עַל־דְּבַר כְּבוֹד־שְׁמֶךָ וְהַצִּילֵנוּ וְכַפֵּר עַל־חַטֹּאתֵינוּ לְמַעַן שְׁמֶךָ׃

10  Let the nations not say, “Where is their God?” Before our eyes let it be known among the nations that You avenge the spilled blood of Your servants.

י  לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ הַגּוֹיִם אַיֵּה אֱ‍לֹהֵיהֶם יִוָּדַע בגיים [בַּגּוֹיִם] לְעֵינֵינוּ נִקְמַת דַּם־עֲבָדֶיךָ הַשָּׁפוּךְ׃

11  Let the groans of the prisoners reach You; reprieve those condemned to death, as befits Your great strength.

יא  תָּבוֹא לְפָנֶיךָ אֶנְקַת אָסִיר כְּגֹדֶל זְרוֹעֲךָ הוֹתֵר בְּנֵי תְמוּתָה׃

12  Pay back our neighbors sevenfold for the abuse they have flung at You, O Hashem.

יב  וְהָשֵׁב לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ שִׁבְעָתַיִם אֶל־חֵיקָם חֶרְפָּתָם אֲשֶׁר חֵרְפוּךָ אֲדֹנָי׃

13  Then we, Your people, the flock You shepherd, shall glorify You forever; for all time we shall tell Your praises.

יג  וַאֲנַחְנוּ עַמְּךָ וְצֹאן מַרְעִיתֶךָ נוֹדֶה לְּךָ לְעוֹלָם לְדֹר וָדֹר נְסַפֵּר תְּהִלָּתֶךָ׃

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Psalms 78
Psalms 80

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Psalms 79

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