78:58 因他们的丘坛，招惹了上主的义愤，因他们的雕象，激起了上主的怒 恨。
Psalms Volume 3 (Ps.73-89) ENDS. Seraphim, April 2009.
JB PSALMS Volume 3 (73 – 89)
JB PSALMS Chapter 73
PSALM 73 (v72)
The triumph of justice
73:1 God is indeed good to Israel, the Lord is good to pure hearts.
73:2 My feet were on the point of stumbling, a little further and I should have slipped,
73:3 envying the arrogant as I did, and watching the wicked get rich.
73:4 For them, no such thing as pain, their bodies are healthy and strong,
73:5 they do not suffer as other men do, no human afflictions for them!
73:6 So pride is their chain of honour, violence the garment that covers them;
73:7 their spite oozes like fat, their hearts drip with slyness
73:8 Cynical advocates of evil, lofty advocates of force,
73:9 they think their mouth is heaven and their tongue can dictate on earth.
73:10 This is why my people turn to them and lap up all they say, asking,
73:11 ‘How will God find out? Does the Most High know everything?
73:12 Look at them: these are the wicked, well-off and still getting richer!’
73:13 After all, why should I keep my own heart pure, and wash my hands in innocence,
73:14 if you plague me all day long and discipline me every morning?
73:15 Had I said, ‘That talk appeals to me’, I should have betrayed your children’s race.
73:16 Instead, I tried to analyse the problem, hard though I found it –
73:17 until the day I pierced the mystery and saw the end in store for them:
73:18 they are on a slippery slope, you put them there, you urge them on to ruin,
73:19 until suddenly they fall, done for, terrified to death.
73:20 When you wake up, Lord, you shrug them off like the phantoms of a morning dream.
73:21 When my heart had been growing sourer with pains shooting through my loins,
73:22 I had simply failed to understand, my stupid attitude to you was brutish.
73:23 Even so, I stayed in your presence, you held my right hand;
73:24 now guide me with advice and in the end receive me into glory.
73:25 I look to no one else in heaven, I delight in nothing else on earth.
73:26 My flesh and my heart are pining with love, my heart’s Rock, my own, God for ever!
73:27 So then: those who abandon you are doomed, you destroy the adulterous deserter;[*a]
73:28 whereas my joy lies in being close to God. I have taken shelter in the Lord, continually to proclaim what you have done.
JB PSALMS Chapter 74
PSALM 74 (v73)
Lament on the destruction of the Temple
74:1 God, have you finally rejected us, raging at the flock you used to pasture?
74:2 Remember the people you long since made your own, your hereditary tribe whom you redeemed, and this Mount Zion where you came to live.
74:3 Pick your steps over these endless ruins:
the enemy have sacked everything in the sanctuary.
74:4 They roared where your Assemblies used to take place, they stuck their enemy emblems over the entrance,[*a] emblems
74:5 we had never seen before. Axes deep in the wood,
74:6 hacking at the panels, they battered them down with mallet and hatchet;
74:7 then, God, setting fire to your sanctuary, they profanely razed the house of your name to the ground.
74:8 Determined to destroy us once and for all, they burned down every shrine of God in the country.
74:9 Deprived of signs, with no prophets left, who can say how long this will last?
74:10 How much longer, God, is the oppressor to blaspheme, is the enemy to insult your name for ever?
74:11 Why hold back your hand, why keep your right hand hidden?
74:12 Yet, God, my king from the first, author of saving acts throughout the earth,
74:13 by your power you split the sea in two, and smashed the heads of monsters on the waters.
74:14 You crushed Leviathan’s heads, leaving him for wild animals to eat,
74:15 you opened the spring, the torrent, you dried up inexhaustible rivers.
74:16 You are master of day and night, you instituted light and sun,
74:17 you fixed the boundaries of the world, you created summer and winter.
74:18 Now, Yahweh, remember the enemy’s blasphemy, how frenzied people dare to insult your name.
74:19 Do not betray your turtledove to the beast, do not forget your wretched people for good.
74:20 Respect the covenant! We can bear no more – every cave in the country is the scene of violence!
74:21 Do not let the hard-pressed retreat in confusion, give the poor and needy cause to praise your name.
