1A maskil of Asaf:
Listen, my people, to my teaching;
turn your ears to the words from my mouth.
2I will speak to you in parables
and explain mysteries from days of old.
3The things which we have heard and known,
and which our fathers told us
4we will not hide from their descendants;
we will tell the generation to come
the praises of Adonai and his strength,
the wonders that he has performed.
5He raised up a testimony in Ya‘akov
and established a Torah in Isra’el.
He commanded our ancestors
to make this known to their children,
6so that the next generation would know it,
the children not yet born,
who would themselves arise
and tell their own children,
7who could then put their confidence in God,
not forgetting God’s deeds,
but obeying his mitzvot.
8Then they would not be like their ancestors,
a stubborn, rebellious generation,
a generation with unprepared hearts,
with spirits unfaithful to God.
9The people of Efrayim, though armed with bows and arrows,
turned their backs on the day of battle.
10They did not keep the covenant of God
and refused to live by his Torah.
11They forgot what he had done,
his wonders which he had shown them.
12He had done wonderful things
in the presence of their ancestors
in the land of Egypt,
in the region of Tzo‘an.
13He split the sea and made them pass through,
he made the waters stand up like a wall.
14He also led them by day with a cloud
and all night long with light from a fire.
15He broke apart the rocks in the desert
and let them drink as if from boundless depths;
16yes, he brought streams out of the rock,
making the water flow down like rivers.
17Yet they sinned still more against him,
rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High;
18in their hearts they tested God
by demanding food that would satisfy their cravings.
19Yes, they spoke against God by asking,
“Can God spread a table in the desert?
20True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out,
until the vadis overflowed;
but what about bread? Can he give that?
Can he provide meat for his people?”
21Therefore, when Adonai heard, he was angry;
fire blazed up against Ya‘akov;
his anger mounted against Isra’el;
22because they had no faith in God,
no trust in his power to save.
23So he commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven.
24He rained down man on them as food;
he gave them grain from heaven —
25mortals ate the bread of angels;
he provided for them to the full.
26He stirred up the east wind in heaven,
brought on the south wind by his power,
27and rained down meat on them like dust,
birds flying thick as the sand on the seashore.
28He let them fall in the middle of their camp,
all around their tents.
29So they ate till they were satisfied;
he gave them what they craved.
30They were still fulfilling their craving,
the food was still in their mouths,
31when the anger of God rose up against them
and slaughtered their strongest men,
laying low the young men of Isra’el.
32Still, they kept on sinning
and put no faith in his wonders.
33Therefore, he ended their days in futility
and their years in terror.
34When he brought death among them, they would seek him;
they would repent and seek God eagerly,
35remembering that God was their Rock,
El ‘Elyon their Redeemer.
36But they tried to deceive him with their words,
they lied to him with their tongues;
37for their hearts were not right with him,
and they were unfaithful to his covenant.
38Yet he, because he is full of compassion,
forgave their sin and did not destroy;
many times he turned away his anger
and didn’t rouse all his wrath.
39So he remembered that they were but flesh,
a wind that blows past and does not return.
40How often they rebelled against him in the desert
and grieved him in the wastelands!
41Repeatedly they challenged God
and pained the Holy One of Isra’el.
42They didn’t remember how he used his hand
on the day he redeemed them from their enemy,
43how he displayed his signs in Egypt,
his wonders in the region of Tzo‘an.
44He turned their rivers into blood,
so they couldn’t drink from their streams.
45He sent swarms of flies, which devoured them,
and frogs, which destroyed them.
46He gave their harvest to shearer-worms,
the fruit of their labor to locusts.
47He destroyed their vineyards with hail
and their sycamore-figs with frost.
48Their cattle too he gave over to the hail
and their flocks to lightning bolts.
49He sent over them his fierce anger,
fury, indignation and trouble,
with a company of destroying angels
50to clear a path for his wrath.
He did not spare them from death,
but gave them over to the plague,
51striking all the firstborn in Egypt,
the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52But his own people he led out like sheep,
guiding them like a flock in the desert.
53He led them safely, and they weren’t afraid,
even when the sea overwhelmed their foes.
54He brought them to his holy land,
to the hill-country won by his right hand.
55He expelled nations before them,
apportioned them property to inherit
and made Isra’el’s tribes live in their tents.
56Yet they tested El ‘Elyon
and rebelled against him,
refusing to obey his instructions.
57They turned away and were faithless, like their fathers;
they were unreliable, like a bow without tension.
58They provoked him with their high places
and made him jealous with their idols.
59God heard, and he was angry;
he came to detest Isra’el completely.
60He abandoned the tabernacle at Shiloh,
the tent he had made where he could live among people.
61He gave his strength into exile,
his pride to the power of the foe.
62He gave his people over to the sword
and grew angry with his own heritage.
63Fire consumed their young men,
their virgins had no wedding-song,
64their cohanim fell by the sword,
and their widows could not weep.
65Then Adonai awoke, as if from sleep,
like a warrior shouting for joy from wine.
66He struck his foes, driving them back
and putting them to perpetual shame.
67Rejecting the tents of Yosef
and passing over the tribe of Efrayim,
68he chose the tribe of Y’hudah,
Mount Tziyon, which he loved.
69He built his sanctuary like the heights;
like the earth, he made it to last forever.
70He chose David to be his servant,
taking him from the sheep-yards;
71from tending nursing ewes he brought him
to shepherd Ya‘akov his people,
Isra’el his heritage.
72With upright heart he shepherded them
and guided them with skillful hands.