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78Psalms

 
1 Mark my teaching, O my people,
listen to the words I am to speak.

God & His People. Psalm 78(v77)
2 I will tell you a story with a meaning,
I will expound the riddle of things past,

 
3 things that we have heard and know,
and our fathers have repeated to us.

 
4 From their sons we will not hide
the praises of the LORD and his might
nor the wonderful acts he has performed;
then they shall repeat them to the next generation.

 
5 He laid on Jacob a solemn charge
and established a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach their sons,

 
6 that it might be known to a future generation,
to children yet unborn,
and these would repeat it to their sons in turn.

 
7 He charged them to put their trust in God,
to hold his great acts ever in mind
and to keep all his commandments;

 
8 not to do as their fathers did,
a disobedient and rebellious race,
a generation with no firm purpose,
with hearts not fixed steadfastly on God.

 
9 The men of Ephraim, bowmen all and marksmen,
turned and ran in the hour of battle.

 
10 They had not kept God's covenant
and had refused to live by his law;

 
11 they forgot all that he had done
and the wonderful acts which he had shown them.

 
12 He did wonders in their fathers' sight
in the land of Egypt, the country of Zoan:

 
13 he divided the sea and took them through it,
making the water stand up like banks on either side.

 
14 He led them with a cloud by day
and all night long with a glowing fire.

 
15 He cleft the rock in the wilderness
and gave them water to drink, abundant as the sea;

 
16 he brought streams out of the cliff
and made water run down like rivers.

 
17 But they sinned against him yet again:
in the desert they defied the Most High,

 
18 they tried God's patience wilfully,
demanding food to satisfy their hunger.

 
19 They vented their grievance against God and said,
'Can God spread a table in the wilderness?'

 
20 When he struck a rock, water gushed out
until the gullies overflowed;
they said, 'Can he give bread as well,
can he provide meat for his people?'

 
21 When he heard this, the LORD was filled with fury:
fire raged against Jacob,
anger blazed up against Israel,

 
22 because they put no trust in God
and had no faith in his power to save.

 
23 Then he gave orders to the skies above
and threw open heaven's doors,

 
24 he rained down manna for them to eat
and gave them the grain of heaven.

 
25 So men ate the bread of angels;
he sent them food to their heart's desire.

 
26 He let loose the east wind from heaven
and drove the south wind by his power;

 
27 he rained meat like a dust-storm upon them,
flying birds like the sand of the sea-shore,

 
28 which he made settle all over the camp
round the tents where they lived.

 
29 So the people ate and were well filled,
for he had given them what they craved.

 
30 Yet they did not abandon their complaints Or craving
even while the food was in their mouths.

 
31 Then the anger of God blazed up against them;
he spread death among their stoutest men
and brought the young men of Israel to the ground.

 
32 In spite of all, they persisted in their sin
and had no faith in his wonderful acts.

 
33 So in one moment he snuffed out their lives
and ended their years in calamity.

 
34 When he struck them, they began to seek him,
they would turn and look eagerly for God;

 
35 they remembered that God was their Creator,
that God Most High was their deliverer.

 
36 But still they beguiled him with words
and deceived him with fine speeches;

 
37 they were not loyal to him in their hearts
nor were they faithful to his covenant.

 
38 Yet he wiped out their guilt
and did not smother his own his own: prob. rdg, Heb omitted natural affection;
often he restrained his wrath
and did not rouse his anger to its height.

 
39 He remembered that they were only mortal men,
who pass by like a wind and never return.

 
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved him in the desert!

 
41 Again and again they tried God's patience
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.

 
42 They did not remember his prowess
on the day when he saved them from the enemy,

 
43 how he set his signs in Egypt,
his portents in the land of Zoan.

 
44 He turned their streams into blood,
and they could not drink the running water.

 
45 He sent swarms of flies which devoured them,
and frogs which brought devastation;

 
46 he gave their harvest over to locusts
and their produce to the grubs;

 
47 he killed their vines with hailstones
and their figs with torrents of rain;

 
48 he abandoned their cattle to the plague
and their beasts to the arrows of pestilence.

 
49 He loosed upon them the violence of his anger,
wrath and enmity and rage,
launching those messengers of evil

 
50 (50-51) to open a way for his fury.
He struck down all the first-born in Egypt,
the flower of their manhood in the tents of Ham,
not shielding their lives from death
but abandoning their bodies to the plague.

 
51

 
52 But he led out his own people like sheep
and guided them like a flock in the wilderness.

 
53 He led them in safety and they were not afraid,
and the sea closed over their enemies.

 
54 He brought them to his holy mountain,
the hill which his right hand had won;

 
55 he drove out nations before them,
he allotted their lands to Israel as a possession
and settled his tribes in their dwellings.

 
56 Yet they tried God's patience and rebelled against him;
they did not keep the commands of the Most High;

 
57 they were renegades, traitors like their fathers,
they changed, they went slack like a bow.

 
58 They provoked him to anger with their hill-shrines
and roused his jealousy with their carved images.

 
59 When God heard this, he put them out of mind
and utterly rejected Israel.

 
60 He forsook his home at Shiloh,
the tabernacle in which he dwelt among men;

 
61 he surrendered the symbol of his strength into captivity
and his pride into enemy hands;

 
62 he gave his people over to the sword
and put his own possession out of mind.

 
63 fire devoured his young men,
and his maidens could raise no lament for them;

 
64 his priests fell by the sword,
and his widows could not weep.

 
65 Then the Lord awoke as a sleeper awakes,
like a warrior heated with wine;

 
66 he struck his foes in the back parts
and brought perpetual shame upon them.

 
67 He despised the clan of Joseph
and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;

 
68 he chose the tribe of Judah
and Mount Zion which he loved;

 
69 he built his sanctuary high as the heavens,
founded like the earth to last for ever.

 
70 He chose David to be his servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;

 
71 he brought him from minding the ewes
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob prob. rdg, Heb adds and Israel his possession;

 
72 and he shepherded them in singleness of heart
and guided them with skilful hand.

 
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