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   The Book of Psalms.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Book III
 
LXXVIII
 
God’s Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness
 
 
Maschil of Asaph.
 
 
[1]  GIVE ear, O my people, to my law: 1
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
[2]  I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
[3]  Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
[4]  We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah,
And his strength, and his wondrous works that he hath done.
[5]  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;
[6]  That the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born;
Who should arise and tell them to their children,
[7]  That they might set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep his commandments,
[8]  And might not be as their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that 2 set not their heart aright,
And whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
[9]  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 they forgat his doings,
And his wondrous works that he had showed them.
[12]  Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
[13]  He clave the sea, and caused them to pass through;
And he made the waters to stand as a heap.
[14]  In the day-time also he led them with a cloud,
And all the night with a light of fire.
[15]  He clave rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
[16]  He brought streams also out of the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
[17]  Yet went they on still to sin against him,
To rebel against the Most High in the 3 desert.
[18]  And they tempted God in their heart
By asking food according 4 to their desire.
[19]  Yea, they spake against God;
They said, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
[20]  Behold, he smote the rock, so that waters gushed out,
And streams overflowed;
Can he give bread also?
Will he provide flesh for his people?
[21]  Therefore Jehovah heard, and was wroth;
And a fire was kindled against Jacob,
And anger also went up against Israel;
[22]  Because they believed not in God,
And trusted not in his salvation.
[23]  Yet he commanded the skies above,
And opened the doors of heaven;
[24]  And he rained down manna upon them to eat,
And gave them food 5 from heaven.
[25]  Man 6 did eat the bread of the mighty:
He sent them food to the full.
[26]  He caused 7 the est wind to blow in the heavens;
And by his power he guided the south wind.
[27]  He rained flesh also upon them as the dust,
And winged birds as the sand of the seas:
[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;
And he gave them their own desire.
[30]  They were not estranged from that which they desired,
Their food was yet in their mouths,
[31]  When the anger of God went up against them,
And slew of the fattest of them,
And smote down the young men of Israel.
[32]  For all this they sinned still,
And believed not in his wondrous works.
[33]  Therefore their days did he consume in vanity,
And their years in terror.
[34]  When he slew them, then they inquired after him;
And they returned and sought God earnestly.
[35]  And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their redeemer.
[36]  But they flattered him with their mouth,
And lied unto him with their tongue.
[37]  For their heart was not right 8 with him,
Neither were they faithful in his covenant.
[38]  But he, being merciful, 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]  And he remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
[40]  How oft did they rebel against him in the wilderness,
And grieve him in the desert!
[41]  And they turned again and tempted God,
And provoked 9 the Holy One of Israel.
[42]  They remembered not his hand,
Nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary;
[43]  How he set his signs in Egypt,
And his wonders in the field of Zoan,
[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 gave also their increase unto the caterpillar,
And their labor unto the locust.
[47]  He destroyed 10 their vines with hail,
And their sycomore-trees with frost. 11
[48]  He gave over 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,
A 12 band of angels of evil.
[50]  He made 13 a path for his anger;
He spared not their soul from death,
But gave their 14 life over the pestilence,
[51]  And smote all the first-born in Egypt,
The chief 15 of their strength in the tents of Ham.
[52]  But he led forth his own people like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
[53]  And he led them safely, so that they feared not;
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
[54]  And he brought them to the 16 border of his sanctuary,
To this mountain, 17 which his right hand had gotten.
[55]  He drove out the nations also before them,
And allotted them for an inheritance by line,
And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
[56]  Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God,
And kept not his testimonies;
[57]  But turned back, and dealt treacherously 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 adversary’s hand.
[62]  He gave his people over also unto the sword,
And was wroth with his inheritance.
[63]  Fire devoured their young men;
And their virgins had no marriage-song.
[64]  Their priests fell by the sword;
And their widows made no lamentation.
[65]  Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep,
Like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
[66]  And he smote his adversaries backward:
He put them to a perpetual reproach.
[67]  Moreover he refused the tent 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 the heights,
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 that have their young he brought him,
To be the shepherd of Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
[72]  So he was their shepherd according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
 
Note 1. Or, teaching. [back]
Note 2. Or, that prepared not their heart. [back]
Note 3. Or, a dry land. [back]
Note 4. Or, for themselves. [back]
Note 5. Heb. grain. [back]
Note 6. Or, Every one. [back]
Note 7. Heb. led forth the east wind. [back]
Note 8. Or, stedfast. [back]
Note 9. Or, limited. [back]
Note 10. Heb. killed. [back]
Note 11. Or, great hailstones. [back]
Note 12. Heb. A sending. [back]
Note 13. Heb. levelled. [back]
Note 14. Or, their beasts to the murrain. [back]
Note 15. Heb. beginning. See Deut. 21. 17. [back]
Note 16. Or, his holy border. [back]
Note 17. Or, mountain land. [back]
 

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