Give ear, O my people, to my law;
let your ears be bent down to the words of my mouth.
- Opening my mouth I will give out a story, even the dark sayings of old times;
- Which have come to our hearing and our knowledge, as they were given to us by our fathers.
- We will not keep them secret from our children;
we will make clear to the coming generation the praises of the Lord and his strength, and the great works of wonder which he has done.
- He put up a witness in Jacob, and made a law in Israel;
which he gave to our fathers so that they might give knowledge of them to their children;
- So that the generation to come might have knowledge of them, even the children of the future, who would give word of them to their children;
- So that they might put their hope in God, and not let God's works go out of their minds, but keep his laws;
- And not be like their fathers, a stiff-necked and uncontrolled generation;
a generation whose heart was hard, whose spirit was not true to God.
- The children of Ephraim, armed with bows, were turned back on the day of the fight.
- They were not ruled by God's word, and they would not go in the way of his law;
- They let his works go out of their memory, and the wonders which he had made them see.
- He did great works before the eyes of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
- The sea was cut in two so that they might go through;
the waters were massed together on this side and on that.
- In the daytime he was guiding them in the cloud, and all through the night with a light of fire.
- The rocks of the waste land were broken by his power, and he gave them drink as out of the deep waters.
- He made streams come out of the rock;
and waters came flowing down like rivers.
- And they went on sinning against him even more, turning away from the Most High in the waste land;
- Testing God in their hearts, requesting meat for their desire.
- They said bitter words against God, saying, Is God able to make ready a table in the waste land?
- See, the rock was cut open by his power, so that the water came rushing out, and overflowing streams;
is he able to give us bread?
is he able to get meat for his people?
- So these things came to the Lord's ears, and he was angry;
and a fire was lighted against Jacob, and wrath came up against Israel;
- Because they had no faith in God, and no hope in his salvation.
- And he gave orders to the clouds on high, and the doors of heaven were open;
- And he sent down manna like rain for their food, and gave them the grain of heaven.
- Man took part in the food of strong ones;
he sent them meat in full measure.
- He sent an east wind from heaven, driving on the south wind by his power.
- He sent down meat on them like dust, and feathered birds like the sand of the sea,
- And he let it come down into their resting-place, round about their tents.
- So they had food and were full;
for he gave them their desire;
- But they were not turned from their desires;
and while the food was still in their mouths,
- The wrath of God came on them, and put to death the fattest of them, and put an end to the young men of Israel.
- For all this they went on sinning even more, and had no faith in his great wonders.
- So their days were wasted like a breath, and their years in trouble.
- When he sent death on them, then they made search for him;
turning to him and looking for him with care;
- In the memory that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their saviour.
- But their lips were false to him, and their tongues were untrue to him;
- And their hearts were not right with him, and they did not keep their agreement with him.
- But he, being full of pity, has forgiveness for sin, and does not put an end to man: frequently turning back his wrath, and not being violently angry.
- So he kept in mind that they were only flesh;
a breath which is quickly gone, and will not come again.
- How frequently did they go against him in the waste land, and give him cause for grief in the dry places!
- Again they put God to the test, and gave pain to the Holy One of Israel.
- They did not keep in mind the work of his hand, or the day when he took them from the power of their haters;
- How he had done his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan;
- So that their rivers were turned to blood, and they were not able to get drink from their streams.
- He sent different sorts of flies among them, poisoning their flesh;
and frogs for their destruction.
- He gave the increase of their fields to worms, the fruits of their industry to the locusts.
- He sent ice for the destruction of their vines;
their trees were damaged by the bitter cold.
- Ice was rained down on their cattle;
thunderstorms sent destruction among the flocks.
- He sent on them the heat of his wrath, his bitter disgust, letting loose evil angels among them.
- He let his wrath have its way;
he did not keep back their soul from death, but gave their life to disease.
- He gave to destruction all the first sons of Egypt;
the first-fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham;
- But he took his people out like sheep, guiding them in the waste land like a flock.
- He took them on safely so that they had no fear;
but their haters were covered by the sea.
- And he was their guide to his holy land, even to the mountain, which his right hand had made his;
- Driving out nations before them, marking out the line of their heritage, and giving the people of Israel their tents for a resting-place.
- But they were bitter against the Most High God, testing him, and not keeping his laws;
- Their hearts were turned back and untrue like their fathers;
they were turned to one side like a twisted bow.
- They made him angry with their high places;
moving him to wrath with their images.
- When this came to God's ears he was very angry, and gave up Israel completely;
- So that he went away from the holy place in Shiloh, the tent which he had put among men;
- And he let his strength be taken prisoner, and gave his glory into the hands of his hater.
- He gave his people up to the sword, and was angry with his heritage.
- Their young men were burned in the fire;
and their virgins were not praised in the bride-song.
- Their priests were put to death by the sword, and their widows made no weeping for them.
- Then was the Lord like one awaking from sleep, and like a strong man crying out because of wine.
- His haters were turned back by his blows and shamed for ever.
- And he put the tent of Joseph on one side, and took not the tribe of Ephraim;
- But he took the tribe of Judah for himself, and the mountain of Zion, in which he had pleasure.
- And he made his holy place like the high heaven, like the earth which is fixed by him for ever.
- He took David to be his servant, taking him from the place of the flocks;
- From looking after the sheep which were giving milk, he took him to give food to Jacob his people, and to Israel his heritage.
- So he gave them food with an upright heart, guiding them by the wisdom of his hands.