1[Psalm Of Asaph] My people, listen to my teaching, pay attention to what I say. 2I will speak to you in poetry, unfold the mysteries of the past. 3What we have heard and know, what our ancestors have told us 4we shal not conceal from their descendants, but wil tell to a generation stil to come: the praises ofYahweh, his power, the wonderful deeds he has done. 5He instituted a witness in Jacob, he established a law in Israel, he commanded our ancestors to handit down to their descendants, 6that a generation stil to come might know it, children yet to be born. They should be sure to tel theirown children, 7and should put their trust in God, never forgetting God's great deeds, always keeping his commands, 8and not, like their ancestors, be a stubborn and rebel ious generation, a generation weak of purpose,their spirit fickle towards God. 9The archer sons of Ephraim turned tail when the time came for fighting; 10they failed to keep God's covenant, they refused to fol ow his Law; 11they had forgotten his great deeds, the marvels he had shown them; 12he did marvels in the sight of their ancestors in Egypt, in the plains of Tanis. 13He split the sea and brought them through, made the waters stand up like a dam; 14he led them with a cloud by day, and al the night with the light of a fire; 15he split rocks in the desert, let them drink as though from the limitless depths; 16he brought forth streams from a rock, made waters flow down in torrents. 17But they only sinned against him more than ever, defying the Most High in barren country; 18they deliberately chal enged God by demanding food to their hearts' content. 19They insulted God by saying, 'Can God make a banquet in the desert? 20True, when he struck the rock, waters gushed out and flowed in torrents; but what of bread? Can hegive that, can he provide meat for his people?' 21When he heard them Yahweh vented his anger, fire blazed against Jacob, his anger mountedagainst Israel, 22because they had no faith in God, no trust in his power to save. 23Even so he gave orders to the skies above, he opened the sluice-gates of heaven; 24he rained down manna to feed them, he gave them the wheat of heaven; 25mere mortals ate the bread of the Mighty, he sent them as much food as they could want. 26He roused an east wind in the heavens, despatched a south wind by his strength; 27he rained down meat on them like dust, birds thick as sand on the seashore, 28tumbling into the middle of his camp, al around his dwel ing-place. 29They ate as much food as they wanted, he satisfied al their cravings; 30but their cravings were still upon them, the food was stil in their mouths, 31when the wrath of God attacked them, slaughtering their strongest men, laying low the flower ofIsrael. 32Despite al this, they went on sinning, they put no faith in his marvels. 33He made their days vanish in mist, their years in sudden ruin. 34Whenever he slaughtered them, they began to seek him, they turned back and looked eagerly forhim, 35recalling that God was their rock, God the Most High, their redeemer. 36They tried to hoodwink him with their mouths, their tongues were deceitful towards him; 37their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant. 38But in his compassion he forgave their guilt instead of kil ing them, time and again repressing hisanger instead of rousing his full wrath, 39remembering they were creatures of flesh, a breath of wind that passes, never to return. 40How often they defied him in the desert! How often they grieved him in the wastelands! 41Repeatedly they chal enged God, provoking the Holy One of Israel, 42not remembering his hand, the time when he saved them from the oppressor, 43he who did his signs in Egypt, his miracles in the plains of Tanis, 44turning their rivers to blood, their streams so that they had nothing to drink. 45He sent horseflies to eat them up, and frogs to devastate them, 46consigning their crops to the caterpil ar, the fruit of their hard work to the locust; 47he kil ed their vines with hail, their sycamore trees with frost, 48delivering up their cattle to hail, and their flocks to thunderbolts. 49He loosed against them the ful heat of his anger, fury, rage and destruction, a detachment ofdestroying angels; 50he gave free course to his anger. He did not exempt their own selves from death, delivering up theirlives to the plague. 51He struck all the first-born in Egypt, the flower of the youth in the tents of Ham. 52He brought out his people like sheep, guiding them like a flock in the desert, 53leading them safe and unafraid, while the sea engulfed their enemies. 54He brought them to his holy land, the hil -country won by his right hand; 55he dispossessed nations before them, measured out a heritage for each of them, and settled thetribes of Israel in their tents. 56But stil they chal enged the Most High God and defied him, refusing to keep his decrees; 57as perverse and treacherous as their ancestors, they gave way like a faulty bow, 58provoking him with their high places, rousing his jealousy with their idols. 59God listened and vented his wrath, he totally rejected Israel; 60he forsook his dwelling in Shiloh, the tent where he used to dwel on the earth. 61He abandoned his power to captivity, his splendour to the enemy's clutches; 62he gave up his people to the sword, he vented his wrath on his own heritage. 63Fire devoured their young men, their young girls had no wedding-song; 64their priests fel by the sword and their widows sang no dirge. 65The Lord arose as though he had been asleep, like a strong man fighting-mad with wine, 66he struck his enemies on the rump, and put them to everlasting shame. 67Rejecting the tents of Joseph, passing over the tribe of Ephraim, 68he chose the tribe of Judah, his wel -loved mountain of Zion; 69he built his sanctuary like high hil s, like the earth set it firm for ever. 70He chose David to be his servant, took him from the sheepfold, 71took him from tending ewes to pasture his servant Jacob, and Israel his heritage. 72He pastured them with unblemished heart, with a sensitive hand he led them.
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