For the leader. Of the Korahites. A maskil.
1 O God, we have heard with our ears,
all our ancestors have told us
of the work that you wrought in their day,
your wonders in days of old,
2 uprooting and crushing the nations,
then planting and settling them.
For it wasn’t their own sword that won them the land,
3 it was not their own arm that brought them the victory.
Yours was the hand and the arm,
yours was the face that shone on them with favor.
4 It was you, my king and my God,
that ordained the victories of Jacob.
5 Through you we can thrust back our foes,
and by your name tread down our assailants:
6 for not in my bow do I trust,
nor can my sword win me the victory.
7 Our victory comes from you,
and confusion to those who hate us.
8 In God we boast all the day long,
and your name will we praise forever.
9 Yet you have spurned and disgraced us,
in not going forth with our armies,
10 and in making us flee from the foe,
so that those who hated us plundered us.
11 You have let us be eaten like sheep,
you have scattered us over the world,
12 sold your people for a pittance,
and getting no gain from their price.
13 You have made us the butt of our neighbors,
the derision and scorn of all round us.
14 O’er the world you have made us a byword,
the nations at us shake their heads.
15 My disgrace is forever before me,
my face is covered with shame,
16 at the words of blasphemer and scoffer,
at the sight of the foe and the vengeful.
17 All this has come upon us,
yet we have not forgotten you
nor falsely dealt with your covenant.
18 Our heart has not turned back,
nor our steps declined from your way,
19 that you thus should have crushed us down,
and covered us over with gloom,
in the place where the jackals roam.
20 Had we forgotten the name of our God,
or stretched out our hands to a god that was strange,
21 would God not have searched this out?
For he knows the heart and its secrets.
22 But in your cause it is we are killed all the day,
and counted as sheep for the slaughter.
23 Rouse yourself, why do you sleep Lord?
Awake, cast us not off forever.
24 Why do you hide your face,
forgetting our stress and our misery?
25 For we have sunk down to the dust,
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Arise, come to our help:
for your love’s sake, ransom us.