Amplified Bible

Psalm 78

God’s Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness.

A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of Asaph.

1Listen, O my people, to my teaching;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth [and be willing to learn].

I will open my mouth in a parable [to instruct using examples];
I will utter dark and puzzling sayings of old [that contain important truth]—

Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children,
But [we will] tell to the generation to come the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
And [tell of] His great might and power and the wonderful works that He has done.


For He established a testimony (a specific precept) in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers
That they should teach to their children [the great facts of God’s transactions with Israel],

That the generation to come might know them, that the children still to be born
May arise and recount them to their children,

That they should place their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments,

And not be like their fathers—
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not prepare its heart to know and follow God,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.


The sons of Ephraim were armed as archers and carrying bows,
Yet they turned back in the day of battle.
10 
They did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to walk according to His law;
11 
And they forgot His [incredible] works
And His miraculous wonders that He had shown them.
12 
He did marvelous things in the sight of their fathers
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan [where Pharaoh resided].
13 
He divided the [Red] Sea and allowed them to pass through it,
And He made the waters stand up like [water behind] a dam.
14 
In the daytime He led them with a cloud
And all the night with a light of fire.
15 
He split rocks in the wilderness
And gave them abundant [water to] drink like the ocean depths.
16 
He brought streams also from the rock [at Rephidim and Kadesh]
And caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 
Yet they still continued to sin against Him
By rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 
And in their hearts they put God to the test
By asking for food according to their [selfish] appetite.
19 
Then they spoke against God;
They said, “Can God prepare [food for] a table in the wilderness?
20 
“Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out
And the streams overflowed;
Can He give bread also?
Or will He provide meat for His people?”

21 
Therefore, when the Lord heard, He was full of wrath;
A fire was kindled against Jacob,
And His anger mounted up against Israel,
22 
Because they did not believe in God [they did not rely on Him, they did not adhere to Him],
And they did not trust in His salvation (His power to save).
23 
Yet He commanded the clouds from above
And opened the doors of heaven;
24 
And He rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them the grain of heaven.
25 
Man ate the bread of angels;
God sent them provision in abundance.
26 
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens
And by His [unlimited] power He guided the south wind.
27 
He rained meat upon them like the dust,
And winged birds (quail) like the sand of the seas.
28 
And He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
Around their tents.
29 
So they ate and were well filled,
He gave them what they craved.
30 
Before they had satisfied their desire,
And while their food was in their mouths,
31 
The wrath of God rose against them
And killed some of the strongest of them,
And subdued the choice young men of Israel.
32 
In spite of all this they still sinned,
For they did not believe in His wonderful and extraordinary works.
33 
Therefore He consumed their days like a breath [in emptiness and futility]
And their years in sudden terror.

34 
When He killed [some of] them, then those remaining sought Him,
And they returned [to Him] and searched diligently for God [for a time].
35 
And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36 
Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths
And lied to Him with their tongues.
37 
For their heart was not steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful to His covenant.
38 
[a]But He, the source of compassion and lovingkindness, forgave their wickedness and did not destroy them;
Many times He restrained His anger
And did not stir up all His wrath.
39 
For He [graciously] remembered that they were mere [human] flesh,
A wind that goes and does not return.

40 
How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 
Again and again they tempted God,
And distressed the Holy One of Israel.
42 
They did not remember [the miracles worked by] His [powerful] hand,
Nor the day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
43 
How He worked His miracles in Egypt
And His wonders in the field of Zoan [where Pharaoh resided],
44 
And turned their rivers into blood,
And their streams, so that they could not drink.
45 
He sent among them swarms of flies which devoured them,
And frogs which destroyed them.
46 
He also gave their crops to the grasshopper,
And the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47 
He destroyed their vines with [great] hailstones
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 
He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones,
And their flocks and herds to thunderbolts.
49 
He sent upon them His burning anger,
His fury and indignation and distress,
A band of angels of destruction [among them].
50 
He leveled a path for His anger [to give it free run];
He did not spare their souls from death,
But turned over their lives to the plague.
51 
He killed all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first and best of their strength in the tents [of the land of the sons] of Ham.
52 
But God led His own people forward like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness like [a good shepherd with] a flock.
53 
He led them safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea engulfed their enemies.

54 
So He brought them to His holy land,
To this mountain [Zion] which His right hand had acquired.
55 
He also drove out the nations before the sons of Israel
And allotted their land as an inheritance, measured out and partitioned;
And He had the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents [the tents of those who had been dispossessed].
56 
Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God
And did not keep His testimonies (laws).
57 
They turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers;
They were twisted like a warped bow [that will not respond to the archer’s aim].
58 
For they provoked Him to [righteous] anger with their high places [devoted to idol worship]
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images [by denying Him the love, worship, and obedience that is rightfully and uniquely His].
59 
When God heard this, He was filled with [righteous] wrath;
And utterly rejected Israel, [greatly hating her ways],
60 
So that He abandoned the tabernacle at Shiloh,
The tent in which He had dwelled among men,
61 
And gave up His strength and power (the ark of the covenant) into captivity,
And His glory into the hand of the enemy (the Philistines).
62 
He also handed His people over to the sword,
And was infuriated with His inheritance (Israel).
63 
The fire [of war] devoured His young men,
And His [bereaved] virgins had no wedding songs.
64 
His priests [Hophni and Phinehas] fell by the sword,
And His widows could not weep.

