1 O God, we with our ears have heard,
our fathers have us told,
What works thou in their days hadst done,
ev’n in the days of old.

2 Thy hand did drive the heathen out,
and plant them in their place;
Thou didst afflict the nations,
but them thou didst increase.

3 For neither got their sword the land,
nor did their arm them save;
But thy right hand, arm, countenance;
for thou them favor gave.

4 Thou art my King: for Jacob, Lord,
deliv’rances command.
5 Through thee we shall push down our foes,
that do against us stand:

We, through thy name, shall tread down those
that ris’n against us have.
6 For in my bow I shall not trust,
nor shall my sword me save.

7 But from our foes thou hast us saved,
our haters put to shame.
8 In God we all the day do boast,
and ever praise thy name.

9 But now we are cast off by thee,
and us thou putt’st to shame;
And when our armies do go forth,
thou go’st not with the same.

10 Thou mak’st us from the enemy,
faint-hearted, to turn back;
And they who hate us for themselves
our spoils away do take.

11 Like sheep for meat thou gavest us;
‘mong heathen cast we be.
12 Thou didst for nought thy people sell;
their price enrich’d not thee.

13 Thou mak’st us a reproach to be
unto our neighbors near;
Derision and a scorn to them
that round about us are.

14 A by-word also thou dost us
among the heathen make;
The people, in contempt and spite,
at us their heads do shake.

15 Before me my confusion
continually abides;
And of my bashful countenance
the shame me ever hides:

16 For voice of him that doth reproach,
and speaketh blasphemy;
By reason of th’ avenging foe,
and cruel enemy.

17 All this is come on us, yet we
have not forgotten thee;
Nor falsely in thy covenant
behaved ourselves have we.

18 Back from thy way our heart not turned;
our steps no straying made;
19 Though us thou brak’st in dragons’ place,
and cover’dst with death’s shade.

20 If we God’s name forgot, or stretched
to a strange god our hands,
21 Shall not God search this out? for he
heart’s secrets understands.

22 Yea, for thy sake we’re killed all day,
counted as slaughter-sheep.
23 Rise, Lord, cast us not ever off;
awake, why dost thou sleep?

24 O wherefore hidest thou thy face?
forgett’st our cause distressed,
25 And our oppression? For our soul
is to the dust down pressed:

Our belly also on the earth
fast cleaving, hold doth take.
26 Rise for our help, and us redeem,
ev’n for thy mercies’ sake.

To the chief Musician
for the sons of Korah, Maschil.

This psalm was perhaps composed on the same occasion as the 60th, and may have a prophetic view to the after distresses of the Jews in the time of Rehoboam, 2 Chron. 12; of Jehoram, 2 Chron. 21; of Ahaz, 2 Chron. 28; of Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18-19; and during the Chaldean captivity, Syro-Grecian oppression, etc.; and all these as typical of the distresses of the gospel church under heathens and Anti-Christians. It relates chiefly to the church, and contains, (1.) Thankful acknowledgments of what the Lord had done for her in former periods, as her God, her king, her joy, her praise, ver. 1-8. (2.) Sorrowful complaints of divine desertion; and of the prevalent power, cruelty, and derisive contempt of enemies, ver. 9-16. (3.) Solemn protestation of continued integrity, and of constant adherence to the Lord’s way, amidst these manifold calamities, ver. 17-22. (4.) Strong cries, with supplications and tears to God, for his merciful appearance for and granting her relief, ver. 23-26.

In singing this, let me rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Let me rejoice in what the Lord hath wrought for his people, in any former period; and in all their afflictions let me be afflicted. Let me give the Lord no rest, till he make his church a joy in the whole earth.