Psalm 79

1    O God, the heathen have come into your heritage;  

your holy temple have they defiled

    and made Jerusalem a heap of stones.

2    The dead bodies of your servants they have given

    to be food for the birds of the air,  

and the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the field.

3    Their blood have they shed like water

    on every side of Jerusalem,  

and there was no one to bury them.

4    We have become the taunt of our neighbours,  

the scorn and derision of those that are round about us.

5    Lord, how long will you be angry, for ever?  

How long will your jealous fury blaze like fire?

6    Pour out your wrath upon the nations that have not known you,  

and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon your name.

7    For they have devoured Jacob  

and laid waste his dwelling place.

8    Remember not against us our former sins;  

let your compassion make haste to meet us,

    for we are brought very low.

9    Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name;  

deliver us, and wipe away our sins for your name’s sake.

10  Why should the heathen say,  

‘Where is now their God?’

11  Let vengeance for your servants’ blood that is shed  

be known among the nations in our sight.

12  Let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before you,  

and by your mighty arm

    preserve those who are condemned to die.

13  May the taunts with which our neighbours taunted you, Lord,  

return sevenfold into their bosom.

14  But we that are your people and the sheep of your pasture

    will give you thanks for ever,  

and tell of your praise from generation to generation.


Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included here,
is copyright © The Archbishops' Council 2000 and published by Church House Publishing.

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