New Living Translation
A psalm[a] of Asaph.
1 O my people, listen to my instructions.
Open your ears to what I am saying,
2 for I will speak to you in a parable.
I will teach you hidden lessons from our past—
3 stories we have heard and known,
stories our ancestors handed down to us.
4 We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
8 Then they will not be like their ancestors—
stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful,
refusing to give their hearts to God.
9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
turned their backs and fled on the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant
and refused to live by his instructions.
11 They forgot what he had done—
the great wonders he had shown them,
12 the miracles he did for their ancestors
on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt.
13 For he divided the sea and led them through,
making the water stand up like walls!
14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud,
and all night by a pillar of fire.
15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness
to give them water, as from a gushing spring.
16 He made streams pour from the rock,
making the waters flow down like a river!
17 Yet they kept on sinning against him,
rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts,
demanding the foods they craved.
19 They even spoke against God himself, saying,
“God can’t give us food in the wilderness.
20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out,
but he can’t give his people bread and meat.”
21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious.
The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob.
Yes, his anger rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe God
or trust him to care for them.
23 But he commanded the skies to open;
he opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
he gave them bread from heaven.
25 They ate the food of angels!
God gave them all they could hold.
26 He released the east wind in the heavens
and guided the south wind by his mighty power.
27 He rained down meat as thick as dust—
birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!
28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp
and all around their tents.
29 The people ate their fill.
He gave them what they craved.
30 But before they satisfied their craving,
while the meat was yet in their mouths,
31 the anger of God rose against them,
and he killed their strongest men.
He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.
32 But in spite of this, the people kept sinning.
Despite his wonders, they refused to trust him.
33 So he ended their lives in failure,
their years in terror.
34 When God began killing them,
they finally sought him.
They repented and took God seriously.
35 Then they remembered that God was their rock,
that God Most High[b] was their redeemer.
36 But all they gave him was lip service;
they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their hearts were not loyal to him.
They did not keep his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins
and did not destroy them all.
Many times he held back his anger
and did not unleash his fury!
39 For he remembered that they were merely mortal,
gone like a breath of wind that never returns.
40 Oh, how often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
and grieved his heart in that dry wasteland.
41 Again and again they tested God’s patience
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power
and how he rescued them from their enemies.
43 They did not remember his miraculous signs in Egypt,
his wonders on the plain of Zoan.
44 For he turned their rivers into blood,
so no one could drink from the streams.
45 He sent vast swarms of flies to consume them
and hordes of frogs to ruin them.
46 He gave their crops to caterpillars;
their harvest was consumed by locusts.
47 He destroyed their grapevines with hail
and shattered their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He abandoned their cattle to the hail,
their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He loosed on them his fierce anger—
all his fury, rage, and hostility.
He dispatched against them
a band of destroying angels.
50 He turned his anger against them;
he did not spare the Egyptians’ lives
but ravaged them with the plague.
51 He killed the oldest son in each Egyptian family,
the flower of youth throughout the land of Egypt.[c]
52 But he led his own people like a flock of sheep,
guiding them safely through the wilderness.
53 He kept them safe so they were not afraid;
but the sea covered their enemies.
54 He brought them to the border of his holy land,
to this land of hills he had won for them.
55 He drove out the nations before them;
he gave them their inheritance by lot.
He settled the tribes of Israel into their homes.
56 But they kept testing and rebelling against God Most High.
They did not obey his laws.
57 They turned back and were as faithless as their parents.
They were as undependable as a crooked bow.
58 They angered God by building shrines to other gods;
they made him jealous with their idols.
59 When God heard them, he was very angry,
and he completely rejected Israel.
60 Then he abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
the Tabernacle where he had lived among the people.
61 He allowed the Ark of his might to be captured;
he surrendered his glory into enemy hands.
62 He gave his people over to be butchered by the sword,
because he was so angry with his own people—his special possession.
63 Their young men were killed by fire;
their young women died before singing their wedding songs.
64 Their priests were slaughtered,
and their widows could not mourn their deaths.
65 Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep,
like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor.
66 He routed his enemies
and sent them to eternal shame.
67 But he rejected Joseph’s descendants;
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68 He chose instead the tribe of Judah,
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens,
as solid and enduring as the earth.
70 He chose his servant David,
calling him from the sheep pens.
