A Prayer for Retribution against Oppressors
1O Yahweh, God of vengeance,
God of vengeance, shine forth.
2Rise up, O Judge of the earth.
Repay upon the proud what is their rightful due.
3How long will the wicked, O Yahweh,
how long will the wicked exult?
4They gush words#Literally “They gush, they speak,” which is probably a hendiadys unrestrained.
All the evildoers boast.
5They crush your people, O Yahweh;
they oppress your inheritance.
6They kill widow and stranger,
and they murder orphans,
7while#Hebrew “and” they say, “Yah#A shortened form of “Yahweh” does not see,”
and “The God of Jacob does not pay attention.”
8You pay attention, O brutes among the people.
And you fools, when you will show insight?
9Will the one who planted the ear not hear?
Will the one who formed the eye not see?
10Will the one who instructs nations not rebuke,
the one who teaches humankind knowledge?
11Yahweh knows the thoughts of humankind,
that they are to no purpose.#Literally “they are a breath” or “a vanity”
12Blessed is the man, O Yah, whom you instruct
and teach from your law,
13to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14For Yahweh will not abandon his people,
nor forsake his inheritance.
15For judgment will return to righteousness,#That is, the court system will operate correctly
and all the upright in heart will follow after it.
16Who rose up for me against the wicked?
Who stood up for me against the workers of iniquity?
17If Yahweh had not been my help,
my soul would soon have dwelt in silence.
18When I thought,#Hebrew “If/When I said,” that is, said to myself “My foot is slipping,”
your loyal love, O Yahweh, supported me.
19When my troubled thoughts were many within me,#Literally “in my inward parts”
your consolations cheered my soul.
20Can there be allied with you a throne of destruction,
one that forms trouble based on statute?
21They band together against the life of the righteous,
and declare the blameless guilty of blood.#Or “condemn innocent blood”
22But Yahweh has become my high stronghold,
and my God has become my rock of refuge.
23And he will repay on them their iniquity,
and by#Or “in” their evil he will destroy them.
Yahweh our God will destroy them.