New International Version - UK

Psalm 78

Psalm 78

A maskil[a] of Asaph.

My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable;
    I will utter hidden things, things from of old –
things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so that the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.
They would not be like their ancestors –
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
    whose spirits were not faithful to him.

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
    turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God’s covenant
    and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
    the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors
    in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them through;
    he made the water stand up like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud by day
    and with light from the fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
    and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag
    and made water flow down like rivers.

17 But they continued to sin against him,
    rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
18 They wilfully put God to the test
    by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God;
    they said, ‘Can God really
    spread a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock,
    and water gushed out,
    streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
    Can he supply meat for his people?’
21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious;
    his fire broke out against Jacob,
    and his wrath rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe in God
    or trust in his deliverance.
23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
    and opened the doors of the heavens;
24 he rained down manna for the people to eat,
    he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Human beings ate the bread of angels;
    he sent them all the food they could eat.
26 He let loose the east wind from the heavens
    and by his power made the south wind blow.
27 He rained meat down on them like dust,
    birds like sand on the seashore.
28 He made them come down inside their camp,
    all around their tents.
29 They ate till they were gorged –
    he had given them what they craved.
30 But before they turned from what they craved,
    even while the food was still in their mouths,
31 God’s anger rose against them;
    he put to death the sturdiest among them,
    cutting down the young men of Israel.

32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
    in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he ended their days in futility
    and their years in terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
    they eagerly turned to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
    that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
    lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him,
    they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful;
    he forgave their iniquities
    and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
    and did not stir up his full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a passing breeze that does not return.

40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
    and grieved him in the wasteland!
41 Again and again they put God to the test;
    they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power –
    the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
43 the day he displayed his signs in Egypt,
    his wonders in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their river into blood;
    they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them,
    and frogs that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
    their produce to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail
    and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail,
    their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed against them his hot anger,
    his wrath, indignation and hostility –
    a band of destroying angels.
50 He prepared a path for his anger;
    he did not spare them from death
    but gave them over to the plague.
51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,
    the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
52 But he brought his people out like a flock;
    he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
    but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land,
    to the hill country his right hand had taken.
55 He drove out nations before them
    and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance;
    he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.

56 But they put God to the test
    and rebelled against the Most High;
    they did not keep his statutes.
57 Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless,
    as unreliable as a faulty bow.
58 They angered him with their high places;
    they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
59 When God heard them, he was furious;
    he rejected Israel completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
    the tent he had set up among humans.
61 He sent the ark of his might into captivity,
    his splendour into the hands of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword;
    he was furious with his inheritance.
63 Fire consumed their young men,
    and their young women had no wedding songs;
64 their priests were put to the sword,
    and their widows could not weep.

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine.
66 He beat back his enemies;
    he put them to everlasting shame.
67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph,
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights,
    like the earth that he established for ever.
70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skilful hands he led them.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 78:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term

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.