A maskil of Asaf: Listen, my people, to my teaching; turn your ears to the words from my mouth.
I will speak to you in parables and explain mysteries from days of old.
The things which we have heard and known, and which our fathers told us
we will not hide from their descendants; we will tell the generation to come the praises of ADONAI and his strength, the wonders that he has performed.
He raised up a testimony in Ya'akov and established a Torah in Isra'el. He commanded our ancestors to make this known to their children,
so that the next generation would know it, the children not yet born, who would themselves arise and tell their own children,
who could then put their confidence in God, not forgetting God's deeds, but obeying his mitzvot.
Then they would not be like their ancestors, a stubborn, rebellious generation, a generation with unprepared hearts, with spirits unfaithful to God.
The people of Efrayim, though armed with bows and arrows, turned their backs on the day of battle.
They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to live by his Torah.
They forgot what he had done, his wonders which he had shown them.
He had done wonderful things in the presence of their ancestors in the land of Egypt, in the region of Tzo'an.
He split the sea and made them pass through, he made the waters stand up like a wall.
He also led them by day with a cloud and all night long with light from a fire.
He broke apart the rocks in the desert and let them drink as if from boundless depths;
yes, he brought streams out of the rock, making the water flow down like rivers.
Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High;
in their hearts they tested God by demanding food that would satisfy their cravings.
Yes, they spoke against God by asking, "Can God spread a table in the desert?
True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, until the vadis overflowed; but what about bread? Can he give that? Can he provide meat for his people?"
Therefore, when ADONAI heard, he was angry; fire blazed up against Ya'akov; his anger mounted against Isra'el;
because they had no faith in God, no trust in his power to save.
So he commanded the skies above and opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down man on them as food; he gave them grain from heaven -
mortals ate the bread of angels; he provided for them to the full.
He stirred up the east wind in heaven, brought on the south wind by his power,
and rained down meat on them like dust, birds flying thick as the sand on the seashore.
He let them fall in the middle of their camp, all around their tents.
So they ate till they were satisfied; he gave them what they craved.
They were still fulfilling their craving, the food was still in their mouths,
when the anger of God rose up against them and slaughtered their strongest men, laying low the young men of Isra'el.
Still, they kept on sinning and put no faith in his wonders.
Therefore, he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
When he brought death among them, they would seek him; they would repent and seek God eagerly,
remembering that God was their Rock, El 'Elyon their Redeemer.
But they tried to deceive him with their words, they lied to him with their tongues;
for their hearts were not right with him, and they were unfaithful to his covenant.
Yet he, because he is full of compassion, forgave their sin and did not destroy; many times he turned away his anger and didn't rouse all his wrath.
So he remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that blows past and does not return.
How often they rebelled against him in the desert and grieved him in the wastelands!
Repeatedly they challenged God and pained the Holy One of Isra'el.
They didn't remember how he used his hand on the day he redeemed them from their enemy,
how he displayed his signs in Egypt, his wonders in the region of Tzo'an.
He turned their rivers into blood, so they couldn't drink from their streams.
He sent swarms of flies, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their harvest to shearer-worms, the fruit of their labor to locusts.
He destroyed their vineyards with hail and their sycamore-figs with frost.
Their cattle too he gave over to the hail and their flocks to lightning bolts.
He sent over them his fierce anger, fury, indignation and trouble, with a company of destroying angels
to clear a path for his wrath. He did not spare them from death, but gave them over to the plague,
striking all the firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.
But his own people he led out like sheep, guiding them like a flock in the desert.
He led them safely, and they weren't afraid, even when the sea overwhelmed their foes.
He brought them to his holy land, to the hill-country won by his right hand.
He expelled nations before them, apportioned them property to inherit and made Isra'el's tribes live in their tents.
Yet they tested El 'Elyon and rebelled against him, refusing to obey his instructions.
They turned away and were faithless, like their fathers; they were unreliable, like a bow without tension.
They provoked him with their high places and made him jealous with their idols.
God heard, and he was angry; he came to detest Isra'el completely.
He abandoned the tabernacle at Shiloh, the tent he had made where he could live among people.
He gave his strength into exile, his pride to the power of the foe.
He gave his people over to the sword and grew angry with his own heritage.
Fire consumed their young men, their virgins had no wedding-song,
their cohanim fell by the sword, and their widows could not weep.
Then Adonai awoke, as if from sleep, like a warrior shouting for joy from wine.
He struck his foes, driving them back and putting them to perpetual shame.
Rejecting the tents of Yosef and passing over the tribe of Efrayim,
he chose the tribe of Y'hudah, Mount Tziyon, which he loved.
He built his sanctuary like the heights; like the earth, he made it to last forever.
He chose David to be his servant, taking him from the sheep-yards;
from tending nursing ewes he brought him to shepherd Ya'akov his people, Isra'el his heritage.
With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with skillful hands.