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Psalm 78 Expanded Bible (EXB)

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.

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Psalm 78 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 78

A maskil[a] of Asaph.

My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable;
    I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.
They would not be like their ancestors
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
    whose spirits were not faithful to him.

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,
    turned back on the day of battle;
10 they did not keep God’s covenant
    and refused to live by his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
    the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors
    in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and led them through;
    he made the water stand up like a wall.
14 He guided them with the cloud by day
    and with light from the fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
    and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
16 he brought streams out of a rocky crag
    and made water flow down like rivers.

17 But they continued to sin against him,
    rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
18 They willfully put God to the test
    by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God;
    they said, “Can God really
    spread a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock,
    and water gushed out,
    streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
    Can he supply meat for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious;
    his fire broke out against Jacob,
    and his wrath rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe in God
    or trust in his deliverance.
23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
    and opened the doors of the heavens;
24 he rained down manna for the people to eat,
    he gave them the grain of heaven.
25 Human beings ate the bread of angels;
    he sent them all the food they could eat.
26 He let loose the east wind from the heavens
    and by his power made the south wind blow.
27 He rained meat down on them like dust,
    birds like sand on the seashore.
28 He made them come down inside their camp,
    all around their tents.
29 They ate till they were gorged—
    he had given them what they craved.
30 But before they turned from what they craved,
    even while the food was still in their mouths,
31 God’s anger rose against them;
    he put to death the sturdiest among them,
    cutting down the young men of Israel.

32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
    in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he ended their days in futility
    and their years in terror.
34 Whenever God slew them, they would seek him;
    they eagerly turned to him again.
35 They remembered that God was their Rock,
    that God Most High was their Redeemer.
36 But then they would flatter him with their mouths,
    lying to him with their tongues;
37 their hearts were not loyal to him,
    they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he was merciful;
    he forgave their iniquities
    and did not destroy them.
Time after time he restrained his anger
    and did not stir up his full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a passing breeze that does not return.

40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
    and grieved him in the wasteland!
41 Again and again they put God to the test;
    they vexed the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember his power—
    the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,
43 the day he displayed his signs in Egypt,
    his wonders in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their river into blood;
    they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them,
    and frogs that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
    their produce to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail
    and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail,
    their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed against them his hot anger,
    his wrath, indignation and hostility—
    a band of destroying angels.
50 He prepared a path for his anger;
    he did not spare them from death
    but gave them over to the plague.
51 He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt,
    the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.
52 But he brought his people out like a flock;
    he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
    but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land,
    to the hill country his right hand had taken.
55 He drove out nations before them
    and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance;
    he settled the tribes of Israel in their homes.

56 But they put God to the test
    and rebelled against the Most High;
    they did not keep his statutes.
57 Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless,
    as unreliable as a faulty bow.
58 They angered him with their high places;
    they aroused his jealousy with their idols.
59 When God heard them, he was furious;
    he rejected Israel completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
    the tent he had set up among humans.
61 He sent the ark of his might into captivity,
    his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword;
    he was furious with his inheritance.
63 Fire consumed their young men,
    and their young women had no wedding songs;
64 their priests were put to the sword,
    and their widows could not weep.

65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    as a warrior wakes from the stupor of wine.
66 He beat back his enemies;
    he put them to everlasting shame.
67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph,
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 He built his sanctuary like the heights,
    like the earth that he established forever.
70 He chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheep pens;
71 from tending the sheep he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel his inheritance.
72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart;
    with skillful hands he led them.


  1. Psalm 78:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
New International Version (NIV)

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