Tell the Coming Generation

A Maskil[a] of (A)Asaph.

78 (B)Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
(C)I will open my mouth (D)in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our (E)fathers have told us.
We will not (F)hide them from their children,
    but (G)tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and (H)the wonders that he has done.

He established (I)a testimony in (J)Jacob
    and appointed a law in (K)Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
that (L)the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget (M)the works of God,
    but (N)keep his commandments;
and that they should not be (O)like their fathers,
    (P)a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation (Q)whose heart was not steadfast,
    whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The Ephraimites, armed with[b] the bow,
    (R)turned back on the day of battle.
10 They (S)did not keep God's covenant,
    but refused to walk according to his law.
11 They (T)forgot his works
    and (U)the wonders that he had shown them.
12 In the sight of their fathers (V)he performed wonders
    in the land of Egypt, in (W)the fields of Zoan.
13 He (X)divided the sea and let them pass through it,
    and made the waters (Y)stand like a heap.
14 (Z)In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
    and all the night with a fiery light.
15 He (AA)split rocks in the wilderness
    and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
16 He made streams come out of (AB)the rock
    and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

17 Yet they sinned still more against him,
    (AC)rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They (AD)tested God in their heart
    by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God, saying,
    (AE)“Can God (AF)spread a table in the wilderness?
20 (AG)He struck the rock so that water gushed out
    and streams overflowed.
Can he also give bread
    or provide meat for his people?”

21 Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath;
    (AH)a fire was kindled against Jacob;
    his anger rose against Israel,
22 because they (AI)did not believe in God
    and did not trust his saving power.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above
    and (AJ)opened the doors of heaven,
24 and he (AK)rained down on them manna to eat
    and gave them (AL)the grain of heaven.
25 Man ate of the bread of (AM)the angels;
    he sent them food (AN)in abundance.
26 He (AO)caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
    and by his power he led out the south wind;
27 he rained meat on them like (AP)dust,
    winged birds like (AQ)the sand of the seas;
28 he (AR)let them fall in the midst of their camp,
    all around their dwellings.
29 And they (AS)ate and were well filled,
    for he gave them what they (AT)craved.
30 But before they had satisfied their craving,
    (AU)while the food was still in their mouths,
31 the anger of God rose against them,
    and he killed (AV)the strongest of them
    and laid low (AW)the young men of Israel.

32 In spite of all this, they (AX)still sinned;
    (AY)despite his wonders, they did not believe.
33 So he made (AZ)their days (BA)vanish like[c] a breath,[d]
    and their years in terror.
34 When he killed them, they (BB)sought him;
    they repented and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their (BC)rock,
    the Most High God their (BD)redeemer.
36 But they (BE)flattered him with their mouths;
    they (BF)lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their (BG)heart was not (BH)steadfast toward him;
    they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he, being (BI)compassionate,
    (BJ)atoned for their iniquity
    and did not destroy them;
he restrained his anger often
    and did not stir up all his wrath.
39 He (BK)remembered that they were but (BL)flesh,
    (BM)a wind that passes and comes not again.
40 How often they (BN)rebelled against him in the wilderness
    and (BO)grieved him in (BP)the desert!
41 They (BQ)tested God again and again
    and provoked (BR)the Holy One of Israel.
42 They (BS)did not remember his power[e]
    or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,
43 (BT)when he performed his (BU)signs in Egypt
    and his (BV)marvels in (BW)the fields of Zoan.
44 He (BX)turned their rivers to blood,
    so that they could not drink of their streams.
45 He sent among them swarms of (BY)flies, which devoured them,
    and (BZ)frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He gave their crops to (CA)the destroying locust
    and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with (CB)hail
    and their sycamores with frost.
48 He gave over their (CC)cattle to the hail
    and their flocks to thunderbolts.
49 He let loose on them his burning anger,
    wrath, indignation, and distress,
    a company of (CD)destroying angels.
50 He made a path for his anger;
    he did not spare them from death,
    but gave their lives over to the plague.
51 He struck down every (CE)firstborn in Egypt,
    the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of (CF)Ham.
52 Then he led out his people (CG)like sheep
    and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 (CH)He led them in safety, so that they (CI)were not afraid,
    but (CJ)the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And he brought them to his (CK)holy land,
    (CL)to the mountain which his right hand had (CM)won.
55 He (CN)drove out nations before them;
    he (CO)apportioned them for a possession
    and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

56 Yet they (CP)tested and (CQ)rebelled against the Most High God
    and did not keep his testimonies,
57 but turned away and acted treacherously like their fathers;
    they twisted like (CR)a deceitful bow.
58 For they (CS)provoked him to anger with their (CT)high places;
    they (CU)moved him to jealousy with their (CV)idols.
59 When God heard, he was full of (CW)wrath,
    and he utterly rejected Israel.
60 He (CX)forsook his dwelling at (CY)Shiloh,
    the tent where he dwelt among mankind,
61 and delivered his (CZ)power to captivity,
    his (DA)glory to the hand of the foe.
62 He (DB)gave his people over to the sword
    and (DC)vented his wrath on his heritage.
63 (DD)Fire devoured their young men,
    and their young women had no (DE)marriage song.
64 Their (DF)priests fell by the sword,
    and their (DG)widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the Lord (DH)awoke as from sleep,
    like a strong man shouting because of wine.
66 And he (DI)put his adversaries to rout;
    he put them to everlasting shame.

