- Maschil of Asaph.
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
- I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter dark sayings concerning days of old;
- That which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us,
- We will not hide from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done.
- For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children;
- That the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born;
who should arise and tell them to their children,
- That they might put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments;
- And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation;
a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
- The children of Ephraim were as archers handling the bow, that turned back in the day of battle.
- They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law;
- And they forgot His doings, and His wondrous works that He had shown them.
- Marvellous things did He in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
- He cleaved the sea, and caused them to pass through;
and He made the waters to stand as a heap.
- By day also He led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
- He cleaved rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as out of the great deep.
- He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
- Yet went they on still to sin against Him, to rebel against the Most High in the desert.
- And they tried God in their heart by asking food for their craving.
- Yea, they spoke against God;
they said: "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
- Behold, He smote the rock, that waters gushed out, and streams overflowed;
can He give bread also?
or will He provide flesh for His people?"
- Therefore the LORD heard, and was wroth;
and a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also went up against Israel;
- Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation.
- And He commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;
- And He caused manna to rain upon them for food, and gave them of the corn of heaven.
- Man did eat the bread of the mighty;
He sent them provisions to the full.
- He caused the east wind to set forth in heaven;
and by His power He brought on the south wind.
- He caused flesh also to rain upon them as the dust, and winged fowl as the sand of the seas;
- And He let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their dwellings.
- So they did eat, and were well filled;
and He gave them that which they craved.
- They were not estranged from their craving, their food was yet in their mouths,
- When the anger of God went up against them, and slew of the lustieth among them, and smote down the young men of Israel.
- For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works.
- Therefore He ended their days as a breath, and their years in terror.
- When He slew them, then they would inquire after Him, and turn back and seek God earnestly.
- And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their redeemer.
- But they beguiled Him with their mouth, and lied unto Him with their tongue.
- For their heart was not stedfast with Him, neither were they faithful in His covenant.
- But He, being full of compassion, forgiveth iniquity, and destroyeth not;
yea, many a time doth He turn His anger away, and doth not stir up all His wrath.
- So He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
- How oft did they rebel against Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert!
- And still again they tried God, and set bounds to the Holy One of Israel.
- They remembered not His hand, nor the day when He redeemed them from the adversary.
- How He set His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan;
- And turned their rivers into blood, so that they could not drink their streams.
- He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them;
and frogs, which destroyed them.
- He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar, and their labour unto the locust.
- He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore-trees with frost.
- He gave over their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to fiery bolts.
- He sent forth upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, a sending of messengers of evil.
- He levelled a path for His anger;
He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;
- And smote all the first-born in Egypt, the first-fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham;
- But He made His own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
- And He led them safely, and they feared not;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
- And He brought them to His holy border, to the mountain, which His right hand had gotten.
- He drove out the nations also before them, and allotted them for an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
- Yet they tried and provoked God, the Most High, and kept not His testimonies;
- But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers;
they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
- For they provoked Him with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.
- God heard, and was wroth, and He greatly abhorred Israel;
- And He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which He had made to dwell among men;
- And delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the adversary"s hand.
- He gave His people over also unto the sword;
and was wroth with His inheritance.
- Fire devoured their young men;
and their virgins had no marriage-song.
- Their priests fell by the sword;
and their widows made no lamentation.
- Then the Lord awaked as one asleep, like a mighty man recovering from wine.
- And He smote His adversaries backward;
He put upon them a perpetual reproach.
- Moreover He abhorred the tent of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim;
- But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which He loved.
- And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He hath founded for ever.
- He chose David also His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds;
- From following the ewes that give suck He brought him, to be shepherd over Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance.
- So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart;
and lead them by the skilfulness of his hands.