1 O my people, listen to my instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, 2 for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— 3 stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. 4 We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. 5 For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, 6 so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. 7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. 8 Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.
9 The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. 10 They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his instructions. 11 They forgot what he had done— the great wonders he had shown them, 12 the miracles he did for their ancestors on the plain of Zoan in the land of Egypt. 13 For he divided the sea and led them through, making the water stand up like walls! 14 In the daytime he led them by a cloud, and all night by a pillar of fire. 15 He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them water, as from a gushing spring. 16 He made streams pour from the rock, making the waters flow down like a river!
17 Yet they kept on sinning against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. 18 They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. 19 They even spoke against God himself, saying, “God can’t give us food in the wilderness. 20 Yes, he can strike a rock so water gushes out, but he can’t give his people bread and meat.” 21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious. The fire of his wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, his anger rose against Israel, 22 for they did not believe God or trust him to care for them. 23 But he commanded the skies to open; he opened the doors of heaven. 24 He rained down manna for them to eat; he gave them bread from heaven. 25 They ate the food of angels! God gave them all they could hold. 26 He released the east wind in the heavens and guided the south wind by his mighty power. 27 He rained down meat as thick as dust— birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore! 28 He caused the birds to fall within their camp and all around their tents. 29 The people ate their fill. He gave them what they craved. 30 But before they satisfied their craving, while the meat was yet in their mouths, 31 the anger of God rose against them, and he killed their strongest men. He struck down the finest of Israel’s young men.
78:TitleHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.
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