Israel from Moses to David
1A contemplative song of Asaph. Listen, my people, to my teaching. Turn your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth with a parable. I will utter perplexing sayings from of old,
3which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children, telling to the next generation the praises of Adonai and His strength and the wonders He has done.
5For He established a testimony in Jacob and ordained Torah in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach their children,
6so that the next generation might know, even the children yet to be born: they will arise and tell their children.
7Then they will put their trust in God, not forgetting the works of God, but keeping His mitzvot.
8So they will not be like their fathers— a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, whose spirit was not loyal to God.
9The sons of Ephraim were archers armed with bows, yet they turned back in the day of battle.
10They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to walk in His Torah.
11They forgot His deeds and His wonders that He had shown them.
12He did miracles in front of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the plain of Zoan.
13He split the sea and led them through, and He made the water stand like a wall.
14By day He led them with a cloud and all night with a light of fire.
15He split apart rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as abundant as the depths.
16So He brought streams out of a rock, and made waters flow down like rivers.
17Yet they added more sinning against Him, rebelling against Elyon in the desert.
18They put God to the test in their heart by demanding food for their craving.
19Then they spoke against God, saying, “Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20See, He struck the rock, waters gushed out, streams overflowed. But can He give bread? Will He provide meat for His people?”
21When Adonai heard, He was angry. A fire was kindled against Jacob, and fury also rose against Israel.
22For they did not believe in God or trust in His salvation.
23Yet He commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven,
24and rained down manna upon them to eat, and gave them grain of heaven.
25Man did eat the bread of angels. He sent them abundant provision.
26He loosed the east wind in the skies, and by His power He drove the south wind.
27He rained meat upon them like dust, and winged fowl like sand of the seas.
28And He let it fall amidst their camp, all around their tents.
29So they ate and were very full— for He gave them their desire.
30No longer a stranger from their desire, while their food was still in their mouths,
31the anger of God rose against them and slew the stoutest of them, and struck down young men of Israel.
32Despite all this they sinned still more, and did not trust in His wonders.
33So He ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
34But when He slew them, then they sought Him, and turned back, and desired God eagerly.
35Then they remembered that God was their Rock and El Elyon their Redeemer.
36But they flattered Him with their mouth and kept lying to Him with their tongue.
37For their heart was not steadfast with Him, nor were they faithful to His covenant.
38But He is compassionate, forgives iniquity and does not destroy. Yes, many times He restrains His anger, and does not stir up all His wrath.
39For He remembered that they are but flesh, a passing breath that never returns.
40How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert!
41Again and again they tested God, and pained the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember His hand— the day He redeemed them from the foe,
43when He displayed His signs in Egypt and His wonders in the plain of Zoan.
44He turned their rivers into blood, so they could not drink from their streams.
45He sent on them flies to devour them, and frogs to devastate them,
46and gave their crops to the grasshopper, and their labor to the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore trees with frost,
48and gave over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to fiery bolts.
49He sent on them the fury of His anger —wrath and indignation and trouble— a band of evil angels.
50He cleared a path for His anger. He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the plague.
51He struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52But He brought His people out like sheep, and led them in the wilderness like a flock.
53He led them to safety, so they did not fear, but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54Then He brought them to His holy territory, to the mountain His right hand had gotten.
55He drove out nations before them, and allotted them an inheritance. He settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
56Yet they tested and rebelled against El Elyon, and did not keep His decrees.
57Like their fathers they turned and were treacherous. They turned aside like a faulty bow.
58For they provoked Him with their high places, so they aroused His jealousy with their graven images.
59God heard and was furious, and He greatly detested Israel.
60He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent He pitched among men.
61He gave up His strength into captivity, and His glory into the adversary’s hand.
62He gave His people over to the sword, when He was angry at His inheritance.
63Fire consumed their young men, and their virgins had no wedding songs.
64Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows could not weep.
65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a warrior shaking off wine.
66He beat back His foes, putting them to lasting scorn.
67Then He detested Joseph’s tent and chose not the tribe of Ephraim.
68Instead He chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which He loved.
69He built His Sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that He established forever.
70He also chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds,
71from following nursing ewes. He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance.
72So He shepherded them with the integrity of His heart, and led them with His skillful hands.