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God Saved Israel from Egypt

A ·maskil [skillful psalm; meditation] of Asaph [C a Levitical musician, a descendant of Gershon, at the time of David; 1 Chr. 6:39; 15:17; 2 Chr. 5:12].

78 My people, ·listen [give ear] to my ·teaching [instruction; law];
    ·listen [L incline your ear] to ·what I say [L the words of my mouth].
I will ·speak [L open my mouth] ·using stories [L with a proverb/parable];
    I will ·tell [expound] ·secret things [L riddles] from long ago [C the past contains lessons for the present generation].
We have heard them and known them
    by what our ·ancestors [fathers] have ·told [recounted to] us.
We will not ·keep [hide] them from our children;
    we will ·tell [recount them to] ·those who come later [a later generation]
    about the praises of the Lord.
We will tell about his power
    and the ·miracles [wonderful acts] he has done.

The Lord ·made an agreement [established a decree/testimony] with Jacob
    and gave the ·teachings [instructions; laws] to Israel [Ex. 19–24],
which he commanded our ·ancestors [fathers]
    to ·teach [make known] to their children [Deut. 6:6–9, 20–22].
Then ·their children [L the later generation] would know them,
    even their children not yet born.
    And they would ·tell [L rise up and recount them to] their children.
So they would ·all trust [L place their trust/confidence in] God
    and would not forget what he had done
    but would ·obey [protect] his commands.
They would not be like their ·ancestors [fathers]
    who were ·stubborn and disobedient [L a stubborn and rebellious generation].
Their hearts were not ·loyal [steadfast; L set] to God,
    and they were not ·true [faithful] to him [Deut. 9:6–7, 13, 24; 31:27; 32:5; Acts 2:40].

The men of Ephraim ·had bows for weapons [L were armed for shooting the bow],
    but they ·ran away [turned back] on the day of battle [C perhaps 1 Sam. 4:1–4 or 1 Sam. 28–31].
10 They didn’t ·keep [observe; guard] their ·agreement [covenant; treaty] with God
    and refused to ·live [L walk] by his ·teachings [instructions; laws].
11 They forgot what he had done
    and the ·miracles [wonderful acts] he had shown them.
12 He did ·miracles [wonderful acts] while their ·ancestors [fathers] watched,
    in the fields of Zoan [C a city in the Nile Delta also known as Tanis] in Egypt [C the plagues; Ex. 7–12].
13 He divided the ·Red Sea [L Sea; C probably a lake north of the Gulf of Suez] and led them through [Ex. 14–15].
    He made the water stand up like a ·wall [or heap; Ex. 15:8].
14 He led them with a cloud by day
    and by the light of a fire by night [105:39; Ex. 13:21; Num. 10:34].
15 He split the rocks in the ·desert [wilderness]
    and gave them more ·than enough water, as if from the deep ocean [L water, as much as the deeps].
16 He brought streams out of the rock
    and caused water to flow down like rivers [Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:8; 1 Cor. 10:4].

17 But the people continued to sin against him;
    in the ·desert [wasteland; wilderness] they ·turned [rebelled] against God Most High.
18 They ·decided to test God [L tested God in their hearts]
    by asking for the food ·they wanted [L for their appetite].
19 Then they spoke against God,
    saying, “Can God prepare ·food [L a table] in the ·desert [wilderness]?
20 When he ·hit [L struck] the rock, water ·poured out [gushed]
    and rivers flowed down.
But can he give us bread also?
    Will he provide his people with meat [Ex. 16]?”
21 When the Lord heard them, he was very angry.
    ·His anger was like fire to the people of [L A fire was ignited against] Jacob;
    his anger ·grew against the people of [L rose up against] Israel [Num. 11].
22 They had not ·believed [trusted; been faithful to] God
    and had not ·trusted [put confidence in] him to ·save them [give them victory].
23 But he gave a command to the clouds above
    and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained manna down on them to eat;
    he gave them grain from heaven.
25 So they ate the bread of ·angels [L strong ones].
    He sent them all the food they could eat.
26 He sent the east wind from heaven
    and ·led [guided] the south wind by his power.
27 He rained meat on them like dust.
    The birds were as many as the sand of the sea.
28 He made the birds fall inside the camp,
    all around the ·tents [L residences].
29 So the people ate and became very ·full [satisfied; satiated].
    God had given them what they ·wanted [desired].
30 While ·they were still eating [L their desire had not turned aside],
    and while the food was still in their mouths,
31 ·God became angry with them [L the anger of God came up on them].
    He killed some of the ·healthiest [most robust; sturdiest] of them;
he ·struck down [laid low] the best young men of Israel.