65 
Then the Lord awakened as from sleep,
Like a [mighty] warrior who awakens from the sleep of wine [fully conscious of his power].
66 
He drove His enemies backward;
He subjected them to lasting shame and dishonor.
67 
Moreover, He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim [in which the tabernacle stood].
68 
But He chose the tribe of Judah [as Israel’s leader],
Mount Zion, which He loved [to replace Shiloh as His capital].
69 
And He built His sanctuary [exalted] like the heights [of the heavens],
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 
He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 
[b]From [c]tending the ewes with nursing young He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 
So David shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart;
And guided them with his skillful hands.

Notas al pie

  1. Psalm 78:38 The ancient Sopherim, the Jewish scholars whose responsibility it was to do counts of all the letters, words, and verses of the OT, said that this verse marks the halfway point in Psalms.
  2. Psalm 78:71 The first impression one might receive from this passage is that God elevated David from the lowliest position in Israel to the highest. But the ancient rabbis said that God tested David’s skills and wisdom as a shepherd. For example, it is said that David held back the bigger sheep from the pasture and brought out the smaller ones first to graze on the tender grass. The rabbis represented God as saying, “He who knows how to shepherd the sheep, each one in proportion to its strength, shall come and shepherd My people.”
  3. Psalm 78:71 Lit following.

Nueva Biblia al Día

Salmos 78

Salmos 78

Pueblo mío, atiende a mi *enseñanza;
    presta oído a las palabras de mi boca.
Mis labios pronunciarán *parábolas
    y evocarán misterios de antaño,
cosas que hemos oído y conocido,
    y que nuestros padres nos han contado.
No las esconderemos de sus descendientes;
    hablaremos a la generación venidera
del poder del Señor, de sus proezas,
    y de las maravillas que ha realizado.
Él promulgó un decreto para Jacob,
    dictó una *ley para Israel;
ordenó a nuestros antepasados
    enseñarlos a sus descendientes,
para que los conocieran las generaciones venideras
    y los hijos que habrían de nacer,
    que a su vez los enseñarían a sus hijos.
Así ellos pondrían su confianza en Dios
    y no se olvidarían de sus proezas,
    sino que cumplirían sus mandamientos.
Así no serían como sus antepasados:
    generación obstinada y rebelde,
gente de corazón fluctuante,
    cuyo espíritu no se mantuvo fiel a Dios.
La tribu de Efraín, con sus diestros arqueros,
    se puso en fuga el día de la batalla.

10 No cumplieron con el *pacto de Dios,
    sino que se negaron a seguir sus enseñanzas.
11 Echaron al olvido sus proezas,
    las maravillas que les había mostrado,
12 los milagros que hizo a la vista de sus padres
    en la tierra de Egipto, en la región de Zoán.
13 Partió el mar en dos para que ellos lo cruzaran,
    mientras mantenía las aguas firmes como un muro.
14 De día los guió con una nube,
    y toda la noche con luz de fuego.
15 En el desierto partió en dos las rocas,
    y les dio a beber torrentes de aguas;
16 hizo que brotaran arroyos de la peña
    y que las aguas fluyeran como ríos.

17 Pero ellos volvieron a pecar contra él;
    en el desierto se rebelaron contra el *Altísimo.
18 Con toda intención pusieron a Dios a prueba,
    y le exigieron comida a su antojo.
19 Murmuraron contra Dios, y aun dijeron:
    «¿Podrá Dios tendernos una mesa en el desierto?
20 Cuando golpeó la roca,
    el agua brotó en torrentes;
pero ¿podrá también darnos de comer?,
    ¿podrá proveerle carne a su pueblo?»
21 Cuando el Señor oyó esto, se puso muy furioso;
    su enojo se encendió contra Jacob,
    su ira ardió contra Israel.
22 Porque no confiaron en Dios,
    ni creyeron que él los salvaría.
23 Desde lo alto dio una orden a las nubes,
    y se abrieron las puertas de los cielos.
24 Hizo que les lloviera maná, para que comieran;
    pan del cielo les dio a comer.
25 Todos ellos comieron pan de ángeles;
    Dios les envió comida hasta saciarlos.
26 Desató desde el cielo el viento solano,
    y con su poder levantó el viento del sur.
27 Cual lluvia de polvo, hizo que les lloviera carne;
    ¡nubes de pájaros, como la arena del mar!
28 Los hizo caer en medio de su campamento
    y en los alrededores de sus tiendas.
29 Comieron y se hartaron,
    pues Dios les cumplió su capricho.
30 Pero el capricho no les duró mucho:
    aún tenían la comida en la boca
31 cuando el enojo de Dios vino sobre ellos:
    dio muerte a sus hombres más robustos;
    abatió a la flor y nata de Israel.

