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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

Chapter 78

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A maskil of Asaph.

1Give ear, my people, to my teaching, turn your ear to what I say. 2I will expound a theme, hold forth on the lessons of the past, 3things we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. 4We will not withhold them from their children, telling the coming generation the praises of the LORD and His might, and the wonders He performed. 5He established a decree in Jacob, ordained a teaching in Israel, charging our fathers to make them known to their children, 6that a future generation might know —children yet to be born— and in turn tell their children 7that they might put their confidence in God, and not forget God's great deeds, but observe His commandments, 8and not be like their fathers, a wayward and defiant generation, a generation whose heart was inconstant, whose spirit was not true to God. 9Like the Ephraimite bowmen who played false in the day of battle, 10they did not keep God's covenant, they refused to follow His instruction; 11they forgot His deeds and the wonders that He showed them. 12He performed marvels in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, the plain of Zoan. 13He split the sea and took them through it; He made the waters stand like a wall. 14He led them with a cloud by day, and throughout the night by the light of fire. 15He split rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as if from the great deep. 16He brought forth streams from a rock and made them flow down like a river. 17But they went on sinning against Him, defying the Most High in the parched land. 18To test God was in their mind when they demanded food for themselves. 19They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a feast in the wilderness? 20True, He struck the rock and waters flowed, streams gushed forth; but can He provide bread? Can He supply His people with meat?” 21The LORD heard and He raged; fire broke out against Jacob, anger flared up at Israel, 22because they did not put their trust in God, did not rely on His deliverance. 23So He commanded the skies above, He opened the doors of heaven 24and rained manna upon them for food, giving them heavenly grain. 25Each man ate a hero's meal; He sent them provision in plenty. 26He set the east wind moving in heaven, and drove the south wind by His might. 27He rained meat on them like dust, winged birds like the sands of the sea, 28making them come down inside His camp, around His dwelling‐place. 29They ate till they were sated; He gave them what they craved. 30They had not yet wearied of what they craved, the food was still in their mouths 31when God's anger flared up at them. He slew their sturdiest, struck down the youth of Israel. 32Nonetheless, they went on sinning and had no faith in His wonders. 33He made their days end in futility, their years in sudden death. 34When He struck a Lit. “killed.” them, they turned to Him and sought God once again. 35They remembered that God was their rock, God Most High, their Redeemer. 36Yet they deceived Him with their speech, lied to Him with their words; 37their hearts were inconstant toward Him; they were untrue to His covenant. 38But He, being merciful, forgave iniquity and would not destroy; He restrained His wrath time and again and did not give full vent to His fury; 39for He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breath that does not return. 40How often did they defy Him in the wilderness, did they grieve Him in the wasteland! 41Again and again they tested God, vexed a Or “set a limit to.” the Holy One of Israel. 42They did not remember His strength, or the day He redeemed them from the foe; 43how He displayed His signs in Egypt, His wonders in the plain of Zoan. 44He turned their rivers into blood; He made their waters undrinkable. 45He inflicted upon them swarms of insects to devour them, frogs to destroy them. 46He gave their crops over to grubs, their produce to locusts. 47He killed their vines with hail, their sycamores b‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. with frost. ‐b Meaning of Heb. uncertain. 48He gave their beasts over to hail, their cattle to lightning bolts. 49He inflicted His burning anger upon them, wrath, indignation, trouble, a band of deadly messengers. 50He cleared a path for His anger; He did not stop short of slaying them, but gave them over to pestilence. 51He struck every first‐born in Egypt, the first fruits of their vigor in the tents of Ham. 52He set His people moving like sheep, drove them like a flock in the wilderness. 53He led them in safety; they were unafraid; as for their enemies, the sea covered them. 54He brought them to His holy realm, c Or “hill” with Septuagint and Saadia. the mountain His right hand had acquired. 55He expelled nations before them, d‐ Inverted for clarity. settled the tribes of Israel in their tents, allotting them their portion by the line. ‐d Inverted for clarity. 56Yet they defiantly tested God Most High, and did not observe His decrees. 57They fell away, disloyal like their fathers; they played false like a treacherous bow. 58They vexed Him with their high places; they incensed Him with their idols. 59God heard it and was enraged; He utterly rejected Israel. 60He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent He had set among men. 61He let His might a I.e., the Ark; cf. Ps. 132.8 . go into captivity, His glory into the hands of the foe. 62He gave His people over to the sword; He was enraged at His very own. 63Fire consumed their young men, and their maidens b‐ Lit. “had no nuptial song.” remained unwed. ‐b Lit. “had no nuptial song.” 64Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows could not weep. 65The Lord awoke as from sleep, like a warrior c‐ Meaning of Heb. uncertain. shaking off ‐c Meaning of Heb. uncertain. wine. 66He beat back His foes, dealing them lasting disgrace. 67He rejected the clan of Joseph; He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. 68He did choose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which He loved. 69He built His Sanctuary like the heavens, like the earth that He established forever. 70He chose David, His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds. 71He brought him from minding the nursing ewes to tend His people Jacob, Israel, His very own. 72He tended them with blameless heart; with skillful hands he led them.


a Lit. “killed.”

a Or “set a limit to.”

b‐b Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

c Or “hill” with Septuagint and Saadia.

d‐d Inverted for clarity.

a I.e., the Ark; cf. Ps. 132.8 .

b‐b Lit. “had no nuptial song.”

c‐c Meaning of Heb. uncertain.

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