The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Psalms
(To the choir-master. Of the sons of Core. A maskil.)
O God, the tale has come to our ears—have not our fathers told it?—of the great things thou didst in their time, in days long ago;
it was thy power that gave them a home by rooting out the heathen, crushing and dispossessing nations to make room for them.
It was not by their own sword that our fathers won the land, it was not their own strength that brought them victory; it was the work of thy hand, thy strength; thy smile shone upon them, in proof of thy favour.
I too have no King, no God, save thee; who else sent deliverance to Jacob?
Through thee we routed our enemies; under thy protection we crushed their onslaught.
Not in my bow I trusted, not to my sword I looked for safety;
thine it was to save us from our enemies, and cover their malice with confusion.
In God was ever our boast; his name we praise unceasingly.
And now? Now, O God, thou hast disowned us, and put us to shame, by refusing to go into battle with our armies.
Thou dost put us to flight before our enemies; our ill-wishers plunder us as they will.
Thou hast made us like sheep sold for food, scattered here and there among the heathen;
thou hast bartered away thy people without profit, asking no rich amends for thy loss.
Thou hast turned us into a laughing-stock for our neighbours, mocked and derided by all who dwell around;
till the heathen make a by-word of us, and Gentiles toss their heads at us in scorn.
Ever my disgrace confronts me; my cheeks are covered with blushes,
as I hear nothing but reproach and reviling, see none but enemies, none but persecutors.
All this has come upon us, and it was not that we had forgotten thee. We have not been untrue to thy covenant,
or withdrawn our hearts from thee, that we should let our steps wander away from thy paths.
And all the while thou wouldst bring us low, anguish on every side, darkness hanging over us.
If we had forgotten the name of our own God, and spread out our hands in prayer to the gods of the alien,
would not he know of it? He can read the secrets of men’s hearts. No, it is for thy sake that we face death at every moment, reckoned no better than sheep marked down for slaughter.
Bestir thyself, Lord, why dost thou sleep on? Awake, do not banish us from thy presence for ever.
How canst thou turn thy face away, without a thought for our need and our affliction?
Our pride is bowed in the dust; prostrate, we cannot lift ourselves from the ground.
Arise, Lord, and help us; in thy mercy, claim us for thy own.
The Holy Bible