Prayer to Restore God’s Vineyard

1For the leader; according to “Lilies.” Eduth.* A psalm of Asaph.


2O Shepherd of Israel, lend an ear,

you who guide Joseph like a flock!

Seated upon the cherubim, shine fortha

3upon Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh.

Stir up your power, and come to save us.

4bO God, restore us;

light up your face and we shall be saved.


5LORD of hosts,

how long will you smolder in anger

while your people pray?c

6You have fed them the bread of tears,

made them drink tears in great measure.*d

7You have left us to be fought over by our neighbors;

our enemies deride us.e

8O God of hosts, restore us;

light up your face and we shall be saved.


9You brought a vine* out of Egypt;

you drove out nations and planted it.

10You cleared out what was before it;

it took deep root and filled the land.

11The mountains were covered by its shadow,

the cedars of God by its branches.

12It sent out its boughs as far as the sea,*

its shoots as far as the river.*

13Why have you broken down its walls,

so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?f

14The boar from the forest strips the vine;

the beast of the field feeds upon it.g

15Turn back again, God of hosts;

look down from heaven and see;

Visit this vine,

16the stock your right hand has planted,

and the son* whom you made strong for yourself.

17Those who would burn or cut it down—

may they perish at your rebuke.

18May your hand be with the man on your right,*

with the son of man whom you made strong for yourself.

19Then we will not withdraw from you;

revive us, and we will call on your name.

20LORD God of hosts, restore us;

light up your face and we shall be saved.

* [Psalm 80] A community lament in time of military defeat. Using the familiar image of Israel as a vineyard, the people complain that God has broken down the wall protecting the once splendid vine brought from Egypt (Ps 80:914). They pray that God will again turn to them and use the Davidic king to lead them to victory (Ps 80:1519).

* [80:1] Lilies…. Eduth: the first term is probably the title of the melody to which the Psalm was to be sung; the second is unexplained.

* [80:6] Both the Septuagint and the Vulgate translate this verse in the first person, i.e., “You have fed us the bread of tears.”

* [80:9] A vine: a frequent metaphor for Israel, cf. Is 5:17; 27:25; Jer 2:21; Hos 10:1; Mt 21:33.

* [80:12] The sea: the Mediterranean. The river: the Euphrates, cf. Gn 15:18; 1 Kgs 5:1. The terms may also have a mythic nuance—the seas that surround the earth; sea and river are sometimes paralleled in poetry.

* [80:16] The Vulgate and Septuagint use “son of man.”

* [80:18] The man on your right: the Davidic king who will lead the army in battle.

a. [80:2] Ps 23:13; 95:7; 100:3; Gn 48:15; Ex 25:22; 1 Sm 4:4; 2 Sm 6:2; Mi 7:14.

b. [80:4, 8, 20] Ps 4:7; 31:17; 67:2; 85:5; Nm 6:25; Dn 9:17.

c. [80:5] Ps 13:2; 44:24; 74:1; 79:5; 89:47; Dt 4:24.

d. [80:6] Ps 42:4; 102:10.

e. [80:7] Ps 44:14; 79:4; 123:34; Jb 12:4; Dn 9:16; Zep 2:8.

f. [80:13] Ps 89:41.

g. [80:14] Hos 2:14.

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