New English Translation
A well-written song by Asaph.
1 Pay attention, my people, to my instruction! Listen to the words I speak!
2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom; I will make insightful observations about the past.
3 What we have heard and learned - that which our ancestors have told us -
4 we will not hide from their descendants. We will tell the next generation about the LORD's praiseworthy acts, about his strength and the amazing things he has done.
5 He established a rule in Jacob; he set up a law in Israel. He commanded our ancestors to make his deeds known to their descendants,
6 so that the next generation, children yet to be born, might know about them. They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.
7 Then they will place their confidence in God. They will not forget the works of God, and they will obey his commands.
8 Then they will not be like their ancestors, who were a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that was not committed and faithful to God.
9 The Ephraimites were armed with bows, but they retreated in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep their covenant with God, and they refused to obey his law.
11 They forgot what he had done, the amazing things he had shown them.
12 He did amazing things in the sight of their ancestors, in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them across it; he made the water stand in a heap.
14 He led them with a cloud by day, and with the light of a fire all night long.
15 He broke open rocks in the wilderness, and gave them enough water to fill the depths of the sea.
16 He caused streams to flow from the rock, and made the water flow like rivers.
17 Yet they continued to sin against him, and rebelled against the sovereign One in the desert.
18 They willfully challenged God by asking for food to satisfy their appetite.
19 They insulted God, saying, "Is God really able to give us food in the wilderness?
20 Yes, he struck a rock and water flowed out, streams gushed forth. But can he also give us food? Will he provide meat for his people?"
21 When the LORD heard this, he was furious. A fire broke out against Jacob, and his anger flared up against Israel,
22 because they did not have faith in God, and did not trust his ability to deliver them.
23 He gave a command to the clouds above, and opened the doors in the sky.
24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Man ate the food of the mighty ones. He sent them more than enough to eat.
26 He brought the east wind through the sky, and by his strength led forth the south wind.
27 He rained down meat on them like dust, birds as numerous as the sand on the seashores.
28 He caused them to fall right in the middle of their camp, all around their homes.
29 They ate until they were stuffed; he gave them what they desired.
30 They were not yet filled up, their food was still in their mouths,
31 when the anger of God flared up against them. He killed some of the strongest of them; he brought the young men of Israel to their knees.
32 Despite all this, they continued to sin, and did not trust him to do amazing things.
33 So he caused them to die unsatisfied and filled with terror.
34 When he struck them down, they sought his favor; they turned back and longed for God.
35 They remembered that God was their protector, and that the sovereign God was their deliverer.
36 But they deceived him with their words, and lied to him.
37 They were not really committed to him, and they were unfaithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he is compassionate. He forgives sin and does not destroy. He often holds back his anger, and does not stir up his fury.
39 He remembered that they were made of flesh, and were like a wind that blows past and does not return.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness, and insulted him in the desert!
41 They again challenged God, and offended the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember what he had done, how he delivered them from the enemy,
43 when he performed his awesome deeds in Egypt, and his acts of judgment in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their rivers into blood, and they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of biting insects against them, as well as frogs that overran their land.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper, the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore-fig trees with driving rain.
48 He rained hail down on their cattle, and hurled lightning bolts down on their livestock.
49 His raging anger lashed out against them, He sent fury, rage, and trouble as messengers who bring disaster.
50 He sent his anger in full force; he did not spare them from death; he handed their lives over to destruction.
51 He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their reproductive power in the tents of Ham.
52 Yet he brought out his people like sheep; he led them through the wilderness like a flock.
53 He guided them safely along, while the sea covered their enemies.
54 He brought them to the border of his holy land, to this mountainous land which his right hand acquired.
55 He drove the nations out from before them; he assigned them their tribal allotments and allowed the tribes of Israel to settle down.
56 Yet they challenged and defied the sovereign God, and did not obey his commands.
57 They were unfaithful and acted as treacherously as their ancestors; they were as unreliable as a malfunctioning bow.
58 They made him angry with their pagan shrines, and made him jealous with their idols.
59 God heard and was angry; he completely rejected Israel.
60 He abandoned the sanctuary at Shiloh, the tent where he lived among men.
61 He allowed the symbol of his strong presence to be captured; he gave the symbol of his splendor into the hand of the enemy.
62 He delivered his people over to the sword, and was angry with his chosen nation.
63 Fire consumed their young men, and their virgins remained unmarried.
64 Their priests fell by the sword, but their widows did not weep.
65 But then the LORD awoke from his sleep; he was like a warrior in a drunken rage.
66 He drove his enemies back; he made them a permanent target for insults.
67 He rejected the tent of Joseph; he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68 He chose the tribe of Judah, and Mount Zion, which he loves.
69 He made his sanctuary as enduring as the heavens above; as secure as the earth, which he established permanently.
70 He chose David, his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds.
71 He took him away from following the mother sheep, and made him the shepherd of Jacob, his people, and of Israel, his chosen nation.
72 David cared for them with pure motives; he led them with skill.
King James Version
Maschil of Asaph.
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: 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, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful 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 which should be born; who should arise and declare 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 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 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.