God’s Guidance of His People in Spite of Their Unfaithfulness.

A [a]Maskil of Asaph.

78 (A)Listen, O my people, to my [b]instruction;
(B)Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will (C)open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter (D)dark sayings of old,
Which we have heard and known,
And (E)our fathers have told us.
We will (F)not conceal them from their children,
But (G)tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His (H)wondrous works that He has done.

For He established a (I)testimony in Jacob
And appointed a (J)law in Israel,
Which He (K)commanded our fathers
That they should [c](L)teach them to their children,
(M)That the generation to come might know, even (N)the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and (O)tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And (P)not forget the works of God,
But (Q)keep His commandments,
And (R)not be like their fathers,
A (S)stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that (T)did not [d]prepare its heart
And whose spirit was not (U)faithful to God.

The sons of Ephraim [e]were (V)archers equipped with bows,
Yet (W)they turned back in the day of battle.
10 They (X)did not keep the covenant of God
And refused to (Y)walk in His law;
11 They (Z)forgot His deeds
And His [f]miracles that He had shown them.
12 (AA)He wrought wonders before their fathers
In the land of Egypt, in the (AB)field of Zoan.
13 He (AC)divided the sea and caused them to pass through,
And He made the waters stand (AD)up like a heap.
14 Then He led them with the cloud by (AE)day
And all the night with a (AF)light of fire.
15 He (AG)split the rocks in the wilderness
And gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
16 He (AH)brought forth streams also from the rock
And caused waters to run down like rivers.

17 Yet they still continued to sin against Him,
To (AI)rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 And in their heart they (AJ)put God to the test
By asking (AK)food according to their desire.
19 Then they spoke against God;
They said, “(AL)Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 “Behold, He (AM)struck the rock so that waters gushed out,
And streams were overflowing;
Can He give bread also?
Will He provide [g](AN)meat for His people?”

21 Therefore the Lord heard and [h]was (AO)full of wrath;
And a fire was kindled against Jacob
And anger also mounted against Israel,
22 Because they (AP)did not believe in God
And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He commanded the clouds above
And (AQ)opened the doors of heaven;
24 He (AR)rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them [i](AS)food from heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of [j]angels;
He sent them [k]food [l](AT)in abundance.
26 He (AU)caused the east wind to blow in the heavens
And by His [m]power He directed the south wind.
27 When He rained [n]meat upon them like the dust,
Even (AV)winged fowl like the sand of the seas,
28 Then He let them fall in the midst of [o]their camp,
Round about their dwellings.
29 So they (AW)ate and were well filled,
And their desire He gave to them.
30 [p]Before they had satisfied their desire,
(AX)While their food was in their mouths,
31 The (AY)anger of God rose against them
And killed [q]some of their (AZ)stoutest ones,
And [r]subdued the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this they (BA)still sinned
And (BB)did not believe in His wonderful works.
33 So He brought (BC)their days to an end in [s]futility
And their years in sudden terror.

34 When He killed them, then they (BD)sought Him,
And returned and searched (BE)diligently for God;
35 And they remembered that God was their (BF)rock,
And the Most High God their (BG)Redeemer.
36 But they (BH)deceived Him with their mouth
And (BI)lied to Him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not (BJ)steadfast toward Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 But He, being (BK)compassionate, [t](BL)forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He [u](BM)restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
39 Thus (BN)He remembered that they were but (BO)flesh,
A [v](BP)wind that passes and does not return.

40 How often they (BQ)rebelled against Him in the wilderness
And (BR)grieved Him in the (BS)desert!
41 Again and again they [w](BT)tempted God,
And pained the (BU)Holy One of Israel.
42 They (BV)did not remember (BW)His [x]power,
The day when He (BX)redeemed them from the adversary,
43 When He performed His (BY)signs in Egypt
And His (BZ)marvels in the field of Zoan,
44 And (CA)turned their rivers to blood,
And their streams, they could not drink.
45 He sent among them swarms of (CB)flies which devoured them,
And (CC)frogs which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their crops to the (CD)grasshopper
And the product of their labor to the (CE)locust.
47 He [y]destroyed their vines with (CF)hailstones
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He gave over their (CG)cattle also to the hailstones
And their herds to bolts of lightning.
49 He (CH)sent upon them His burning anger,
Fury and indignation and trouble,
[z]A band of destroying angels.
50 He leveled a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But (CI)gave over their life to the plague,
51 And (CJ)smote all the firstborn in Egypt,
The (CK)first issue of their virility in the tents of (CL)Ham.
52 But He (CM)led forth His own people like sheep
And guided them in the wilderness (CN)like a flock;
53 He led them (CO)safely, so that they did not fear;
But (CP)the sea engulfed their enemies.

