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Psalm 78-80 Common English Bible (CEB)

Psalm 78

A maskil[a] of Asaph.

78 Listen, my people, to my teaching;
    tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a proverb.
    I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
        ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
        ones that our ancestors told us.
We won’t hide them from their descendants;
    we’ll tell the next generation
    all about the praise due the Lord and his strength—
    the wondrous works God has done.
He established a law for Jacob
    and set up Instruction for Israel,
        ordering our ancestors
        to teach them to their children.
This is so that the next generation
    and children not yet born will know these things,
        and so they can rise up and tell their children
    to put their hope in God—
        never forgetting God’s deeds,
        but keeping God’s commandments—
    and so that they won’t become like their ancestors:
    a rebellious, stubborn generation,
        a generation whose heart wasn’t set firm
        and whose spirit wasn’t faithful to God.

The children of Ephraim, armed with bows,
    retreated on the day of battle.
10 They didn’t keep God’s covenant;
    they refused to walk in his Instruction.
11 They forgot God’s deeds
    as well as the wondrous works he showed them.
12 But God performed wonders in their ancestors’ presence—
    in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 God split the sea and led them through,
    making the waters stand up like a wall.
14 God led them with the cloud by day;
    by the lightning all through the night.
15 God split rocks open in the wilderness,
    gave them plenty to drink—
    as if from the deep itself!
16 God made streams flow from the rock,
    made water run like rivers.

17 But they continued to sin against God,
    rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
18 They tested God in their hearts,
    demanded food for their stomachs.
19 They spoke against God!
    “Can God set a dinner table in the wilderness?” they asked.
20 “True, God struck the rock
    and water gushed and streams flowed,
        but can he give bread too?
        Can he provide meat for his people?”
21 When the Lord heard this, he became furious.
        A fire was ignited against Jacob;
    wrath also burned against Israel
22         because they had no faith in God,
        because they didn’t trust his saving power.
23 God gave orders to the skies above,
    opened heaven’s doors,
24     and rained manna on them so they could eat.
        He gave them the very grain of heaven!
25 Each person ate the bread of the powerful ones;[b]
    God sent provisions to satisfy them.
26 God set the east wind moving across the skies
    and drove the south wind by his strength.
27 He rained meat on them as if it were dust in the air;
    he rained as many birds as the sand on the seashore!
28 God brought the birds down in the center of their camp,
    all around their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were completely satisfied;
    God gave them exactly what they had craved.
30 But they didn’t stop craving—
    even with the food still in their mouths!
31 So God’s anger came up against them:
    he killed the most hearty of them;
        he cut down Israel’s youth in their prime.
32 But in spite of all that, they kept sinning
    and had no faith in God’s wondrous works.
33 So God brought their days to an end,
    like a puff of air,
    and their years in total ruin.
34 But whenever God killed them, they went after him!
    They would turn and earnestly search for God.
35 They would remember that God was their rock,
    that the Most High was their redeemer.
36 But they were just flattering him with lip service.
    They were lying to him with their tongues.
37 Their hearts weren’t firmly set on him;
    they weren’t faithful to his covenant.
38 But God, being compassionate,
    kept forgiving their sins,
    kept avoiding destruction;
    he took back his anger so many times,
    wouldn’t stir up all his wrath!
39 God kept remembering that they were just flesh,
    just breath that passes and doesn’t come back.

40 How often they rebelled against God in the wilderness
    and distressed him in the desert!
41 Time and time again they tested God,
    provoking the holy one of Israel.
42 They didn’t remember God’s power—
    the day when he saved them from the enemy;
43     how God performed his signs in Egypt,
    his marvelous works in the field of Zoan.
44 God turned their rivers into blood;
    they couldn’t drink from their own streams.
45 God sent swarms against them to eat them up,
    frogs to destroy them.
46 God handed over their crops to caterpillars,
    their land’s produce to locusts.
47 God killed their vines with hail,
    their sycamore trees with frost.
48 God delivered their cattle over to disease,[c]
    their herds to plagues.
49 God unleashed his burning anger against them—
    fury, indignation, distress,
    a troop of evil messengers.
50 God blazed a path for his wrath.
    He didn’t save them from death,
    but delivered their lives over to disease.
51 God struck down all of Egypt’s oldest males;
    in Ham’s tents, he struck their pride and joy.
52 God led his own people out like sheep,
    guiding them like a flock in the wilderness.
53 God led them in safety—they were not afraid!
    But the sea engulfed their enemies!
54 God brought them to his holy territory,
    to the mountain that his own strong hand had acquired.
55 God drove out the nations before them
        and apportioned property for them;
    he settled Israel’s tribes in their tents.

