Psalms 78

A psalm of Asaph.

Give ear, O my people, to my instruction! Incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a psalm; I will utter sayings of ancient times. What we have heard and learned, And our fathers have told us, We will not hide from their children; Showing to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah, His might, and the wonders he hath wrought. For he appointed statutes in Jacob, And established a law in Israel, Which he commanded our fathers To make known to their children; So that the generation to come might know them; The children, which should be born, and rise up, Who should declare them to their children; That they might put their trust in God, And not forget his deeds, But keep his commandments; And might not be, like their forefathers, A stubborn and rebellious generation,—A generation whose heart was not fixed upon God, And whose spirit was not steadfast toward the Almighty. The children of Ephraim were like armed bowmen, Who turn their backs in the day of battle. 10 They kept not the covenant of God, And refused to walk in his law; 11 And forgot his mighty deeds, And the wonders he had shown them. 12 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. 13 He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; Yea, he made the waters to stand as a heap. 14 By day he led them by a cloud, And all the night by a light of fire. 15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink, as from the great deep. 16 From the rock he brought flowing streams, And made water to run down like rivers. 17 Yet still they sinned against him, And provoked the Most High in the desert. 18 They tempted God in their hearts, By asking food for their delight. 19 Yea, they spake against God, and said, "Can God spread a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold! he smote the rock, and the water flowed, And streams gushed forth: Is he also able to give bread? Can he provide flesh for his people?" 21 When, therefore, the LORD heard this, he was wroth: So a fire was kindled against Jacob, And anger arose against Israel. 22 Because they believed not in God, And trusted not in his aid. 23 Yet he had commanded the clouds above, And had opened the doors of heaven; 24 And had rained down upon them manna for food, And had given them the corn of heaven. 25 Every one ate the food of princes; He sent them bread to the full. 26 Then he caused a strong wind to blow in the heavens, And by his power he brought a south wind; 27 He rained down flesh upon them as dust, And feathered fowls as the sand of the sea. 28 He caused them to fall in the midst of their camp, Round about their habitations. 29 So they did eat, and were filled; For he gave them their own desire. 30 Their desire was not yet satisfied, And their meat was yet in their mouths, 31 When the wrath of God came upon them, And slew their strong men, And smote down the chosen men of Israel. 32 For all this they sinned still, And put no trust in his wondrous works. 33 Therefore he consumed their days in vanity, And their years in sudden destruction. 34 When he slew them, they sought him; They returned, and sought earnestly for God; 35 And remembered that God was their rock, And the Most High their redeemer. 36 But they only flattered him with their mouths, And spake falsely to him with their tongues. 37 For their hearts were not true to him, Nor were they steadfast in his covenant. 38 Yet, being full of compassion, he forgave their iniquity, And would not utterly destroy them; Often he restrained his indignation, And stirred not up all his anger. 39 He remembered that they were but flesh,—A breath, that passeth and cometh not back. 40 How often did they provoke him in the wilderness! How often did they anger him in the desert! 41 Again and again they tempted God, And offended the Holy One of Israel. 42 They remembered not his hand, Nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy; 43 What signs he had wrought in Egypt, And what wonders in the fields of Zoan. 44 He turned their rivers into blood, So that they could not drink of their streams. 45 He sent amongst them flies, which devoured them, And frogs, which destroyed them. 46 He gave also their fruits to the caterpillar, And their labor to the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail, And their sycamore-trees with frost. 48 He also gave up their cattle to hail, And their flocks to hot thunderbolts. 49 He sent against them the fierceness of his anger, Wrath, indignation, and woe,—A host of angels of evil. 50 He made a way for his anger, He spared them not from death, But gave up their lives to the pestilence. 51 He smote all the firstborn in Egypt; The first-fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham. 52 But he led forth his own people like sheep, And guided them like a flock in the wilderness. 53 He led them on safely, so that they feared not, While the sea overwhelmed their enemies. 54 He brought them to his own sacred border, Even to this mountain which his right hand had gained. 55 He cast out the nations before them, And divided their land by a measuring-line, as an inheritance, And caused the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents. 56 Yet they tempted and provoked God, the Most High, And kept not his statutes; 57 Like their fathers they were faithless, and turned back; They turned aside, like a deceitful bow. 58 They provoked his anger by their high places, And stirred up his jealousy by their graven images. 59 God saw this, and was wroth, And greatly abhorred Israel; 60 So that he forsook the habitation at Shiloh, The tabernacle where he dwelt among men, 61 And delivered his strength into captivity, And his glory into the hand of the enemy. 62 His own people he gave up to the sword, And was wroth with his own inheritance. 63 Fire consumed their young men, And their maidens did not bewail them. 64 Their priests fell by the sword, And their widows made no lamentation. 65 But at length the Lord awaked as from sleep, As a hero who had been overpowered by wine; 66 He smote his enemies, and drove them back, And covered them with everlasting disgrace. 67 Yet he rejected the tents of Joseph, And chose not the tribe of Ephraim; 68 But chose the tribe of Judah, The Mount Zion which he loved; 69 Where he built, like the heavens, his sanctuary; Like the earth, which he hath established for ever. 70 And he chose David, his servant, And took him from the sheepfolds; 71 From tending the suckling ewes he brought him To feed Jacob his people, And Israel his inheritance. 72 He fed them with an upright heart, And guided them with skilful hands.
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