74:22 Rise, God, say something on your own behalf, do not forget the madman’s day-long blaspheming,
74:23 remember the shouting of your enemies, this ever-rising clamour of your adversaries.
JB PSALMS Chapter 75
PSALM 75 (v74)
To the divine judge
For the choirmaster
Tune: ‘Do not destroy’
75:1 We give thanks to you, God, we give thanks as we invoke your name, as we recount your marvels.
75:2 ‘At the moment I decide I will dispense strict justice;
75:3 the earth shall quake and all its inhabitants, it is I who poised its columns.
75:4 ‘I said to the boastful: Enough of boasting! and to the wicked: How dare you raise your horn,
75:5 how dare you raise your horn like that, how dare you speak so boldly!’
75:6 Not from the east, nor from the west, not from the desert, nor from the mountains,
75:7 but from God the judgement comes, lowering one, raising another.
75:8 Yahweh is holding a cup of frothing wine, heavily drugged; he pours it out, they drain it to the dregs, all drink of it, the wicked of the earth.
75:9 But I will never stop proclaiming the God of Jacob or playing in his honour; I will cut off the horns of all the wicked and raise the horns of the virtuous.
JB PSALMS Chapter 76
PSALM 76 (v75)
Ode to God the awe-inspiring[*a]
For the choirmaster
76:1 God is renowned in Judah, his name is great in Israel;
76:2 his tent is pitched in Salem, his home is in Zion;
76:3 there he has broken the lightning-swift arrow, the shield, the sword and the line of battle. (pause)
76:4 You the Illustrious and Majestic: mountains of spoil
76:5 have been captured; heroes are now sleeping their last sleep, the warriors’ arms have failed them;
76:6 at your reproof, God of Jacob, chariot and horse stand spellbound.
76:7 You the Terrible! Who can oppose you and your furious onslaught?
76:8 When your verdicts thunder from heaven, earth stays silent with dread;
76:9 when God stands up to give judgement and to save all the humble of the earth. (pause)
76:10 Man’s wrath only adds to your glory; the survivors of your wrath you will draw like a girdle around you;
76:11 fulfil the promises you make to Yahweh your God, make offerings to the Terrible, you who surround him;
76:12 he snuffs out the lives of princes, he is terrible to the kings of the earth.
JB PSALMS Chapter 77
PSALM 77 (v76)
Meditation on Israel’s past
For the choirmaster…
77:1 Loudly I cry to God, loudly to God who hears me.
77:2 When in trouble I sought the Lord, all night long I stretched out my hands, my soul refusing to be consoled.
77:3 I thought of God and sighed, I pondered and my spirit failed me.
77:4 You stopped me closing my eyes, I was too distraught to speak;
77:5 I thought of the olden days, years long past
77:6 came back to me, I spent all night meditating in my heart, I pondered and my spirit asked this question:
77:7 ‘If the Lord has rejected you, is this final? If he withholds his favour, is this for ever?
77:8 Is his love over for good and the promise void for all time?
77:9 Has God forgotten to show mercy, or has his anger overcome his tenderness? (pause)
77:10 ‘This’ I said then ‘is what distresses me: that the power of the Most High is no longer what it was.’
77:11 Remembering Yahweh’s achievements, remembering your marvels in the past,
77:12 I reflect on all that you did, I ponder on all your achievements.
77:13 God, your ways are holy! What god so great as God?
77:14 You are the God who did marvellous things and forced nations to acknowledge your power,
77:15 with your own arm redeeming your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. (pause)
77:16 When the waters saw it was you, God, when the waters saw it was you, they recoiled, shuddering to their depths.
77:17 The clouds poured down water, the sky thundered, your arrows darted out.
77:18 Your thunder crashed as it rolled, your lightning lit up the world, the earth shuddered and quaked.
77:19 You strode across the sea, you marched across the ocean, but your steps could not be seen.
77:20 You guided your people like a flock by the hands of Moses and Aaron.
JB PSALMS Chapter 78
PSALM 78 (v77)
The lessons of Israelite history
78:1 Listen to this Law, my people, pay attention to what I say;
78:2 I am going to speak to you in parable and expound the mysteries of our past.
