King James Version

Psalm 78

1Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

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

We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:

That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

The children of Ephraim, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.

10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;

11 And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed 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; and he made the waters to stand as an heap.

14 In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

15 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.

16 He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.

18 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?

20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?

21 Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel;

22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:

23 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven,

24 And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven.

25 Man did eat angels' food: he sent them meat to the full.

26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind.

27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:

28 And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.

29 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire;

30 They were not estranged from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths,

31 The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel.

32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

33 Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble.

34 When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God.

35 And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer.

36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.

37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

38 But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!

41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

42 They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.

43 How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan.

44 And had turned their rivers into blood; and their floods, that they could not drink.

45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.

46 He gave also their increase unto the caterpiller, and their labour unto the locust.

47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore trees with frost.

48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.

49 He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.

50 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:

52 But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

53 And he led them on safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

54 And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.

55 He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.

56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.

59 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:

60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;

61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.

62 He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.

63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.

64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

65 Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.

66 And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts: he put them to a perpetual reproach.

67 Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:

68 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.

69 And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

70 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:

71 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.

New International Reader's Version

Psalm 78

Psalm 78

A maskil of Asaph.

My people, listen to my teaching.
    Pay attention to what I say.
I will open my mouth and tell a story.
    I will speak about things that were hidden.
    They happened a long time ago.
We have heard about them and we know them.
    Our people who lived before us have told us about them.
We won’t hide them from our children.
    We will tell them to those who live after us.
We will tell them what the Lord has done that is worthy of praise.
    We will talk about his power and the wonderful things he has done.
He gave laws to the people of Jacob.
    He gave Israel their law.
He commanded our people who lived before us
    to teach his laws to their children.
Then those born later would know his laws.
    Even their children yet to come would know them.
    And they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God.
    They would not forget what he had done.
    They would obey his commands.
They would not be like their people who lived long ago.
    Those people were stubborn. They refused to obey God.
They turned away from him.
    Their spirits were not faithful to him.

The soldiers of Ephraim were armed with bows.
    But they ran away on the day of battle.
10 They didn’t keep the covenant God had made with them.
    They refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done.
    They didn’t remember the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles right in front of their people who lived long ago.
    At that time they were living in Egypt, in the area of Zoan.
13 God parted the Red Sea and led them through it.
    He made the water stand up like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud during the day.
    He led them with the light of a fire all night long.
15 He broke the rocks open in the desert.
    He gave them as much water as there is in the oceans.
16 He brought streams out of a rocky cliff.
    He made water flow down like rivers.

17 But they continued to sin against him.
    In the desert they refused to obey the Most High God.
18 They were stubborn and tested God.
    They ordered him to give them the food they wanted.
19 They spoke against God. They said,
    “Can God really put food on a table in the desert?
20 It is true that he struck the rock, and streams of water poured out.
    Huge amounts of water flowed down.
But can he also give us bread?
    Can he supply meat for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard what they said, he was very angry.
    His anger broke out like fire against the people of Jacob.
    He became very angry with Israel.
22 That was because they didn’t believe in God.
    They didn’t trust in his power to save them.
23 But he gave a command to the skies above.
    He opened the doors of the heavens.
24 He rained down manna for the people to eat.
    He gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Mere human beings ate the bread of angels.
    He sent them all the food they could eat.
26 He made the east wind blow from the heavens.
    By his power he caused the south wind to blow.
27 He rained down meat on them like dust.
    He sent them birds like sand on the seashore.
28 He made the birds come down inside their camp.
    The birds fell all around their tents.
29 People ate until they couldn’t eat any more.
    He gave them what they had wanted.
30 But even before they had finished eating, God acted.
    He did it while the food was still in their mouths.
31 His anger rose up against them.
    He put to death the strongest among them.
    He struck down Israel’s young men.

32 But even after all that, they kept on sinning.
    Even after the wonderful things he had done, they still didn’t believe.
33 So he brought their days to an end like a puff of smoke.
    He ended their years with terror.
34 Every time God killed some of them, the others would seek him.
    They gladly turned back to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock.
    They remembered that God Most High had set them free.
36 But they didn’t mean it when they praised him.
    They lied to him when they spoke.
37 They turned away from him.
    They weren’t faithful to the covenant he had made with them.
38 But he was full of tender love.
    He forgave their sins
    and didn’t destroy his people.
Time after time he held back his anger.
    He didn’t let all his burning anger blaze out.
39 He remembered that they were only human.
    He remembered they were only a breath of air
    that drifts by and doesn’t return.

40 How often they refused to obey him in the desert!
    How often they caused him sorrow in that dry and empty land!
41 Again and again they tested God.
    They made the Holy One of Israel sad and angry.
42 They didn’t remember his power.
    They forgot the day he set them free
    from those who had treated them so badly.
43 They forgot how he had shown them his signs in Egypt.
    They forgot his miracles in the area of Zoan.
44 He turned the river of Egypt into blood.
    The people of Egypt couldn’t drink water from their streams.
45 He sent large numbers of flies that bit them.
    He sent frogs that destroyed their land.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshoppers.
    He gave their food to the locusts.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail.
    He destroyed their fig trees with sleet.
48 He killed their cattle with hail.
    Their livestock were struck by lightning.
49 Because he was so angry with Egypt, he caused them to have great trouble.
    In his great anger he sent destroying angels against them.
50 God prepared a path for his anger.
    He didn’t spare their lives.
    He gave them over to the plague.
51 He killed the oldest son of each family in Egypt.
    He struck down the oldest son in every house in the land of Ham.
52 But he brought his people out like a flock.
    He led them like sheep through the desert.
53 He guided them safely, and they weren’t afraid.
    But the Red Sea swallowed up their enemies.
54 And so he brought his people to the border of his holy land.
    He led them to the central hill country he had taken by his power.
55 He drove out the nations to make room for his people.
    He gave to each family a piece of land to pass on to their children.
    He gave the tribes of Israel a place to make their homes.

56 But they tested God.
    They refused to obey the Most High God.
    They didn’t keep his laws.
57 They were like their people who lived long ago.
    They turned away from him and were not faithful.
They were like a bow that doesn’t shoot straight.
    They couldn’t be trusted.
58 They made God angry by going to their high places.
    They made him jealous by worshiping the statues of their gods.
59 When God saw what the people were doing, he was very angry.
    He turned away from them completely.
60 He deserted the holy tent at Shiloh.
    He left the tent he had set up among his people.
61 He allowed the ark to be captured.
    Into the hands of his enemies he sent the ark where his glory rested.
62 He let his people be killed by swords.
    He was very angry with them.
63 Fire destroyed their young men.
    Their young women had no one to marry.
64 Their priests were killed by swords.
    Their widows weren’t able to weep.

65 Then the Lord woke up as if he had been sleeping.
    He was like a warrior waking up from the deep sleep caused by wine.
66 He drove back his enemies.
    He put them to shame that will last forever.
67 He turned his back on the tents of the people of Joseph.
    He didn’t choose to live in the tribe of Ephraim.
68 Instead, he chose to live in the tribe of Judah.
    He chose Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 There he built his holy place as secure as the heavens.
    He built it to last forever, like the earth.
70 He chose his servant David.
    He took him from the sheep pens.
71 He brought him from tending sheep
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob.
    He made him the shepherd of Israel, his special people.
72 David cared for them with a faithful and honest heart.
    With skilled hands he led them.