32 But they kept on sinning;
    they did not believe even with the ·miracles [wonderful acts].
33 So he ended their days without ·meaning [purpose; Eccl. 1:2]
    and their years in terror.
34 Anytime he killed them, they would ·look to him for help [seek him];
    they would ·come back to God [repent] and ·follow [be intent on] him.
35 They would remember that God was their Rock [C the one who protected them],
    that God Most High had ·saved [redeemed] them.
36 But ·their words were false [L they deceived/or flattered him with their mouths],
    and with their tongues they lied to him.
37 Their hearts were not really ·loyal to [steadfast toward] God;
    they ·did not keep [were not faithful to] his ·agreement [covenant].
38 Still God was ·merciful [compassionate].
    He ·forgave their sins [made atonement for their guilt]
    and did not destroy them.
Many times he held back his anger
    and did not stir up all his ·anger [wrath].
39 He remembered that they were ·only human [flesh; 38:3; 56:4; 103:14–15; Gen. 6:3; Is. 2:22],
    like a wind that blows and does not come back.

40 They ·turned [rebelled] against God so often in the ·desert [wilderness]
    and grieved him ·there [L in the wasteland].
41 Again and again they tested God
    and ·brought pain to [provoked] the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his ·power [L hand]
    or the ·time [L day] he ·saved [ransomed] them from the ·enemy [foe].
43 They forgot the signs he did in Egypt
    and his wonders in the fields of Zoan [v. 12].
44 He turned their rivers to blood
    so no one could drink ·the water [L from their streams; 105:29; Ex. 7:17–20; Rev. 16:4].
45 He sent flies that ·bit [L consumed] the people [Ex. 8:20–32].
    He sent frogs that destroyed them [Ex. 7:25—8:15].
46 He gave their crops to grasshoppers
    and ·what they worked for [L their labor] to locusts [Ex. 10:1–20].
47 He ·destroyed [L killed] their vines with hail
    and their ·sycamore [or fig] trees with ·sleet [or frost; or floods; Ex. 9:13–35].
48 He ·killed their animals with [L handed over their beasts to the] hail
    and their cattle with lightning [Ex. 9:1–7].
49 He ·showed [L sent against] them his hot anger.
    He sent his strong anger against them,
    his ·destroying angels [or messengers of evil/harm].
50 He ·found a way to show [L made a path for] his anger.
    He did not ·keep them from dying [L hold back their lives from death]
    but ·let them die by a terrible disease [L handed their lives over to plague].
51 God ·killed [L struck] all the firstborn sons in Egypt [Ex. 12],
    the ·oldest son of each family [L first of their virility in the tents] of Ham [C the ancestor of the Egyptians; Gen. 10:6].
52 But God led his people out like sheep
    and he guided them like a flock through the ·desert [wilderness].
53 He led them to safety so they had nothing to fear,
    but ·their enemies drowned in the sea [L the sea covered their enemies].
54 So God brought them to his holy ·land [L boundary],
    to the mountain country ·he took with his own power [L his hand acquired].
55 He ·forced out [dispossessed before them] the other nations,
    and he ·had his people inherit the land [L alloted the land as an inheritance].
He let the tribes of Israel settle there in tents.

56 But they tested God
    and ·turned [rebelled] against God Most High;
    they did not ·keep [observe; guard] his ·rules [decrees; testimonies].
57 They ·turned away [recoiled] and were disloyal just like their ·ancestors [fathers].
They ·were like [turned into] a ·crooked bow that does not shoot straight [slack bow; C unreliable and ineffective].
58 They made God angry ·by building places to worship gods [L with their high places; C worship sites associated with pagan worship or inappropriate worship of God; Deut. 12:2–3];
    they made him jealous with their idols.
59 When God heard them, he became very angry
    and rejected the people of Israel completely.
60 He ·left [cast off] his dwelling at Shiloh,
    the Tent where he lived among the people.
61 He let his ·Power [Strength; C the Ark] be captured;
    he let his ·glory [beauty; C the Ark] be taken by ·enemies [L the hand of the foe; 1 Sam. 4–5].
62 He ·let his people be killed [L handed his people over to the sword];
    he was very angry with his ·children [L inheritance].
63 The young men ·died [L were consumed] by fire,
    and the young women ·had no one to marry [had no wedding songs; or could not sing a lament for them].
64 Their priests fell by the sword [1 Sam. 4:12–22],
    but their widows were not allowed to cry.

65 Then the Lord ·got up [awoke] as if he had been asleep;
    ·he awoke like a man [L like a soldier] who had been ·drunk with [shouting/singing because of] wine.
66 He struck ·down [L back] his enemies
    and ·disgraced them forever [L placed on them eternal scorn/reproach].
67 But God rejected the ·family [L tent] of Joseph [C the tribe of Ephraim];
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim [C the most important northern tribe, here representing the house of Saul].
68 Instead, he chose the tribe of Judah
    and Mount Zion [C the location of the Temple], which he loves.
69 And he built his ·Temple [sanctuary; Holy Place] ·high like the mountains [or like the high heavens].
    Like the earth, ·he built it to last [L its foundations are] forever.
70 He chose David to be his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens.
71 He brought him from tending the ·sheep [L ewes]
    so he could ·lead the flock, [shepherd] the people of Jacob,
    his ·own people [inheritance], the people of Israel.
72 And David ·led [shepherded] them with an ·innocent [blameless] heart
    and guided them with skillful hands.