An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.

1
O God, why have You rejected us forever?

Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
2

Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance;
Remember Mount Zion, where You have dwelt.
3

Turn your footsteps [quickly] toward the perpetual ruins;
The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.
4

In the midst of Your meeting place Your enemies have roared [with their battle cry];
They have set up their own emblems for signs [of victory].
5

It seems as if one had lifted up
An axe in a forest of trees [to set a record of destruction].
6

And now all the carved work [of the meeting place]
They smash with hatchets and hammers.
7

They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;
They have profaned the dwelling place of Your (a)name.
8

They said in their heart, “Let us completely subdue them.”
They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9

We do not see our symbols;
There is no longer any prophet [to guide us],
Nor does any among us know for how long.
10

O God, how long will the adversary scoff?
Is the enemy to revile Your name forever?
11

Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand [from judging the enemy]?
Remove Your hand from Your chest, destroy them!
12
Yet God is my King of old,
Working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13

You divided the [Red] Sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the (b)sea monsters in the waters.(A)
14

You crushed the heads of (c)Leviathan (Egypt);
You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.(B)
15

You broke open fountains and streams;
You dried up ever-flowing rivers.(C)
16

The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have established and prepared the [heavenly] light and the sun.
17

You have defined and established all the borders of the earth [the divisions of land and sea and of the nations];
You have made summer and winter.(D)
18
Remember this, O Lord, the enemy has scoffed,
And a foolish and impious people has spurned Your name.
19

Oh, do not hand over the soul of your turtledove to the wild beast;
Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever.
20

Consider the covenant [You made with Abraham],
For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21

Let not the oppressed return dishonored;
Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
22
Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man scoffs at You all day long.
23

Do not forget the [clamoring] voices of Your adversaries,
The uproar of those who rise against You, which ascends continually [to Your ears].

Footnotes:

a. Psalm 74:7: See note Deut 12:5.
b. Psalm 74:13: Symbolic of Egypt’s power.
c. Psalm 74:14: See note Job 41:1.