32 A pesar de todo, siguieron pecando
    y no creyeron en sus maravillas.
33 Por tanto, Dios hizo que sus días
    se esfumaran como un suspiro,
    que sus años acabaran en medio del terror.
34 Si Dios los castigaba, entonces lo buscaban,
    y con ansias se volvían de nuevo a él.
35 Se acordaban de que Dios era su *roca,
    de que el Dios Altísimo era su redentor.
36 Pero entonces lo halagaban con la boca,
    y le mentían con la lengua.
37 No fue su corazón sincero para con Dios;
    no fueron fieles a su pacto.
38 Sin embargo, él les tuvo compasión;
    les perdonó su maldad y no los destruyó.
Una y otra vez contuvo su enojo,
    y no se dejó llevar del todo por la ira.
39 Se acordó de que eran simples *mortales,
    un efímero suspiro que jamás regresa.

40 ¡Cuántas veces se rebelaron contra él en el desierto,
    y lo entristecieron en los páramos!
41 Una y otra vez ponían a Dios a prueba;
    provocaban al Santo de Israel.
42 Jamás se acordaron de su poder,
    de cuando los rescató del opresor,
43 ni de sus señales milagrosas en Egipto,
    ni de sus portentos en la región de Zoán,
44 cuando convirtió en sangre los ríos egipcios
    y no pudieron ellos beber de sus arroyos;
45 cuando les envió tábanos que se los devoraban,
    y ranas que los destruían;
46 cuando entregó sus cosechas a los saltamontes,
    y sus sembrados a la langosta;
47 cuando con granizo destruyó sus viñas,
    y con escarcha sus higueras;
48 cuando entregó su ganado al granizo,
    y sus rebaños a las centellas;
49 cuando lanzó contra ellos el ardor de su ira,
    de su furor, indignación y hostilidad:
    ¡todo un ejército de ángeles destructores!
50 Dio rienda suelta a su enojo
    y no los libró de la muerte,
    sino que los entregó a la plaga.
51 Dio muerte a todos los primogénitos de Egipto,
    a las primicias de su raza en los campamentos de Cam.
52 A su pueblo lo guió como a un rebaño;
    los llevó por el desierto, como a ovejas,
53 infundiéndoles confianza para que no temieran.
    Pero a sus enemigos se los tragó el mar.

54 Trajo a su pueblo a esta su tierra santa,
    a estas montañas que su diestra conquistó.
55 Al paso de los israelitas expulsó naciones,
    cuyas tierras dio a su pueblo en heredad;
    ¡así estableció en sus tiendas a las tribus de Israel!

56 Pero ellos pusieron a prueba a Dios:
    se rebelaron contra el *Altísimo
    y desobedecieron sus *estatutos.
57 Fueron desleales y traidores, como sus padres;
    ¡tan falsos como un arco defectuoso!
58 Lo irritaron con sus santuarios paganos;
    con sus ídolos despertaron sus celos.
59 Dios lo supo y se puso muy furioso,
    por lo que rechazó completamente a Israel.
60 Abandonó el tabernáculo de Siló,
    que era su santuario aquí en la tierra,
61 y dejó que el símbolo de su poder y gloria
    cayera cautivo en manos enemigas.
62 Tan furioso estaba contra su pueblo
    que dejó que los mataran a filo de espada.
63 A sus jóvenes los consumió el fuego,
    y no hubo cantos nupciales para sus doncellas;
64 a filo de espada cayeron sus sacerdotes,
    y sus viudas no pudieron hacerles duelo.

65 Despertó entonces el Señor,
    como quien despierta de un sueño,
como un guerrero que, por causa del vino,
    lanza gritos desaforados.
66 Hizo retroceder a sus enemigos,
    y los puso en vergüenza para siempre.
67 Rechazó a los descendientes[a] de José,
    y no escogió a la tribu de Efraín;
68 más bien, escogió a la tribu de Judá
    y al monte *Sión, al cual ama.
69 Construyó su santuario, alto como los cielos,[b]
    como la tierra, que él afirmó para siempre.
70 Escogió a su siervo David,
    al que sacó de los apriscos de las ovejas,
71 y lo quitó de andar arreando los rebaños
    para que fuera el *pastor de Jacob, su pueblo;
    el pastor de Israel, su herencia.
72 Y David los pastoreó con corazón sincero;
    con mano experta los dirigió.

Notas al pie

  1. Salmos 78:67 los descendientes. Lit. las tiendas (de campaña).
  2. Salmos 78:69 santuario, alto como los cielos. Lit. santuario como las alturas.