Psalms 79
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  A Psalm of Asaf. O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance; they have defiled Thy holy temple; they have made Yerushalayim into heaps.

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-yim l’-i-YIM

א  מִזְמוֹר לְאָסָף אֱלֹהִים בָּאוּ גוֹיִם בְּנַחֲלָתֶךָ טִמְּאוּ אֶת הֵיכַל קָדְשֶׁךָ שָׂמוּ אֶת יְרוּשָׁלִַם לְעִיִּים.

79:1   They have defiled Thy holy temple

According to certain customs, this psalm is recited on the 9th of the Hebrew month of ‘Av,’ the saddest day of the Jewish year which commemorates the destruction of the Temples. The psalmist laments the day when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and his general Titus entered the city of Jerusalem, much like Jeremiah does in his book of Lamentations. Nebuchadnezzar and Titus cruelly defiled and burned the Temple, destroyed the city, slaughtered some of its inhabitants and exiled the rest of the nation. This grave day is 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 God, and His name will remain glorified in the world.

Comment

2  They have given the dead bodies of Thy servants to be food unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of Thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.

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

3  They have shed their blood like water round about Yerushalayim, with none to bury them.

ג  שָׁפְכוּ דָמָם כַּמַּיִם סְבִיבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְאֵין קוֹבֵר.

4  We are become a taunt to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.

ד  הָיִינוּ חֶרְפָּה לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ לַעַג וָקֶלֶס לִסְבִיבוֹתֵינוּ.

5  How long, O Hashem, wilt Thou be angry for ever? How long will Thy jealousy burn like fire?

ה  עַד מָה יְהוָה תֶּאֱנַף לָנֶצַח תִּבְעַר כְּמוֹ אֵשׁ קִנְאָתֶךָ.

6  Pour out Thy wrath upon the nations that know Thee not, and upon the kingdoms that call not upon Thy name.

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

7  For they have devoured Yaakov, and laid waste his habitation.

ז  כִּי אָכַל אֶת יַעֲקֹב וְאֶת נָוֵהוּ הֵשַׁמּוּ.

8  Remember not against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let Thy compassions speedily come to meet us; for we are brought very low.

ח  אַל תִּזְכָּר לָנוּ עֲו‍ֹנֹת רִאשֹׁנִים מַהֵר יְקַדְּמוּנוּ רַחֲמֶיךָ כִּי דַלּוֹנוּ מְאֹד.

9  Help us, O God of our salvation, for the sake of the glory of Thy name; and deliver us, and forgive our sins, for Thy name’s sake.

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

10  Wherefore should the nations say: ‘Where is their God?’ Let the avenging of Thy servants’ blood that is shed be made known among the nations in our sight.

י  לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ הַגּוֹיִם אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם יִוָּדַע בַּגֹּיִים לְעֵינֵינוּ נִקְמַת דַּם עֲבָדֶיךָ הַשָּׁפוּךְ.

11  Let the groaning of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power set free those that are appointed to death;

יא  תָּבוֹא לְפָנֶיךָ אֶנְקַת אָסִיר כְּגֹדֶל זְרוֹעֲךָ הוֹתֵר בְּנֵי תְמוּתָה.

12  And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached Thee, O Lord.

יב  וְהָשֵׁב לִשְׁכֵנֵינוּ שִׁבְעָתַיִם אֶל חֵיקָם חֶרְפָּתָם אֲשֶׁר חֵרְפוּךָ אֲדֹנָי.

13  So we that are Thy people and the flock of Thy pasture will give Thee thanks for ever; we will tell of Thy praise to all generations.

יג  וַאֲנַחְנוּ עַמְּךָ וְצֹאן מַרְעִיתֶךָ נוֹדֶה לְּךָ לְעוֹלָם לְדוֹר וָדֹרנְסַפֵּר תְּהִלָּתֶךָ.

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Psalms 78
Psalms 80

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Psalms 79