78:3 What we have heard and known for ourselves, and what our ancestors have told us,
78:4 must not be withheld from their descendants, but be handed on by us to the next generation; that is: the titles of Yahweh, his power and the miracles he has done.
78:5 When he issued the decrees for Jacob and instituted a Law in Israel, he gave our ancestors strict orders to teach it to their children;
78:6 the next generation was to learn it, the children still to be born, and these in their turn were to tell their own children
78:7 so that they too would put their confidence in God, never forgetting God’s achievements, and always keeping his commandments,
78:8 and not becoming, like their ancestors, a stubborn and unruly generation, a generation with no sincerity of heart, in spirit unfaithful to God.
78:9 The sons of Ephraim, who were bowmen, turned tail when the time came to fight;
78:10 they had not kept God’s covenant, they refused to follow his Law;
78:11 they had forgotten his achievements, the marvels he had shown them:
78:12 he had worked wonders for their ancestors in the plains of Zoan, down in Egypt:
78:13 dividing the sea, bringing them through, making the waters stand up like dikes,
78:14 leading them with a cloud by day and with a fiery glow at night,
78:15 splitting rocks in the wilderness, quenching their thirst with unlimited water,
78:16 conjuring streams from the rock and bringing down water in torrents.
78:17 They only sinned against him more than ever, defying the Most High in the desert,
78:18 deliberately challenging God by demanding their favourite food.
78:19 They blasphemed against God, ‘Is it likely’ they said ‘that God could give a banquet in the wilderness?
78:20 ‘Admittedly, when he struck the rock, waters gushed, torrents streamed out, but bread now, can he give us that, can he provide meat for his people?’
78:21 Yahweh was enraged when he heard them, a fire flared at Jacob, the wrath attacked Israel
78:22 for having no faith in God, no trust in his power to save.
78:23 He gave orders to the skies above, he opened the doors of heaven,
78:24 he rained down manna to feed them, he gave them the wheat of heaven;
78:25 men ate the bread of Immortals, he sent them more food than they could eat.
78:26 He stirred up an east wind in the heavens, he conjured up a south wind by his power,
78:27 he rained down meat on them like dust; birds as thick as sand on the seashore
78:28 he sent tumbling into their camp, in all directions round their tents.
78:29 They all had enough and to spare, he having provided what they wanted;
78:30 but they had hardly satisfied their craving, the food was still in their mouths,
78:31 when the wrath of God attacked them, slaughtering their strongest men and laying the flower of Israel low.
78:32 Despite all this they went on sinning, and put no faith in his marvels;
78:33 for which he blasted their days and their years in a flash.
78:34 Whenever he slaughtered them they sought him, they came to their senses and sought him earnestly
78:35 remembering that God was their rock, God the Most High, their redeemer.
78:36 But though they outwardly flattered him and used their tongues to lie to him,
78:37 in their hearts they were not true to him, they were unfaithful to his covenant.
78:38 Compassionately, however, he forgave their guilt instead of killing them, repeatedly repressing his anger instead of rousing his full wrath,
78:39 remembering they were creatures of flesh, a puff of wind that passes and does not return.
78:40 How often they defied him in the wilderness, how often they outraged him in the desert,
78:41 repeatedly challenging God, provoking the Holy One of Israel –
78:42 entirely oblivious of his hand and of the time he saved them from the oppressor:
78:43 by imposing his signs on Egypt, by displaying his wonders in the plains of Zoan,
78:44 by turning their rivers into blood to stop them drinking from their streams,
78:45 by sending horseflies to eat them and frogs to devastate them,
78:46 by consigning their crops to the caterpillar and their hard-won harvest to the locust,
78:47 by killing their vines with hail and their sycamore trees with frost,
78:48 by condemning their cattle to plague and their flocks to feverish pests,
78:49 by unleashing his fierce anger, rage, indignation and hardship on them, a mission of angels of disaster,
78:50 by giving his anger free rein, by not even exempting them from death, by condemning them to plague,
78:51 by striking down all the first-born in Egypt, the first-fruits of their virility in the tents of Ham,
78:52 by driving his people out like sheep, by leading them through the wilderness like a flock,
78:53 by guiding them safe and unafraid while the sea engulfed their enemies,
78:54 by bringing them to his sacred frontier, the highlands conquered by his own right hand,
78:55 by expelling the pagans in front of them and by marking out a heritage for each, in which the tribes of Israel could pitch their tents.