71 He took David from tending the ewes and lambs
and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—
God’s own people, Israel.
72 He cared for them with a true heart
and led them with skillful hands.
New International Version
A maskil[a] of Asaph.
1 My people, hear my teaching;(A)
listen to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable;(B)
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
3 things we have heard and known,
things our ancestors have told us.(C)
4 We will not hide them from their descendants;(D)
we will tell the next generation(E)
the praiseworthy deeds(F) of the Lord,
his power, and the wonders(G) he has done.
5 He decreed statutes(H) for Jacob(I)
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,(J)
and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget(K) his deeds
but would keep his commands.(L)
8 They would not be like their ancestors(M)—
a stubborn(N) and rebellious(O) generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
whose spirits were not faithful to him.
9 The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,(P)
turned back on the day of battle;(Q)
10 they did not keep God’s covenant(R)
and refused to live by his law.(S)
11 They forgot what he had done,(T)
the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles(U) in the sight of their ancestors
in the land of Egypt,(V) in the region of Zoan.(W)
13 He divided the sea(X) and led them through;
he made the water stand up like a wall.(Y)
14 He guided them with the cloud by day
and with light from the fire all night.(Z)
15 He split the rocks(AA) 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(AB) against him,
rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
18 They willfully put God to the test(AC)
by demanding the food they craved.(AD)
19 They spoke against God;(AE)
they said, “Can God really
spread a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock,
and water gushed out,(AF)
streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
Can he supply meat(AG) for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious;
his fire broke out(AH) against Jacob,
and his wrath rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe in God
or trust(AI) in his deliverance.
23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
and opened the doors of the heavens;(AJ)
24 he rained down manna(AK) 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(AL) from the heavens
and by his power made the south wind blow.
27 He rained meat down on them like dust,
birds(AM) 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—(AN)
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,(AO)
31 God’s anger rose against them;
he put to death the sturdiest(AP) among them,
cutting down the young men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;(AQ)
in spite of his wonders,(AR) they did not believe.(AS)
33 So he ended their days in futility(AT)
and their years in terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek(AU) him;
they eagerly turned to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,(AV)
that God Most High was their Redeemer.(AW)
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,(AX)
lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal(AY) to him,
they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful;(AZ)
he forgave(BA) their iniquities(BB)
and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger(BC)
and did not stir up his full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,(BD)
a passing breeze(BE) that does not return.
40 How often they rebelled(BF) against him in the wilderness(BG)
and grieved him(BH) in the wasteland!
41 Again and again they put God to the test;(BI)
they vexed the Holy One of Israel.(BJ)
42 They did not remember(BK) his power—
the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,(BL)
43 the day he displayed his signs(BM) in Egypt,
his wonders(BN) in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their river into blood;(BO)
they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies(BP) that devoured them,
and frogs(BQ) that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,(BR)
their produce to the locust.(BS)
47 He destroyed their vines with hail(BT)
and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail,
their livestock(BU) to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed against them his hot anger,(BV)
his wrath, indignation and hostility—
a band of destroying angels.(BW)
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,(BX)
the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.(BY)
52 But he brought his people out like a flock;(BZ)
he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
but the sea engulfed(CA) their enemies.(CB)
54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land,
to the hill country his right hand(CC) had taken.
55 He drove out nations(CD) before them
and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance;(CE)
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(CF) they were disloyal and faithless,
as unreliable as a faulty bow.(CG)
58 They angered him(CH) with their high places;(CI)
they aroused his jealousy with their idols.(CJ)
59 When God heard(CK) them, he was furious;(CL)
he rejected Israel(CM) completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,(CN)
the tent he had set up among humans.(CO)
61 He sent the ark of his might(CP) into captivity,(CQ)
his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword;(CR)
he was furious with his inheritance.(CS)
63 Fire consumed(CT) their young men,
and their young women had no wedding songs;(CU)
64 their priests were put to the sword,(CV)
and their widows could not weep.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,(CW)
as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine.
66 He beat back his enemies;
he put them to everlasting shame.(CX)
67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph,
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;(CY)
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,(CZ)
Mount Zion,(DA) which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary(DB) like the heights,
like the earth that he established forever.
70 He chose David(DC) his servant
and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep(DD) he brought him
to be the shepherd(DE) of his people Jacob,
of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;(DF)
with skillful hands he led them.
- Psalm 78:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term