67 He rejected the tent of (DJ)Joseph;
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he (DK)loves.
69 He (DL)built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
    like the earth, which he has founded forever.
70 He (DM)chose David his servant
    and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from (DN)following the nursing ewes he brought him
    to (DO)shepherd Jacob his people,
    Israel his (DP)inheritance.
72 With (DQ)upright heart he shepherded them
    and (DR)guided them with his skillful hand.


  1. Psalm 78:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
  2. Psalm 78:9 Hebrew armed and shooting
  3. Psalm 78:33 Hebrew in
  4. Psalm 78:33 Or vapor
  5. Psalm 78:42 Hebrew hand

Psalm 78

A maskil[a] of Asaph.

My people, hear my teaching;(A)
    listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable;(B)
    I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.(C)
We will not hide them from their descendants;(D)
    we will tell the next generation(E)
the praiseworthy deeds(F) of the Lord,
    his power, and the wonders(G) he has done.
He decreed statutes(H) for Jacob(I)
    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,(J)
    and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget(K) his deeds
    but would keep his commands.(L)
They would not be like their ancestors(M)
    a stubborn(N) and rebellious(O) generation,
whose hearts were not loyal to God,
    whose spirits were not faithful to him.

The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows,(P)
    turned back on the day of battle;(Q)
10 they did not keep God’s covenant(R)
    and refused to live by his law.(S)
11 They forgot what he had done,(T)
    the wonders he had shown them.
12 He did miracles(U) in the sight of their ancestors
    in the land of Egypt,(V) in the region of Zoan.(W)
13 He divided the sea(X) and led them through;
    he made the water stand up like a wall.(Y)
14 He guided them with the cloud by day
    and with light from the fire all night.(Z)
15 He split the rocks(AA) 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(AB) against him,
    rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
18 They willfully put God to the test(AC)
    by demanding the food they craved.(AD)
19 They spoke against God;(AE)
    they said, “Can God really
    spread a table in the wilderness?
20 True, he struck the rock,
    and water gushed out,(AF)
    streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread?
    Can he supply meat(AG) for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard them, he was furious;
    his fire broke out(AH) against Jacob,
    and his wrath rose against Israel,
22 for they did not believe in God
    or trust(AI) in his deliverance.
23 Yet he gave a command to the skies above
    and opened the doors of the heavens;(AJ)
24 he rained down manna(AK) 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(AL) from the heavens
    and by his power made the south wind blow.
27 He rained meat down on them like dust,
    birds(AM) 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—(AN)
    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,(AO)
31 God’s anger rose against them;
    he put to death the sturdiest(AP) among them,
    cutting down the young men of Israel.

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

40 How often they rebelled(BF) against him in the wilderness(BG)
    and grieved him(BH) in the wasteland!
41 Again and again they put God to the test;(BI)
    they vexed the Holy One of Israel.(BJ)
42 They did not remember(BK) his power—
    the day he redeemed them from the oppressor,(BL)
43 the day he displayed his signs(BM) in Egypt,
    his wonders(BN) in the region of Zoan.
44 He turned their river into blood;(BO)
    they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies(BP) that devoured them,
    and frogs(BQ) that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,(BR)
    their produce to the locust.(BS)
47 He destroyed their vines with hail(BT)
    and their sycamore-figs with sleet.
48 He gave over their cattle to the hail,
    their livestock(BU) to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed against them his hot anger,(BV)
    his wrath, indignation and hostility—
    a band of destroying angels.(BW)
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,(BX)
    the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.(BY)
52 But he brought his people out like a flock;(BZ)
    he led them like sheep through the wilderness.
53 He guided them safely, so they were unafraid;
    but the sea engulfed(CA) their enemies.(CB)
54 And so he brought them to the border of his holy land,
    to the hill country his right hand(CC) had taken.
55 He drove out nations(CD) before them
    and allotted their lands to them as an inheritance;(CE)
    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(CF) they were disloyal and faithless,
    as unreliable as a faulty bow.(CG)
58 They angered him(CH) with their high places;(CI)
    they aroused his jealousy with their idols.(CJ)
59 When God heard(CK) them, he was furious;(CL)
    he rejected Israel(CM) completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,(CN)
    the tent he had set up among humans.(CO)
61 He sent the ark of his might(CP) into captivity,(CQ)
    his splendor into the hands of the enemy.
62 He gave his people over to the sword;(CR)
    he was furious with his inheritance.(CS)
63 Fire consumed(CT) their young men,
    and their young women had no wedding songs;(CU)
64 their priests were put to the sword,(CV)
    and their widows could not weep.

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


  1. Psalm 78:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term