78:56 Even so, they went on challenging God the Most High, rebelliously disregarding his decrees;
78:57 as perverse and disloyal as their ancestors, treacherous as a bow with a warp,
78:58 provoking him with their high places and rousing his jealousy with their idols.
78:59 God was enraged when he heard them, he rejected Israel out of hand,
78:60 he left his home in Shiloh, that tent where he once lived with men.
78:61 He consigned his power to captivity, his splendour[*a] to the enemy’s clutches;
78:62 he condemned his own people to the sword, he raged at his heritage,
78:63 whose young men were then burnt to death – no brides left to hear the wedding song;
78:64 whose priests fell by the sword – no widows left to raise the dirge.
78:65 Then, like a sleeper, like a hero fighting-mad with wine, the Lord woke up
78:66 to strike his enemies on the rump and put them to everlasting shame.
78:67 Rejecting the tent of Joseph, not choosing the tribe of Ephraim,
78:68 instead he chose the tribe of Judah and his well-loved mountain of Zion,
78:69 where he built his sanctuary, a copy of high heaven, founding it firm as the earth for ever.
78:70 Choosing David as his servant, he took him from the sheepfolds,
78:71 called him from tending ewes in lamb to pasture his people Jacob and Israel his heritage:
78:72 who did this with unselfish care and led them with a sensitive hand.
JB PSALMS Chapter 79
PSALM 79 (v78)
79:1 God, the pagans have invaded your heritage, they have desecrated your holy Temple; they have reduced Jerusalem to a pile of ruins,
79:2 they have left the corpses of your servants to the birds of the air for food, and the flesh of your devout to the beasts of the earth.
79:3 They have shed blood like water throughout Jerusalem, not a gravedigger left!
79:4 we are now insulted by our neighbours, butt and laughing-stock of all those around us.
79:5 How much longer will you be angry, Yahweh? For ever? Is your jealousy to go on smouldering like a fire?
79:6 Pour out your anger on the pagans, who do not acknowledge you, and on those kingdoms that do not call on your name,
79:7 for they have devoured Jacob and reduced his home to desolation.
79:8 Do not hold our ancestors’ crimes against us, in tenderness quickly intervene, we can hardly be crushed lower;
79:9 help us, God our saviour, for the honour of your name; Yahweh, blot out our sins, rescue us for the sake of your name.
79:10 Why should the pagans ask, ‘Where is their God?’ May we soon see the pagans learning what vengeance you exact for your servants’ blood shed here!
79:11 May the groans of the captive reach you; by your mighty arm rescue those doomed to die!
79:12 Pay our neighbours sevenfold, strike to the heart for the monstrous insult proffered to you, Lord!
79:13 And we your people, the flock that you pasture, giving you everlasting thanks, will recite your praises for ever and ever.
JB PSALMS Chapter 80
PSALM 80 (v79)
Prayer for the restoration of Israel
For the choirmaster
Tune: ‘The decrees are lilies’
80:1 Shepherd of Israel, listen, you who lead Joseph like a flock; enthroned on the cherubs, shine
80:2 on Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh;[*a] rouse your strength, come to us and save us!
80:3 Yahweh Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe.
80:4 Yahweh Sabaoth, how much longer will you smoulder at your people’s prayer?
80:5 Having fed us on the bread of tears, having made us drink them in such measure,
80:6 you now let our neighbours quarrel over us and our enemies deride us.
80:7 Yahweh Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe.
80:8 There was a vine: you uprooted it from Egypt; to plant it, you drove out other nations,
80:9 you cleared a space where it could grow, it took root and filled the whole country.
80:10 It covered the mountains with its shade, the cedars of God with its branches,
80:11 its tendrils extended to the sea, its offshoots all the way to the river.[*b]
80:12 Why have you destroyed its fences? Now anyone can go and steal its grapes,
80:13 the forest boar can ravage it and wild animals eat it.
80:14 Please, Yahweh Sabaoth, relent! Look down from heaven, look at this vine, visit it,
80:15 protect what your own right hand has planted.
80:16 They threw it on the fire like dung, but one look of reproof from you and they will be doomed.
