An Instructive Psalm. Asaph’s.
78 Give ear, O my people, to mine instruction, Bend your ear to the sayings of my mouth;
2 I will open in a parable my mouth, I will pour forth enigmas out of antiquity;—
3 Which we have heard and come to know, And our fathers have recounted to us;
4 We will not withhold [them] from their children, To a later generation recounting the praises of Yahweh, Even his might and his wonders which he wrought;
5 When he set up a testimony in Jacob And a law appointed in Israel,—Which he commanded our fathers, That they might make them known to their children;
6 To the end A later generation might come to know, Children who should be born, Who should arise and recount [them] to their children;
7 That they might set in Elohim their confidence,—And not forget the doings of El, But his commandments might observe;
8 And not become like their fathers a generation stubborn and rebellious,—A generation that fixed not their heart, Neither was their spirit faithful with God.
9 The sons of Ephraim—armed bowmen Turned in the day of battle;
10 They kept not the covenant of God, And in his law refused to walk;
11 And forgat His doings, And his wonders which he had shewed them:
12 In presence of their fathers wrought he wondrously,—In the land of Egypt—the field of Zoan:
13 He clave the sea and caused them to pass through, And reared up the waters like a mound;
14 And led them by a cloud in the daytime, And all the night by a light of fire;
15 He used to cleave rocks in the desert, And let them drink as out of mighty deeps;
16 And he brought forth streams out of the cliff, And caused waters to flow down like rivers.
17 But again once more sinned they against him, Resisting the Most High in a land of drought:
18 They put God to the proof in their heart, By asking food to their mind:
19 Yea they spake against Elohim,—They said, Can God prepare a table in the desert?
20 Lo! he hath smitten a rock And waters have gushed out, Yea torrents have rushed along,—Food also can he give? Or provide flesh for his people?
21 Therefore Yahweh hearkened and became wroth,—And a fire was kindled against Jacob, Moreover also anger mounted against Israel;
22 Because They believed not in God, Nor trusted in his salvation;
23 Though he had commanded the skies above, And the doors of the heavens had opened;
24 And had rained on them manna to eat, And the corn of the heavens had given to them:
25 The food of the mighty each one did eat, Nourishment sent he them to the full;
26 He let loose an east wind in the heavens, Then guided he in his might a south wind;
27 And rained upon them flesh as the dust, And like the sand of the seas birds of wing;
28 And let them fall in the midst of their camp,—Round about their habitations.
29 So they did eat and were abundantly filled, When what they longed for he had brought them:—
30 They had not turned away from what they had longed for, Yet was their food in their mouth
31 When the anger of God mounted against them And he slew of their vigorous youths, And the choice young men of Israel caused he to bow down in death.
32 For all this sinned they still, And believed not in his wonders;
33 So he ended in a breath their days, And their years, in a sudden terror!
34 If he slew [of] them then they sought him, Yea they turned, and did earnestly seek God;
35 And remembered that Elohim was their rock, Yea EL Most High their Redeemer:
36 So they spake him fair with their mouth, And with their tongue did promise him falsely;
37 But their heart was not fixed with him, Nor were they trusty in his covenant:
38 Yet he full of compassion would put a propitiatory-covering over iniquity and not destroy,—Yea many a time turned he back his anger, And would not stir up all his wrath.
39 So then he remembered That Flesh they were, A Wind departing that returneth not.
40 How often they Resisted him in the desert, Vexed him in the waste:
41 Yea they again put God to the test, And to the Holy One of Israel caused they sorrow:
42 They remembered not his hand—The day When he ransomed them from the adversary;
43 When he set in Egypt his signs, And his wonders in the plain of Zoan;
44 When he turned, into blood their Nile-streams, And their own rivers could they not drink;
45 He sent among them The gad-fly and it devoured them, And the frog and it despoiled them;
46 When he gave to the corn-locust their produce, And their toil to the swarming locust;
47 He killed with hail their vine, And their sycomores, with frost:
48 When he gave up to hail-storms their beasts, And their cattle, to pestilent fevers;
49 He sent among them the heat of his anger, Wrath and indignation and distress,—A mission of messengers of misfortune:
50 He levelled a path for his anger,—Withheld not from death their soul, But their life—to the pestilence he delivered:
51 So he smote Every first-born in Egypt, The beginning of their strength, in the tents of Ham;
52 And he set forth, like sheep, his people, And guided them like a flock in the desert;
53 Yea he led them securely and they dreaded not, And their enemies the sea did cover.
54 Then brought he them within his own holy bounds, The mountain-range which his right hand made his own:
55 So he drave out before them [whole] nations, And allotted them, by line, an inheritance, And caused to dwell in their own homes the tribes of Israel.
56 But they tested and resisted God Most High, And his testimonies did not observe;
57 But drew back and dealt treacherously like their fathers, They turned aside like deceitful bowmen;
58 And provoked him to anger with their high places, And with their images used to move him to jealousy.
59 God heard and was wroth, And greatly abhorred Israel;
60 So he gave up the habitation of Shiloh, The tent he had set up among Men;
61 Yea he gave up into captivity his strength, And his beauty into the hand of an adversary;
62 And delivered up to the sword his people, And with his own inheritance was he wroth;
63 His young men were devoured by fire, And his virgins were not praised in song;
64 His priests by the sword did fall, And his widows were not able to bewail.
65 Then awoke as one that had slept Adonay, As a warrior exulting with wine!
66 So he smote his adversaries in the rear, Reproach age-abiding laid he upon them.
67 Howbeit he rejected the tent of Joseph, And the tribe of Ephraim did not choose:
68 But made choice of the tribe of Judah, The mountain of Zion which he loved;
69 And built like the heights his sanctuary, Like the earth he founded it to times age-abiding.
70 And made choice of David his servant, And took him from among the folds of the sheep:
71 From after the sucking ewes he brought him in,—To be shepherd to Jacob his people, And to Israel, his inheritance.
72 So he did shepherd them according to the singleness of his heart, And with the discernment of his hands used he to guide them.