54 So (CQ)He brought them to His holy [aa]land,
To this [ab](CR)hill country (CS)which His right hand had gained.
55 He also (CT)drove out the nations before them
And (CU)apportioned them for an inheritance by measurement,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they [ac](CV)tempted and (CW)rebelled against the Most High God
And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and (CX)acted treacherously like their fathers;
They (CY)turned aside like a treacherous bow.
58 For they (CZ)provoked Him with their (DA)high places
And (DB)aroused His jealousy with their (DC)graven images.
59 When God heard, He [ad]was filled with (DD)wrath
And greatly (DE)abhorred Israel;
60 So that He (DF)abandoned the (DG)dwelling place at Shiloh,
The tent [ae]which He had pitched among men,
61 And gave up His (DH)strength to captivity
And His glory (DI)into the hand of the adversary.
62 He also (DJ)delivered His people to the sword,
And [af]was filled with wrath at His inheritance.
63 (DK)Fire devoured [ag]His young men,
And [ah]His (DL)virgins had no wedding songs.
64 [ai]His (DM)priests fell by the sword,
And [aj]His (DN)widows could not weep.

65 Then the Lord (DO)awoke as if from sleep,
Like a (DP)warrior [ak]overcome by wine.
66 He [al](DQ)drove His adversaries backward;
He put on them an everlasting reproach.
67 He also (DR)rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount (DS)Zion which He loved.
69 And He (DT)built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has founded forever.
70 He also (DU)chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From [am](DV)the care of the [an]ewes (DW)with suckling lambs He brought him
To (DX)shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel (DY)His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the (DZ)integrity of his heart,
And guided them with his skillful hands.


  1. Psalm 78:1 Possibly, Contemplative, or Didactic, or Skillful Psalm
  2. Psalm 78:1 Or law, teaching
  3. Psalm 78:5 Lit make them known
  4. Psalm 78:8 Or put right
  5. Psalm 78:9 Or being
  6. Psalm 78:11 Or wonderful works
  7. Psalm 78:20 Lit flesh
  8. Psalm 78:21 Or became infuriated
  9. Psalm 78:24 Lit grain
  10. Psalm 78:25 Lit mighty ones
  11. Psalm 78:25 Or provision
  12. Psalm 78:25 Lit to satiation
  13. Psalm 78:26 Or strength
  14. Psalm 78:27 Lit flesh
  15. Psalm 78:28 Lit His
  16. Psalm 78:30 Lit They were not estranged from
  17. Psalm 78:31 Lit among their fat ones
  18. Psalm 78:31 Lit caused to bow down
  19. Psalm 78:33 Lit vanity, a mere breath
  20. Psalm 78:38 Lit covered over, atoned for
  21. Psalm 78:38 Lit turned away
  22. Psalm 78:39 Or breath
  23. Psalm 78:41 Or put God to the test
  24. Psalm 78:42 Lit hand
  25. Psalm 78:47 Lit was killing
  26. Psalm 78:49 Lit A deputation of angels of evil
  27. Psalm 78:54 Lit border, territory
  28. Psalm 78:54 Or mountain
  29. Psalm 78:56 Or put to the test
  30. Psalm 78:59 Or became infuriated
  31. Psalm 78:60 Some ancient versions read where He dwelt
  32. Psalm 78:62 Or became infuriated
  33. Psalm 78:63 Or their
  34. Psalm 78:63 Or their
  35. Psalm 78:64 Or their
  36. Psalm 78:64 Or their
  37. Psalm 78:65 Or sobered up from
  38. Psalm 78:66 Lit smote
  39. Psalm 78:71 Lit following
  40. Psalm 78:71 Lit ewes which gave suck, He...