How long will Yahweh wait? (Ps 79:5-79:7)

“How long?


Will you be angry forever?

Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

Pour out your anger on the nations

That do not know you!

Pour out your anger on the kingdoms

That do not call on your name!

They have devoured Jacob.

They have laid waste his habitation.”

How long will Yahweh wait? Will he be angry forever? Will the wrath of his jealous anger burn like a fire? Rather, the psalmist wants Yahweh to pour out his anger on the nations and kingdoms that do not know him or do not call on his name. They are the ones who devoured Jacob or Israel as they laid waste to their living spaces.

Torture the wicked (Ps 59:11-59:13)

“Do not kill them!

My people may forget.

Make them totter

By your power!

Bring them down!


Our shield!

For the sin of their mouths,

For the words of their lips,

Let them be trapped in their pride!

For the cursing that they utter,

For the lies that they utter,

Consume them in wrath!

Consume them

Until they are no more!

Then it will be known

To the ends of the earth

That God rules over Jacob.”


David did not want his enemies killed, he wanted vengeance. He wanted them to suffer so that his own people would not forget what evil was. The evil ones were to totter and be brought down. Yahweh was the shield and protector of good ones. The evildoers sinned with their words and their lips because they were trapped in pride. Thus they uttered curses and lies. They should be consumed in the wrath of God. In somewhat contradictory terms, David wanted them consumed until they actually died instead of just suffering. At that point, the whole world would know that the God of Jacob ruled the world. At that thought there was the musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.