I Will Open My Mouth in Parables
A Maskil a of Asaph.
1Give ear, O my people, to my instruction;
2 I will open my mouth in parables;
I will utter things hidden from the beginning, b
3 that we have heard and known
and our fathers have relayed to us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
but will declare to the next generation
the praises of the LORD and His might,
and the wonders He has performed.
5 For He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
6 that the coming generation would know them—
even children yet to be born—
to arise and tell their own children
7 that they should put their confidence in God,
not forgetting His works,
but keeping His commandments.
8 Then they will not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
whose heart was not loyal,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The archers of Ephraim
turned back on the day of battle.
10 They failed to keep God’s covenant
and refused to live by His law.
11 They forgot what He had done,
the wonders He had shown them.
12 He worked wonders before their fathers
in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
13 He split the sea and brought them through;
He set the waters upright like a wall.
14 He led them with a cloud by day
and with a light of fire all night.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink as abundant as the seas.
16 He brought streams from the stone
and made water flow down like rivers.
17 But they continued to sin against Him,
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18 They willfully tested God
by demanding the food they craved.
19 They spoke against God, saying,
“Can God really prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 When He struck the rock, water gushed out
and torrents raged.
But can He also give bread
or supply His people with meat?”
21 Therefore the LORD heard
and was filled with wrath;
so a fire was kindled against Jacob,
and His anger flared against Israel,
22 because they did not believe God
or rely on His salvation.
23 Yet He commanded the clouds above
24 He rained down manna for them to eat;
He gave them grain from heaven. c
25 Man ate the bread of angels;
He sent them food in abundance.
26 He stirred the east wind from the heavens
and drove the south wind by His might.
27 He rained meat on them like dust,
and winged birds like the sand of the sea.
28 He felled them in the midst of their camp,
all around their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled,
for He gave them what they craved.
30 Yet before they had filled their desire,
with the food still in their mouths,
31 God’s anger flared against them,
and He put to death their strongest
and subdued the young men of Israel.
32 In spite of all this, they kept on sinning;
despite His wonderful works, they did not believe.
and their years in sudden terror.
34 When He slew them, they would seek Him;
they repented and searched for God.
35 And they remembered that God was their Rock,
that God Most High e was their Redeemer.
36 But they deceived Him with their mouths,
and lied to Him with their tongues.
37 Their hearts were disloyal to Him,
and they were unfaithful to His covenant.
38 And yet He was compassionate;
He forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them.
He often restrained His anger
and did not unleash His full wrath.
39 He remembered that they were but flesh,
a passing breeze that does not return.
40 How often they disobeyed Him in the wilderness
and grieved Him in the desert!
41 Again and again they tested God
and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
the day He redeemed them from the adversary,
43 when He performed His signs in Egypt
and His wonders in the fields of Zoan.
44 He turned their rivers to blood,
and from their streams they could not drink.
45 He sent swarms of flies that devoured them,
and frogs that devastated them.
46 He gave their crops to the grasshopper,
the fruit of their labor to the locust.
47 He killed their vines with hailstones
and their sycamore-figs with sleet. g
48 He abandoned their cattle to the hail
and their livestock to bolts of lightning.
49 He unleashed His fury against them,
wrath, indignation, and calamity—
a band of destroying angels.
50 He cleared a path for His anger;
He did not spare them from death
but delivered their lives to the plague.
51 He struck all the firstborn of Egypt,
the virility in the tents of Ham.
52 He led out His people like sheep
and guided them like a flock in the wilderness.
53 He led them safely, so they did not fear,
but the sea engulfed their enemies.
54 He brought them to His holy land,
to the mountain His right hand had acquired.
55 He drove out nations before them
and apportioned their inheritance;
He settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.
56 But they tested and disobeyed God Most High,
for they did not keep His decrees.
57 They turned back and were faithless like their fathers,
twisted like a faulty bow.
58 They enraged Him with their high places
and provoked His jealousy with their idols.
59 On hearing it, God was furious
and rejected Israel completely.
60 He abandoned the tabernacle of Shiloh,
the tent He had pitched among men.
61 He delivered His strength to captivity,
and His splendor to the hand of the adversary.
62 He surrendered His people to the sword
because He was enraged by His heritage.
63 Fire consumed His young men,
and their maidens were left without wedding songs.
64 His priests fell by the sword,
but their widows could not lament.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
like a mighty warrior overcome by wine.
66 He beat back His foes;
He put them to everlasting shame.
67 He rejected the tent of Joseph
and refused the tribe of Ephraim.
68 But He chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion, which He loved.
69 He built His sanctuary like the heights,
like the earth He has established forever.
70 He chose David His servant
and took him from the sheepfolds;
71 from tending the ewes He brought him
to be shepherd of His people Jacob,
of Israel His inheritance.
72 So David shepherded them with integrity of heart
and guided them with skillful hands.
1 a Maskil is probably a musical or liturgical term; used for Psalms 32, 42, 44–45, 52–55, 74, 78, 88–89, and 142.
2 b Or from ancient times ; see also LXX; cited in Matthew 13:35
24 c Cited in John 6:31
33 d Or in vapor
35 e Hebrew El-Elyon
42 f Or His hand
47 g Or frost or driving rain