National lament (Ps 79:1-79:4)

A psalm of Asaph

“O God!

The nations have come into your inheritance.

They have defiled your holy temple.

They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

They have given the bodies of your servants

To the birds of the air for food.

The flesh of your faithful has been given

To the wild animals of the earth.

They have poured out their blood like water,

All around Jerusalem.

There was no one to bury them.

We have become a taunt to our neighbors.

We are mocked.

We are derided

By those around us.”

Psalm 79 is another psalm of Asaph. This national lamentation deplores the defeat and ruin of Jerusalem and its Temple, probably at the time of the captivity around 587 BCE. The bodies of the faithful were given over to the birds of the air and the wild animals. Their blood was all around Jerusalem. No one was there to bury them. The Israelites had become a taunt to their neighbors. They were mocked and derided by everybody around them.

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