80:17 May your hand protect the man at your right, the son of man who has been authorised by you.
80:18 We shall never turn from you again; our life renewed, we shall invoke your name.
80:19 Yahweh Sabaoth, bring us back, let your face smile on us and we shall be safe.
JB PSALMS Chapter 81
PSALM 81 (v80)
For the feast of Tabernacles[*a]
For the choirmaster
On the… of Gath
81:1 Shout for joy to honour God our strength, shout to acclaim the God of Jacob!
81:2 Start the music, sound the drum, the melodious lyre and the harp;
81:3 sound the New Moon trumpet, at the full moon, on our feastday!
81:4 This is a statute binding on Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob,
81:5 this decree he imposed on Joseph when he went to war against Egypt. I can hear a voice I no longer recognise,
81:6 ‘It was I who relieved your shoulder of the burden, your hands could drop the labourer’s basket;
81:7 you called in your trouble, so I rescued you. ‘Hidden in the storm, I answered you, I tested you at the waters of Meribah. (pause)
81:8 Listen, you are my people, let me warn you. Israel, if you would only listen to me!
81:9 ‘Tolerate no foreign god, worship no alien god;
81:10 I, Yahweh, am your God, I who brought you here from Egypt; you have only to open your mouth for me to fill it.
81:11 ‘My people refused to listen to me, Israel refused to obey me,
81:12 so I left them to their stubborn selves to do whatever they pleased.
81:13 ‘If only my people would listen, if Israel would follow my ways,
81:14 at one blow I would defeat their enemies and strike at all who attack them.
81:15 ‘Then those who hate Yahweh would cringe, their doom being sealed for ever;
81:16 while I would feed you on pure wheat and satisfy you with the wild rock honey.’
JB PSALMS Chapter 82
PSALM 82 (v81)
Against corrupt judges
82:1 God stands in the divine assembly, among the gods he dispenses justice:
82:2 ‘No more mockery of justice, no more favouring the wicked! (pause)
82:3 Let the weak and the orphan have justice, be fair to the wretched and destitute;
82:4 rescue the weak and needy, save them from the clutches of the wicked!’
82:5 Ignorant and senseless, they carry on blindly, undermining the very basis of earthly society.
82:6 I once said, ‘You too are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you’,
82:7 but all the same, you shall die like other men; as one man, princes, you shall fall,
82:8 Rise, God, dispense justice throughout the world, since no nation is excluded from your ownership.
JB PSALMS Chapter 83
PSALM 83 (v82)
Against the enemies of Israel
83:1 God, do not remain silent; do not be unmoved, O God, or unresponsive!
83:2 See how your enemies are stirring, see how those who hate you rear their heads.
83:3 Weaving a plot against your people, conspiring against those you protect, .
83:4 they say, ‘Come, we will finish them as a nation, the name of Israel shall be forgotten!’
83:5 Unanimous in their plot, they seal a treaty against you:
83:6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
83:7 Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia and the Tyrians;
83:8 and now Assur[*a] has joined them to reinforce the sons of Lot. (pause)
83:9 Treat them like Midian and Sisera, like Jabin at the river Kishon,
83:10 wiped out at En-dor, they served to dung the ground.
83:11 Treat their generals like Oreb and Zeeb, their commanders like Zebah and Zalmunna,
83:12 those who once said, ‘Let us take for ourselves possession of the Dwellings of God!’
83:13 My God, bowl them along like tumbleweed, like chaff at the mercy of the wind;
83:14 as fire devours the forest, as the flame licks up the mountains,
83:15 drive them on with your whirlwind, rout them with your tornado;
83:16 cover their faces with shame, until they seek your name, Yahweh.
83:17 Shame and panic be always theirs, disgrace and death;
83:18 and let them know this: you alone bear the name Yahweh, Most High over the whole world.
JB PSALMS Chapter 84
PSALM 84 (v83)
For the choirmaster
On the… of Gath
Of the sons of Korah
84:1 How I love your palace, Yahweh Sabaoth! How my soul yearns and pines for Yahweh’s courts!
84:2 My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.
84:3 The sparrow has found its home at last, the swallow a nest for its young, your altars, Yahweh Sabaoth, my king and my God.
