Psalms 78
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Maschil of Asaf. Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

א  מַשְׂכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי פִי.

2  I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter dark sayings concerning days of old;

ב  אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי קֶדֶם.

3  That which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us,

ג  אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ לָנוּ.

4  We will not hide from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of Hashem, and His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done.

ד  לֹא נְכַחֵד מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת יְהוָה וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה.

5  For He established a testimony in Yaakov, and appointed a law in Yisrael, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children;

ה  וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָׂם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם.

6  That the generation to come might know them, even the children that should be born; who should arise and tell them to their children,

ו  לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם.

7  That they might put their confidence in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments;

ז  וְיָשִׂימוּ בֵאלֹהִים כִּסְלָם וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי אֵל וּמִצְו‍ֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ.

8  And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

ח  וְלֹא יִהְיוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת אֵל רוּחוֹ.

9  The children of Efraim were as archers handling the bow, that turned back in the day of battle.

ט  בְּנֵי אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי קָשֶׁת הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב.

10  They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in His law;

י  לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹהִים וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת.

11  And they forgot His doings, and His wondrous works that He had shown them.

יא  וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם.

12  Marvellous things did He in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Mitzrayim, in the field of Zoan.

יב  נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָׂה פֶלֶא בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׂדֵה צֹעַן.

13  He cleaved the sea, and caused them to pass through; and He made the waters to stand as a heap.

יג  בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם וַיַּצֶּב מַיִם כְּמוֹ נֵד.

14  By day also He led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire.

יד  וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ.

15  He cleaved rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as out of the great deep.

טו  יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה.

16  He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.

טז  וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם.

17  Yet went they on still to sin against Him, to rebel against the Most High in the desert.

יז  וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא לוֹ לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה.

18  And they tried God in their heart by asking food for their craving.

יח  וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל בִּלְבָבָם לִשְׁאָל אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם.

19  Yea, they spoke against God; they said: ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?

יט  וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹהִים אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר.

20  Behold, He smote the rock, that waters gushed out, and streams overflowed; can He give bread also? or will He provide flesh for His people?’

כ  הֵן הִכָּה צוּר וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ הֲגַם לֶחֶם יוּכַל תֵּת אִם יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ.

21  Therefore Hashem heard, and was wroth; and a fire was kindled against Yaakov, and anger also went up against Yisrael;

כא  לָכֵן שָׁמַע יְהוָה וַיִּתְעַבָּר וְאֵשׁ נִשְּׂקָה בְיַעֲקֹב וְגַם אַף עָלָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל.

22  Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His salvation.

כב  כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בֵּאלֹהִים וְלֹא בָטְחוּ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ.

23  And He commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven;

כג  וַיְצַו שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל וְדַלְתֵי שָׁמַיִם פָּתָח.

24  And He caused manna to rain upon them for food, and gave them of the corn of heaven.

כד  וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם מָן לֶאֱכֹל וּדְגַן שָׁמַיִם נָתַן לָמוֹ.

25  Man did eat the bread of the mighty; He sent them provisions to the full.

כה  לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים אָכַל אִישׁ צֵידָה שָׁלַח לָהֶם לָשֹׂבַע.

26  He caused the east wind to set forth in heaven; and by His power He brought on the south wind.

כו  יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן.

27  He caused flesh also to rain upon them as the dust, and winged fowl as the sand of the seas;

כז  וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף.

28  And He let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their dwellings.

כח  וַיַּפֵּל בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֵהוּ סָבִיב לְמִשְׁכְּנֹתָיו.

29  So they did eat, and were well filled; and He gave them that which they craved.

כט  וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׂבְּעוּ מְאֹד וְתַאֲוָתָם יָבִא לָהֶם.

30  They were not estranged from their craving, their food was yet in their mouths,

ל  לֹא זָרוּ מִתַּאֲוָתָם עוֹד אָכְלָם בְּפִיהֶם.

31  When the anger of God went up against them, and slew of the lustieth among them, and smote down the young men of Yisrael.

לא  וְאַף אֱלֹהִים עָלָה בָהֶם וַיַּהֲרֹג בְּמִשְׁמַנֵּיהֶם וּבַחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִכְרִיעַ.

32  For all this they sinned still, and believed not in His wondrous works.

לב  בְּכָל זֹאת חָטְאוּ עוֹד וְלֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּנִפְלְאוֹתָיו.

33  Therefore He ended their days as a breath, and their years in terror.

לג  וַיְכַל בַּהֶבֶל יְמֵיהֶם וּשְׁנוֹתָם בַּבֶּהָלָה.

34  When He slew them, then they would inquire after Him, and turn back and seek God earnestly.

לד  אִם הֲרָגָם וּדְרָשׁוּהוּ וְשָׁבוּ וְשִׁחֲרוּ אֵל.

35  And they remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their redeemer.

לה  וַיִּזְכְּרוּ כִּי אֱלֹהִים צוּרָם וְאֵל עֶלְיוֹן גֹּאֲלָם.

36  But they beguiled Him with their mouth, and lied unto Him with their tongue.

לו  וַיְפַתּוּהוּ בְּפִיהֶם וּבִלְשׁוֹנָם יְכַזְּבוּ לוֹ.

