World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
78. Psalm 78
1Give ear, O my people, to my alaw:
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah,
And his strength, and his wondrous works that he hath done.
5For he established a testimony in Jacob,
And appointed a law in Israel,
Which he commanded our fathers,
That they should make them known to their children;
6That the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born;
Who should arise and tell them to their children,
7That they might set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep his commandments,
8And might not be as their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation athat set not their heart aright,
And whose spirit was not stedfast with God.
9The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,
Turned back in the day of battle.
10They kept not the covenant of God,
And refused to walk in his law;
11And they forgat his doings,
And his wondrous works that he had showed them.
12Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13He clave the sea, and caused them to pass through;
And he made the waters to stand as a heap.
14In the day-time also he led them with a cloud,
And all the night with a light of fire.
15He clave rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
16He brought streams also out of the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17Yet went they on still to sin against him,
To rebel against the Most High in the adesert.
18And they tempted God in their heart
By asking food aaccording to their desire.
19Yea, they spake against God;
They said, Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20Behold, he smote the rock, so that waters gushed out,
And streams overflowed;
Can he give bread also?
Will he provide flesh for his people?
21Therefore Jehovah heard, and was wroth;
And a fire was kindled against Jacob,
And anger also went up against Israel;
22Because they believed not in God,
And trusted not in his salvation.
23Yet he commanded the skies above,
And opened the doors of heaven;
24And he rained down manna upon them to eat,
And gave them afood from heaven.
25aMan did eat the bread of the mighty:
He sent them food to the full.
26He acaused the east wind to blow in the heavens;
And by his power he guided the south wind.
27He rained flesh also upon them as the dust,
And winged birds as the sand of the seas:
28And he let it fall in the midst of their camp,
Round about their habitations.
29So they did eat, and were well filled;
And he gave them their own desire.
30They were not estranged from that which they desired,
Their food was yet in their mouths,
31When the anger of God went up against them,
And slew of the fattest of them,
And smote down the young men of Israel.
32For all this they sinned still,
And believed not in his wondrous works.
33Therefore their days did he consume in vanity,
And their years in terror.
34When he slew them, then they inquired after him;
And they returned and sought God earnestly.
35And they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their redeemer.
36But they flattered him with their mouth,
And lied unto him with their tongue.
37For their heart was not aright with him,
Neither were they faithful in his covenant.
38But he, being merciful, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not:
Yea, many a time turned he his anger away,
And did not stir up all his wrath.
39And he remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
40How oft did they rebel against him in the wilderness,
And grieve him in the desert!
41And they turned again and tempted God,
And aprovoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They remember not his hand,
Nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary;
43How he set his signs in Egypt,
And his wonders in the field of Zoan,
44And turned their rivers into blood,
And their streams, so that they could not drink.
45He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them;
And frogs, which destroyed them.
46He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar,
And their labor unto the locust.
47He adestroyed their vines with hail,
And their sycomore-trees with afrost.
48He gave over their cattle also to the hail,
And their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
49He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger,
Wrath, and indignation, and trouble,
aA band of angels of evil.
50He amade a path for his anger;
He spared not their soul from death,
But gave atheir life over to the pestilence,
51And smote all the first-born in Egypt,
The achief of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52But he led forth his own people like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53And he led them safely, so that they feared not;
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And he brought them to the border of his sanctuary,
To this amountain, which his right hand had gotten.
55He drove out the nations also before them,
And allotted them for an inheritance by line,
And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God,
And kept not his testimonies;
57But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers:
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places,
And moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
59When God heard this, he was wroth,
And greatly abhorred Israel;
60So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh,
The tent which he placed among men;
61And delivered his strength into captivity,
And his glory into the adversary's hand.
62He gave his people over also unto the sword,
And was wroth with his inheritance.
63Fire devoured their young men;
And their virgins had no marriage-song.
64Their priests fell by the sword;
And their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep,
Like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
66And he smote his adversaries backward:
He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67Moreover he refused the tent of Joseph,
And chose not the tribe of Ephraim,
68But chose the tribe of Judah,
The mount Zion which he loved.
69And he built his sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which he hath established for ever.
70He chose David also his servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds:
71From following the ewes that have their young he brought him,
To be the shepherd of Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.
72So he was their shepherd according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.