84:4 Happy those who live in your house and can praise you all day long;
84:5 and happy the pilgrims inspired by you with courage to make the Ascents! (pause)
84:6 As they go through the Valley of the Weeper,[*a] they make it a place of springs, clothed in blessings by early rains.
84:7 Thence they make their way from height to height, soon to be seen before God on Zion.
84:8 Yahweh Sabaoth, hear my prayer, listen, God of Jacob;
84:9 God our shield, now look on us and be kind to your anointed. (pause)
84:10 A single day in your courts is worth more than a thousand elsewhere; merely to stand on the steps of God’s[*b] house is better than living with the wicked.
84:11 For God is battlement and shield, conferring grace and glory; Yahweh withholds nothing good from those who walk without blame.
84:12 Yahweh Sabaoth, happy the man who puts his trust in you!
JB PSALMS Chapter 85
PSALM 85 (v84)
Prayer for peace
For the choirmaster
Of the sons of Korah
85:1 Yahweh, you favour your own country, you bring back the captives of Jacob,
85:2 you take your people’s guilt away, you blot out all their sins, (pause)
85:3 you retract all your anger, you abjure your fiery rage.
85:4 Bring us back, God our saviour, master your resentment against us.
85:5 Do you mean to be angry with us for ever, to prolong your wrath age after age?
85:6 Will you not give us life again, for your people to rejoice in you?
85:7 Yahweh, show us your love, grant us your saving help.
85:8 I am listening. What is Yahweh saying? What God is saying means peace for his people, for his friends, if only they renounce their folly;
85:9 for those who fear him, his saving help is near, and the glory will then live in our country.
85:10 Love and Loyalty now meet, Righteousness and Peace now embrace;
85:11 Loyalty reaches up from earth and Righteousness leans down from heaven.
85:12 Yahweh himself bestows happiness as our soil gives its harvest,
85:13 Righteousness always preceding him and Peace following his footsteps.
JB PSALMS Chapter 86
PSALM 86 (v85)
Prayer in ordeal
86:1 Listen to me, Yahweh, and answer me, poor and needy as I am;
86:2 keep my soul: I am your devoted one, save your servant who relies on you. You are my God,
86:3 take pity on me, Lord, I invoke you all day long;
86:4 give your servant reason to rejoice, for to you, Lord, I lift my soul.
86:5 Lord, you are good and forgiving, most loving to all who invoke you;
86:6 Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to me as I plead.
86:7 Lord, in trouble I invoke you, and you answer my prayer;
86:8 there is no god to compare with you, no achievement to compare with yours.
86:9 All the pagans will come and adore you, Lord, all will glorify your name,
86:10 since you alone are great, you perform marvels, you God, you alone.
86:11 Yahweh, teach me your way, how to walk beside you faithfully, make me single-hearted in fearing your name.
86:12 I thank you with all my heart, Lord my God, I glorify your name for ever,
86:13 your love for me has been so great, you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.
86:14 Now arrogant men, God, are attacking me, a brutal gang hounding me to death: people to whom you mean nothing.
86:15 Lord God, you who are always merciful and tender-hearted, slow to anger, always loving, always loyal,
86:16 turn to me and pity me. Give me your strength, your saving help, me your servant, this son of a pious mother,
86:17 give me one proof of your goodness. Yahweh, make my opponents ashamed, show them that you are my help and consolation.
JB PSALMS Chapter 87
PSALM 87 (v86)
Zion, mother of nations
Of the sons of Korah
87:2a Yahweh loves
87:1 his city founded on the holy mountain;
87:2b he prefers the gates of Zion
87:2c to any town in Jacob.
87:3 He has glorious predictions to make of you, city of God! (pause)
87:4 ‘I will add Egypt and Babylon to the nations that acknowledge me. Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, “Here so and so was born” men say.
87:5 But all call Zion “Mother”, since all were born in her.’ It is he who makes her what she is, he, the Most High,
87:6 Yahweh; and as he registers the peoples, ‘It was here’ he writes ‘that so and so was born’. (pause)
87:7 And there will be princes dancing there[*a]. All find their home in you.