37  For their heart was not stedfast with Him, neither were they faithful in His covenant.

לז  וְלִבָּם לֹא נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ.

38  But He, being full of compassion, forgiveth iniquity, and destroyeth not; yea, many a time doth He turn His anger away, and doth not stir up all His wrath.

לח  וְהוּא רַחוּם יְכַפֵּר עָו‍ֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ וְלֹא יָעִיר כָּל חֲמָתוֹ.

39  So He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

לט  וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי בָשָׂר הֵמָּה רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ וְלֹא יָשׁוּב.

40  How oft did they rebel against Him in the wilderness, and grieve Him in the desert!

מ  כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר יַעֲצִיבוּהוּ בִּישִׁימוֹן.

41  And still again they tried God, and set bounds to the Holy One of Yisrael.

מא  וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל הִתְווּ.

42  They remembered not His hand, nor the day when He redeemed them from the adversary.

מב  לֹא זָכְרוּ אֶת יָדוֹ יוֹם אֲשֶׁר פָּדָם מִנִּי צָר.

43  How He set His signs in Mitzrayim, and His wonders in the field of Zoan;

מג  אֲשֶׁר שָׂם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְׂדֵה צֹעַן.

44  And turned their rivers into blood, so that they could not drink their streams.

מד  וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל יִשְׁתָּיוּן.

45  He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.

מה  יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב וַיֹּאכְלֵם וּצְפַרְדֵּעַ וַתַּשְׁחִיתֵם.

46  He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar, and their labour unto the locust.

מו  וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם וִיגִיעָם לָאַרְבֶּה.

47  He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycamore-trees with frost.

מז  יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם וְשִׁקְמוֹתָם בַּחֲנָמַל.

48  He gave over their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to fiery bolts.

מח  וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם וּמִקְנֵיהֶם לָרְשָׁפִים.

49  He sent forth upon them the fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, a sending of messengers of evil.

מט  יְשַׁלַּח בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים.

50  He levelled a path for His anger; He spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

נ  יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ לֹא חָשַׂךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר.

51  And smote all the first-born in Mitzrayim, the first-fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham;

נא  וַיַּךְ כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי חָם.

52  But He made His own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

נב  וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ וַיְנַהֲגֵם כַּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר.

53  And He led them safely, and they feared not; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

נג  וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח וְלֹא פָחָדוּ וְאֶת אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם.

54  And He brought them to His holy border, to the mountain, which His right hand had gotten.

נד  וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ הַר זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ.

55  He drove out the nations also before them, and allotted them for an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Yisrael to dwell in their tents.

נה  וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם גּוֹיִם וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

56  Yet they tried and provoked God, the Most High, and kept not His testimonies;

נו  וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת אֱלֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ.

57  But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers; they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

נז  וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה.

58  For they provoked Him with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images.

נח  וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם וּבִפְסִילֵיהֶם יַקְנִיאוּהוּ.

59  God heard, and was wroth, and He greatly abhorred Yisrael;

נט  שָׁמַע אֱלֹהִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל.

60  And He forsook the tabernacle of Shilo, the tent which He had made to dwell among men;

va-yi-TOSH mish-KAN shi-LO O-hel shi-KAYN ba-a-DAM

ס  וַיִּטֹּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם.

78:60   The Tabernacle of Shiloh

Psalm 78 rebukes the nation of Israel with a history lesson. The psalmist reminds his audience about the days of old in order to teach the next generation to walk in the ways of God. Much of the psalm is dedicated to the plight of the Israelites in exile, referring to the Egyptian servitude and the desert experience. But the rebuke continues with Israel living in the Promised Land. Even then, they provoked the Lord and followed their hearts which led them astray. God, in turn, removed His presence from the Tabernacle in Shiloh. A mini-destruction of the Temple takes place in I Samuel 4, when, due to the corruption of the priests and the ignorance of the populace, the Ark of the Covenant is taken in battle against the Philistines and the high priest, Eli, and his sons die.

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61  And delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the adversary’s hand.

סא  וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד צָר.

62  He gave His people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with His inheritance.

סב  וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ וּבְנַחֲלָתוֹ הִתְעַבָּר.

63  Fire devoured their young men; and their virgins had no marriage-song.

סג  בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה אֵשׁ וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ.

64  Their Kohanim fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.

סד  כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה.

65  Then the Lord awaked as one asleep, like a mighty man recovering from wine.

סה  וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן אֲדֹנָי כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן.

66  And He smote His adversaries backward; He put upon them a perpetual reproach.

סו  וַיַּךְ צָרָיו אָחוֹר חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ.

67  Moreover He abhorred the tent of Yosef, and chose not the tribe of Efraim;

סז  וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר.

68  But chose the tribe of Yehuda, the mount Tzion which He loved.

סח  וַיִּבְחַר אֶת שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה אֶת הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב.

69  And He built His sanctuary like the heights, like the earth which He hath founded for ever.

סט  וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁוֹ כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם.

70  He chose David also His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds;

ע  וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן.

71  From following the ewes that give suck He brought him, to be shepherd over Yaakov His people, and Yisrael His inheritance.

עא  מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ.

72  So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart; and lead them by the skilfulness of his hands.

עב  וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם.

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Psalms 77
Psalms 79

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Psalms 78