A maskil of Asaph.1 Why, O God, have you spurned us forever?
Why smokes your wrath against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember the community you purchased of old
to become by redemption the tribe of your heritage,
Zion, the mountain you made your home.
3 Rouse yourself, visit its ruins complete.
In the temple the foe has made havoc of all things.
4 Like lions your enemies roared through your house,
replacing our symbols by signs of their own,
5 hacking, like woodsmen who lift
axes on thickets of trees,
6 smashing with hatchets and hammers
all of its carved work together.
7 They have set your temple on fire,
to the very ground they have outraged
the place where lives your name.
8 They have said in their heart, “Let us utterly crush them.”
They have burned all the houses of God in the land.
9 No symbol of ours do we see any more:
no prophet is there any more,
none is with us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, is the foe to insult?
Shall the enemy spurn your name forever?
11 Why, O Lord, do you hold back your hand,
why keep your right hand in the folds of your robe?
12 Yet God is our king from the ancient days,
in the midst of the earth working deeds of salvation.
13 It was you who did cleave the sea by your might,
and shatter the heads of the ocean monsters.
14 It was you who did crush many-headed Leviathan,
and give him as food to the beasts of the wilderness.
15 It was you who did cleave the fountains and torrents;
it was you who did dry the perennial streams.
16 Yours is the day; yours, too, is the night,
it was you who did establish the sun and the star.
17 It was you who did fix all the borders of earth:
summer and winter it’s you who have made them.
18 Yet, for all this, the foe has insulted you, Lord,
and a nation of fools has reviled your name.
19 Do not give your dove to the beasts,
do not forget your afflicted forever.
20 Look to the sleek ones - how full they are:
the dark places of earth are the dwellings of violence.
21 O let not the downtrodden turn back ashamed:
let the poor and the needy sing praise to your name.
22 Arise, God, and defend your cause:
remember how fools all the day insult you.
23 Do not forget the uproar of your enemies,
the din of your foes that ascends evermore.
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