JB PSALMS Chapter 88
PSALM 88 (v87)
Of the sons of Korah
For the choirmaster
In sickness or suffering
For Heman the native-born
88:1 Yahweh my God, I call for help all day, I weep to you all night;
88:2 may my prayer reach you hear my cries for help;
88:3 for my soul is all troubled, my life is on the brink of Sheol;
88:4 I am numbered among those who go down to the Pit, a man bereft of strength:
88:5 a man alone, down among the dead, among the slaughtered in their graves, among those you have forgotten, those deprived of your protecting hand.
88:6 You have plunged me to the bottom of the Pit, to its darkest, deepest place,
88:7 weighted down by your anger, drowned beneath your waves. (pause)
88:8 You have turned my friends against me and made me repulsive to them; in prison and unable to escape, my eyes are worn out with suffering.
88:9 Yahweh, I invoke you all day, I stretch out my hands to you:
88:10 are your marvels meant for the dead, can ghosts rise up to praise you?
88:11 Who talks of your love in the grave, of your faithfulness in the place of perdition?
88:12 Do they hear about your marvels in the dark, about your righteousness in the land of oblivion? (pause)
88:13 But I am here, calling for your help, praying to you every morning:
88:14 why do you reject me? Why do you hide your face from me?
88:15 Wretched, slowly dying since my youth, I bore your terrors – now I am exhausted;
88:16 your anger overwhelmed me, you destroyed me with your terrors
88:17 which, like a flood, were round me, all day long, all together closing in on me.
88:18 You have turned my friends and neighbours against me, now darkness is my one companion left.
JB PSALMS Chapter 89
PSALM 89 (v88)
Hymn and a prayer to God’s faithfulness
For Ethan the native-born
89:1 I will celebrate your love for ever, Yahweh, age after age my words shall proclaim your faithfulness;
89:2 for I claim that love is built to last for ever and your faithfulness founded firmly in the heavens.
89:3 ‘I have made a covenant with my Chosen, I have given my servant David my sworn word:
89:4 I have founded your dynasty to last for ever, I have built you a throne to outlast all time.’ (pause)
89:5 Yahweh, the assembly of holy ones in heaven applaud the marvel of your faithfulness.
89:6 Who in the skies can compare with Yahweh? Which of the heaven-born can rival him?
89:7 God, dreaded in the assembly of holy ones, great and terrible to all around him,
89:8 Yahweh, God of Sabaoth, who is like you?-mighty Yahweh, clothed in your faithfulness!
89:9 You control the pride of the ocean, when its waves ride high, you calm them;
89:10 you split Rahab[*a] in two like a carcase and scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
89:11 The heavens are yours and the earth is yours, you founded the world and all it holds,
89:12 you created north and south; Tabor and Hermon hail your name with joy.
89:13 Yours was the arm, and yours the prowess, mighty and exalted your right hand;
89:14 Righteousness and Justice support your throne, Love and Faithfulness are your attendants.
89:15 Happy the people who learn to acclaim you! Yahweh, they will live in the light of your favour;
89:16 they will rejoice in your name all day and exult in your righteousness.
89:17 You are their glory and their strength, you, by your kindness, raise our fortunes,
89:18 since both our shield and our king belong to Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.
89:19 Once you spoke in vision and said to your friends,[*b] I have conferred the crown on a hero, and promoted one chosen from my people.
89:20 I have selected my servant David and anointed him with my holy oil;
89:21 my hand will be constantly with him, he will be able to rely on my arm.
89:22 ‘No enemy will be able to outwit him, no wicked man to worst him,
89:23 I myself will crush his opponents, I will strike dead all who hate him.
89:24 ‘With my faithfulness and love, his fortunes shall rise in my name.
89:25 I will give him control of the sea, complete control of the rivers.
89:26 ‘He will invoke me, “My father, my God and rock of my safety”,
89:27 and I shall make him my first-born, the Most High for kings on earth.
89:28 ‘I will keep my love for him always, my covenant with him shall stand,
89:29 I have founded his dynasty to last for ever, his throne to be as lasting as the heavens.
89:30 ‘Should his descendants desert my Law and disregard my rulings,
89:31 should they violate my statutes and not keep my commandments,
89:32 ‘I will punish their sins with the rod and their crimes with the whip,
89:33 but never withdraw my love from him or fail in my faithfulness.
