1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
5He established a decree in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children;
6that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and rise up and tell them to their children,
7so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
8and that they should not be like their ancestors, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9The Ephraimites, armed with the bow, turned back on the day of battle.
10They did not keep Gods covenant, but refused to walk according to his law.
11They forgot what he had done, and the miracles that he had shown them.
12In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
13He divided the sea and let them pass through it, and made the waters stand like a heap.
14In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all night long with a fiery light.
15He split rocks open in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16He made streams come out of the rock, and caused waters to flow down like rivers.
17Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.
19They spoke against God, saying, Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
20Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out and torrents overflowed, can he also give bread, or provide meat for his people?
21Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of rage; a fire was kindled against Jacob, his anger mounted against Israel,
22because they had no faith in God, and did not trust his saving power.
23Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;
24he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.
25Mortals ate of the bread of angels; he sent them food in abundance.
26He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by his power he led out the south wind;
27he rained flesh upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of the seas;
28he let them fall within their camp, all around their dwellings.
29And they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
30But before they had satisfied their craving, while the food was still in their mouths,
31the anger of God rose against them and he killed the strongest of them, and laid low the flower of Israel.
32In spite of all this they still sinned; they did not believe in his wonders.
33So he made their days vanish like a breath, and their years in terror.
34When he killed them, they sought for him; they repented and sought God earnestly.
35They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.
37Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not true to his covenant.
38Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; often he restrained his anger, and did not stir up all his wrath.
39He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not come again.
40How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the desert!
41They tested God again and again, and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not keep in mind his power, or the day when he redeemed them from the foe;
43when he displayed his signs in Egypt, and his miracles in the fields of Zoan.
44He turned their rivers to blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.
45He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.
46He gave their crops to the caterpillar, and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamores with frost.
48He gave over their cattle to the hail, and their flocks to thunderbolts.
49He let loose on them his fierce anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.
50He made a path for his anger; he did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.
51He struck all the firstborn in Egypt, the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52Then he led out his people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And he brought them to his holy hill, to the mountain that his right hand had won.
55He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
56Yet they tested the Most High God, and rebelled against him. They did not observe his decrees,
57but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors; they twisted like a treacherous bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
59When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel.
60He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mortals,
61and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe.
62He gave his people to the sword, and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63Fire devoured their young men, and their girls had no marriage song.
64Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a warrior shouting because of wine.
66He put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting disgrace.
67He rejected the tent of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves.
69He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.
70He chose his servant David, and took him from the sheepfolds;
71from tending the nursing ewes he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel, his inheritance.
72With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011