56 But they tested and defied the Most High God;
    they didn’t pay attention to his warnings.
57 They turned away, became faithless just like their ancestors;
    they twisted away like a defective bow.
58 They angered God with their many shrines;
    they angered him with their idols.
59 God heard and became enraged;
    he rejected Israel utterly.
60 God abandoned the sanctuary at Shiloh,
    the tent where he had lived with humans.
61 God let his power be held captive,
    let his glory go to the enemy’s hand.
62 God delivered his people up to the sword;
    he was enraged at his own possession.
63 Fire devoured his young men,
    and his young women had no wedding songs.
64 God’s priests were killed by the sword,
    and his widows couldn’t even cry.
65 But then my Lord woke up—
    as if he’d been sleeping!
Like a warrior shaking off wine,
66     God beat back his foes;
    he made them an everlasting disgrace.

67 God rejected the tent of Joseph
    and didn’t choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68 Instead, he chose the tribe of Judah,
    the mountain of Zion, which he loves.
69 God built his sanctuary like the highest heaven
    and like the earth, which he established forever.
70 And God chose David, his servant,
    taking him from the sheepfolds.
71 God brought him from shepherding nursing ewes
    to shepherd his people Jacob,
    to shepherd his inheritance, Israel.
72 David shepherded them with a heart of integrity;
    he led them with the skill of his hands.

Psalm 79

A psalm of Asaph.

79 The nations have come into your inheritance, God!
    They’ve defiled your holy temple.
    They’ve made Jerusalem a bunch of ruins.
They’ve left your servants’ bodies
    as food for the birds;
    they’ve left the flesh of your faithful
    to the wild animals of the earth.
They’ve poured out the blood of the faithful
    like water all around Jerusalem,
    and there’s no one left to bury them.
We’ve become a joke to our neighbors,
    nothing but objects of ridicule
    and disapproval to those around us.

How long will you rage, Lord? Forever?
    How long will your anger burn like fire?
Pour out your wrath on the nations
        who don’t know you,
    on the kingdoms
        that haven’t called on your name.
They’ve devoured Jacob
    and demolished his pasture.
Don’t remember the iniquities of past generations;
    let your compassion hurry to meet us
    because we’ve been brought so low.
God of our salvation, help us
    for the glory of your name!
Deliver us and cover our sins
    for the sake of your name!
10 Why should the nations say,
    “Where’s their God now?”
Let vengeance for the spilled blood of your servants
    be known among the nations before our very eyes!
11     Let the prisoners’ groaning reach you.
With your powerful arm
    spare those who are destined to die.
12 Pay back our neighbors seven times over,
    right where it hurts,
    for the insults they used on you, Lord.
13 We are, after all, your people
    and the sheep of your very own pasture.
We will give you thanks forever;
    we will proclaim your praises
    from one generation to the next.

Psalm 80

For the music leader. According to “Lotus Blossoms.” A testimony of Asaph. A psalm.

80 Shepherd of Israel, listen!
    You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep.
    You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures.
Show yourself before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!
    Wake up your power!
    Come to save us!
Restore us, God!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Lord God of heavenly forces,
    how long will you fume against your people’s prayer?
You’ve fed them bread made of tears;
    you’ve given them tears to drink three times over!
You’ve put us at odds with our neighbors;
    our enemies make fun of us.
Restore us, God of heavenly forces!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

You brought a vine out of Egypt.
    You drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    then it planted its roots deep, filling the land.
10 The mountains were covered by its shade;
    the mighty cedars were covered by its branches.
11 It sent its branches all the way to the sea;
    its shoots went all the way to the Euphrates River.[d]
12 So why have you now torn down its walls
    so that all who come along can pluck its fruit,
13     so that any boar from the forest can tear it up,
    so that the bugs can feed on it?

14 Please come back, God of heavenly forces!
    Look down from heaven and perceive it!
Attend to this vine,
15     this root that you planted with your strong hand,
    this son whom you secured as your very own.
16 It is burned with fire. It is chopped down.
    They die at the rebuke coming from you.
17 Let your hand be with the one on your right side—
    with the one whom you secured as your own—
18     then we will not turn away from you!
Revive us so that we can call on your name.
19     Restore us, Lord God of heavenly forces!
    Make your face shine so that we can be saved!


  1. Psalm 78:1 Perhaps instruction; the root is used in Ps 32:8.
  2. Psalm 78:25 Or everyone ate the bread from heaven; Heb uncertain
  3. Psalm 78:48 Correction; MT to hailstones
  4. Psalm 80:11 Or the Great River
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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