89:34 ‘I will not break my covenant, I will not revoke my given word;
89:35 I have sworn on my holiness, once for all, and cannot turn liar to David.
89:36 ‘His dynasty shall last for ever, I see his throne like the sun,
89:37 enduring for ever like the moon, that faithful witness in the sky.’ (pause)
89:38 And yet you have rejected, disowned and raged at your anointed;
89:39 you have repudiated the covenant with your servant and flung his crown dishonoured to the ground.
89:40 You have pierced all his defences, and laid his forts in ruins;
89:41 anyone may go and loot him, his neighbours treat him with scorn.
89:42 You have let his opponents get the upper hand, and made all his enemies happy,
89:43 you have snapped his sword on a rock and failed to support him in battle.
89:44 You have stripped him of his glorious sceptre, and toppled his throne to the ground,
89:45 you have aged him before his time and covered him in shame. (pause)
89:46 Yahweh, how much longer will you hide? For ever? How much longer must your anger smoulder like a fire?
89:47 Remember me, the short time I have left and the void to which you destine mankind.
89:48 What man can cling to life and not see death? Who can evade the clutches of Sheol?
89:49 Lord, where are those earlier signs of your love? You swore your oath to David on your faithfulness!
89:50 Lord, do not forget how your servant was insulted, (pause) how I take these pagans’ taunts to heart,
89:51 insults, Yahweh, that your enemies have offered, insults to your anointed wherever he goes. Blessed be Yahweh for ever. Amen. Amen![*c]
JB PSALMS Chapter 90
PSALM 90 (v89)
The human condition
Of Moses, man of God
90:1 Lord, you have been our refuge age after age.
90:2 Before the mountains were born, before the earth or the world came to birth, you were God from all eternity and for ever.
90:3 You can turn man back into dust by saying, ‘Back to what you were, you sons of men!’
90:4 To you, a thousand years are a single day, a yesterday now over, an hour of the night.
90:5 You brush men away like waking dreams, they are like grass
90:6 sprouting and flowering in the morning, withered and dry before dusk.
90:7 We too are burnt up by your anger and terrified by your fury;
90:8 having summoned up our sins you inspect our secrets by your own light.
90:9 Our days dwindle under your wrath, our lives are over in a breath
90:10 our life lasts for seventy years, eighty with good health, but they all add up to anxiety and trouble-over in a trice, and then we are gone.
90:11 Who yet has felt the full force of your fury, or learnt to fear the violence of your rage?
90:12 Teach us to count how few days we have and so gain wisdom of heart.
90:13 Relent, Yahweh! How much longer do we have? Take pity on your servants!
90:14 Let us wake in the morning filled with your love and sing and be happy all our days;
90:15 make our future as happy as our past was sad, those years when you were punishing us.
90:16 Let your servants see what you can do for them, let their children see your glory.
90:17 May the sweetness of the Lord be on us! Make all we do succeed.
JB PSALMS Chapter 91
PSALM 91 (v90)
91:1 If you live in the shelter of Elyon[*a] and make your home in the shadow of Shaddai,
91:2 you can say to Yahweh, ‘My refuge, my fortress, my God to whom I trust!’
91:3 He rescues you from the snares of fowlers hoping to destroy you;
91:4a he covers you with his feathers,
91:4b and you find shelter underneath his wings.
91:5 You need not fear the terrors of night, the arrow that flies in the daytime,
91:6 the plague that stalks in the dark, the scourge that wreaks havoc in broad daylight.
91:7 Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed,
91:4c with his faithfulness for shield and buckler.
91:8 You have only to look around see how the wicked are repaid,
91:9 you who can say, ‘Yahweh my refuge’, and make Elyon your fortress.
91:10 No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent:
91:11 he will put you in his angels’ charge to guard you wherever you go.
91:12 They will support you on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone;
91:13 you will tread on lion and adder, trample on savage lions and dragons.
91:14 ‘I rescue all who cling to me, I protect whoever knows my name,
91:15 I answer everyone who invokes me, I am with them when they are in trouble; I bring them safety and honour.
91:16 I give them life, long and full, and show them how I can save.’
END OF JB PSALMS Volumes 3 (73 – 89) [Total 150 Chapters].