1 Listen, O my people, to my law. Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in an illustration. I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 That we have heard and known and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of Jehovah, and his strength and his wondrous works that he has done.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel. This he commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children,
6 That the generation to come might know, the children to be born, that they may arise and tell to their children,
7 That they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God but keep his commandments.
8 They should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The sons of Ephraim were archers well equipped with bows. Yet they turned and ran in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep the covenant of God. They refused to walk in his law.
11 They forgot his deeds and his miracles that he had shown them.
12 He wrought wonders before their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through. He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14 He led them with the cloud by day and with a light of fire by night.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them abundant drink like the ocean depths.
16 He brought forth streams also from the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet they still continued to sin against him. They rebelled against the Most High in the desert.
18 In their heart they put God to the test by asking food according to their desire.
19 Then they spoke against God. They said: Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, He struck the rock so that waters gushed out, and streams were overflowing; Can He give bread also? Will He provide meat for His people?
21 Therefore Jehovah heard and was full of wrath. A fire was kindled against Jacob and anger also mounted against Israel,
22 Because they did not believe in God and did not trust in his salvation.
23 Yet he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them food from heaven.
25 Man did eat the bread of angels. He sent them food in abundance.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and by his power he directed the south wind.
27 He rained meat upon them like the dust, even winged fowl like the sand of the seas,
28 Then he let them fall in the midst of their camp, round about their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled, and their desire he gave to them.
30 Before they had satisfied their desire, while their food was in their mouths,
31 The anger of God rose against them and killed some of their stoutest ones, and subdued the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this they still sinned. They did not believe in his wonderful works.
33 He brought their days to an end like a whisper in the wind. He brought their years to an end in terror.
34 When he killed some of them, the rest searched for him. They turned from their sins and eagerly looked for God.
35 They remembered that God was their rock, that the Most High was their defender.
36 They flattered him with their mouths and lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their hearts were not loyal to him. They were not faithful to his promise.
38 But he is compassionate. He forgave their sin. He did not destroy them. He restrained his anger many times. He did not display all of his fury.
39 He remembered that they were only flesh and blood, a breeze that blows and does not return.
40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness! How often they caused him grief in the desert!
41 They tested God again and again, and they pushed the Holy One of Israel to the limit.
42 They did not remember his power and the day he freed them from their oppressor,
43 when he performed his miraculous signs in Egypt, his wonders in the fields of Zoan.
44 He turned their rivers into blood so that they could not drink from their streams.
45 He sent a swarm of flies that bit them and frogs that ruined them.
46 He gave their crops to grasshoppers and their produce to locusts.
47 He killed their vines with hail and their fig trees with frost.
48 He let the hail strike their cattle and bolts of lightning strike their livestock.
49 He sent his fierce burning anger, his rage and fury against them. He sent an army of destroying angels.
50 He cleared a path for his anger. He did not spare them from death. He let the plague take their lives.
51 He destroyed every firstborn in Egypt, the ones born in the tents of Ham when their fathers were young.
52 He led his own people out like sheep and guided them like a flock through the wilderness.
53 He led them safely. They had no fear while the sea covered their enemies.
54 He brought them into his holy land, to this mountain that his power had won.
55 He drove nations out of their way and gave them the land of the nations as their inheritance. He settled the tribes of Israel in their own tents.
56 They tested God Most High and rebelled against him. They did not obey his written instructions.
57 They were disloyal and treacherous like their ancestors. They were like arrows shot from a defective bow.
58 They provoked him to anger indignation because of their illegal worship sites. They made him furious because they worshiped idols.
59 When God heard, he became furious. He greatly abhorred Israel.
60 He abandoned his dwelling place in Shiloh, the tent where he had lived among humans.
61 He allowed his power to be taken captive and handed his glory over to an oppressor.
62 He let swords kill his people. He was furious with those who belonged to him.
63 Fire consumed his best young men, so his virgins were not given in marriage.
64 His priests were cut down with swords. The widows of his priests could not even weep for them.
65 Jehovah woke up like one who had been sleeping, like a warrior sobering up from too much wine.
66 He struck his enemies from behind and disgraced them forever.
67 He rejected the tent of Joseph. He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion he loved.
69 He built his holy place to be like the high heavens, like the earth that he made to last for a long time.
70 He chose his servant David. He took him from the sheep pens.
71 He brought him from tending the ewes that had lambs so that David could be the shepherd of the people of Jacob, of Israel, the people who belonged to Jehovah.
72 With unselfish devotion David became their shepherd. With skill he guided them.