A Psalm of instruction for Asaph.
Give heed, O my people, to my law; incline your ear to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter dark sayings of old; Which we have heard and have known, and our fathers have told us.
They were not hid from their children in another generation; they declared the praises of the Lord, and His mighty acts, and His wonderful works that He hath done.
And He raised up a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, Even those things which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; That another generation might know them, even the children which should be born; that they should arise, and declare them to their children.
That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God; but seek His commandments.
That they might not be as their fathers, a perverse and provoking generation,
A generation that set not their heart aright, and kept not their spirit stedfast with God.
The children of Ephraim, bending and shooting the bow, turned back in the day of battle.
They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law.
They forgat His benefits, and His wonders that He had shewed them, Marvellous things that He did in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Tanis.
He divided the sea, and brought them through; He made the waters stand as in a wineskin.
In the daytime also He led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
He clave the rock in the wilderness, and gave them to drink as out of a great deep.
He brought water also out of the rock, and brought down waters as rivers.
And they sinned yet more against Him; they provoked the Most High in the place without water.
And they tempted God in their hearts, by asking meat for their souls.
Yea, they spake against God, and said, Can God not furnish a table in the wilderness? Because He smote a rock, and waters gushed out, and the torrents overflowed: can not He give bread also, or furnish a table for His people? Therefore the Lord heard this, and was provoked; and a fire was kindled in Jacob, and wrath also came up against Israel.
Because they believed not in God, and hoped not in His salvation.
And He commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And He rained down manna upon them to eat, and gave them bread of heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels; He sent them provision to the full.
He removed the south wind from heaven, and by His power brought in the south west wind.
He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sands of the sea,
Which fell in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.
And they did eat, and were well filled, and He gave them their own desire; and they were not disappointed of their lust.
But while the meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God rose up against them, and He slew the fat among them, and fettered the chosen men of Israel.
In all these things they sinned yet more, and believed not for His wondrous works.
And their days were consumed in vanity, and their years in haste.
When He slew them, then they sought Him, and they returned and called early unto God.
And they remembered that God was their helper, and the Most High God their redeemer.
Yet they did love Him only with their mouth, and they lied to Him with their tongue.
For their heart was not right with Him, neither were they stedfast in His covenant.
But He is full of compassion, and will forgive their sins, and will destroy them not.
And many a time will He turn His anger away, and not kindle all His wrath.
And He remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that passeth away, and cometh not again.
How oft did they provoke Him in the wilderness, and anger Him in the land without water! They turned back and tempted God, and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They remembered not His hand, nor the day when He redeemed them from the hand of the oppressor.
How He had wrought His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Tanis.
And He turned their rivers into blood; and their showers, that they might not drink.
He sent the dog fly against them, which devoured them; and the frog, which destroyed them.
He gave also their fruits unto the cankerworm, and their labours unto the locust.
And He destroyed their vineyards with hail, and their mulberry trees with frost.
And He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their substance to the fire.
And He sent against them the wrath of His anger; anger, and wrath, and trouble, a mission of evil angels.
He made a way to His wrath, and spared not their souls from death, but shut up their cattle in death, And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of all their labour in the tabernacles of Ham.
And He took away His people like sheep, and led them in the wilderness like a flock.
And He guided them in hope, and they feared not; and the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
And He brought them into the mountain of His sanctuary, even to this mountain which His right hand had purchased.
He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by lot, And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
Yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God, and kept not His testimonies, But turned back, and brake covenant, like their fathers; they became like a crooked bow.
And they provoked Him to anger among their hills, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.
God heard, and regarded them no more, and greatly abhorred Israel.
And He forsook His tabernacle at Shiloh, His dwelling where He dwelt among men.
And delivered their strength into captivity, and their beauty into the enemy’s hands.
He shut up his people also with a sword, and regarded His inheritance no more.
Fire consumed their young men, and their maidens made no lamentation.
Their priests fell by the sword, and none shall weep for their widows.
Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that hath been heated with wine.
And He smote His enemies on their hinder parts; He put them to a perpetual reproach.
Moreover, He refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim;
But He chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which He loved.
And He built His sanctuary like that of an unicorn; He established it upon the earth for ever.
He chose David also His servant, and took him from the flocks of sheep.
From following the ewes great with young He took him, to shepherd Jacob His servant, and Israel His inheritance.
So he shepherded them in the innocency of his heart, and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.