Psalm 79 – “Petition/Imprecation”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist asks God to punish his enemies.

II. Photo
The enemy is fierce: “They have left Your servants’ corpses as food for the fowl of heaven, and the flesh of Your faithful for the wild beasts!” (v. 2)

III. Select Verses    
1b-3: O God, heathens have entered Your domain, defiled Your holy temple, and turned Jerusalem into ruins.  They have left Your servants’ corpses as food for the fowl of heaven, and the flesh of Your faithful for the wild beasts. Their blood was shed like water around Jerusalem, with none to bury them.
4: We have become the butt of our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.
5-8: How long, O LORD, will You be angry forever, will Your indignation blaze like fire? Pour out Your fury on the nations that do not know You, upon the kingdoms that do not invoke Your name, for they have devoured Jacob and desolated his home.
9-10: Help us, O God, our deliverer, for the sake of the glory of Your name. Save us and forgive our sin, for the sake of Your name.  Let the nations not say, “Where is their God?” Before our eyes let it be known among the nations that You avenge the spilled blood of Your servants.
12: Pay back our neighbors sevenfold for the abuse they have flung at You, O LORD.

IV. Outline
1a. Superscription
1b. Invocation
1c-5. Complaint
6. Petition/imprecation
7. Rationale
8-11. Petition
12. Imprecation
13. Hope/vow

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Tate, Marvin. “Psalms 51-100” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 20 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1990).
Photo copied from http://www.parks-sa.co.za/gallery/d/26846-3/vultures1a.jpg

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