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GIVE ear, O my people, to my law;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
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I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter proverbs of old.
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That which we have heard and known, and which our fathers have told us,
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We will not hide from their children, showing to the generation to come the praise of the LORD and his strength and the wonderful works that he has done.
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For he established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers that they should make known to their children,
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That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born, who should arise and declare them to their children;
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That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;
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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 steadfast with God.
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¶ The children of Ephraim, being armed and throwing forth bows, turned back in the day of battle.
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For they kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
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And forgot his works and his wonders that he had shown them in the sight of their fathers.
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Marvellous things did he in the land of Egypt and in the fields of Zoan.
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He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through;
and he made the waters to stand as in skins.
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In the daytime also he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.
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He cleaved the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of great depths.
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He brought forth streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
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But the people continued to sin, and to murmur against the most High in their thirst for water.
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And they tempted God in their hearts by asking food to satisfy their desires.
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Yea, they complained against God;
they said, Can God furnish tables of food in the wilderness?
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Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out and the streams overflowed;
can he give bread also?
can he provide food for his people?
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Therefore the LORD heard this and was angered;
so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel,
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Because they believed not in God and trusted not in his salvation:
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Though he had commanded the clouds from above and opened the doors of heaven,
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And had rained down manna for them to eat and had given them of the bread of heaven.
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Man did eat angels’ food;
he sent them game in abundance.
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He caused winds to blow in the skies;
and by his power he brought in the south wind.
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He rained flesh also upon them like dust, and feathered fowls like the sands of the sea:
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And he let these fall in the midst of their camp, round about their tents.
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So they did eat and were well filled;
for he gave them their own desire.
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They relinquished not their craving.
But while their food was yet in their mouths,
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The anger of God came upon them and slew the richest of them, and made to bow the chosen men of Israel.
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Nevertheless they sinned still, and believed not in his wondrous works.
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Wherefore their days were spent in emptiness, and their years in impatience.
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When he slew them, then they sought him;
and they returned and drew nearer to him.
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And they remembered that God was their helper, and the high God their Saviour.
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Nevertheless they loved him with their mouths, and they lied to him with their tongues.
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For their hearts were not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant.
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He is merciful, the forgiver of sins, and destroys not;
yea, many a time turned he his anger away and did not stir up all his wrath.
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For he remembered that they were but flesh;
a wind that passes away and comes not again.
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¶ How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
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Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and defied the Holy One of Israel.
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They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the oppressor,
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How he had wrought his signs in Egypt and his wonders in the field of Zoan,
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Nor how he had turned their rivers into blood and their brooks, that they could not drink.
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He sent swarms of insects among them, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.
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He gave also their crops to the locusts, and their labor to the caterpillars.
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He destroyed their vines with hail and their fig trees with frost.
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He gave up their cattle also to the hail and their flocks to destruction.
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He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, indignation, and trouble, by the hand of an evil angel.
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He resorted to strong measures;
he spared not their souls from death, and gave their cattle over to the pestilence;
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And smote all the first-born in Egypt, the fairest of their sons in the tabernacles of Ham;
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But he led forth his own people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
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And he led them on safely so that they feared not;
but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
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And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary, even to this mountain, which his right hand had possessed.
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He cast out the Gentiles from before them, and allotted them an inheritance by measure, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
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Yet they tempted and provoked the most High God, and kept not his testimonies;
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But turned back and dealt deceitfully like their fathers;
they were crooked like a twisted bow.
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For they provoked him to anger by sacrificing on high places, and made him indignant with their graven images.
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When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel,
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So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
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And he delivered his people into captivity, and his glory into the oppressor’s hand.
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He delivered his people to the sword, and disregarded his inheritance.
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The fire consumed their young men;
and their maidens were violated.
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Their priests fell by the sword;
and their widows made no lamentation.
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Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep and like a mighty man who has shaken off the effects of wine.
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And he caused his enemies to retreat;
he put them to a perpetual reproach.
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Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim;
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But chose the tribe of Judah, mount Zion which he loved.
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And he built his sanctuary on a high place, and he established it upon the earth for ever.
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He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds;
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From following the ewes that give suck, he brought him to feed Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance.
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So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart;
and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.