Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter enigmas of old,
which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their sons, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD and his strength and his wonderful works that he has done.
For 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 sons:
That the generation to come might know them, even the sons which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their sons
that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep his commandments
and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set their heart aright and whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
The sons of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.
They did not keep the covenant of God and refused to walk in his law
and forgot his works and his wonders that he had showed them.
He did marvellous things in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
He divided the sea and caused them to pass through, and he made the waters to stand as a heap.
In the daytime also he led them with a cloud and all the night with a light of fire.
He clave the rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as out of the great depths.
He brought streams also out of the rock and caused waters to run down like rivers.
And they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness.
And they tempted God in their heart by asking for food according to the desires of their soul.
And they spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
Behold, he smote the rock that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
Therefore the LORD heard this and was wroth, so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel
because they had not believed God, nor had they trusted in his saving health;
and he commanded the clouds of above and opened the doors of the heavens
and caused manna to rain upon them to eat and gave them wheat of the heavens.
Man did eat the food of the strong; he sent them food to the full.
He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven, and by his power he brought in the south wind.
He rained flesh also upon them as dust and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:
And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations.
So they did eat and were well filled; for he gave them their own desire;
they were not estranged from their lust. But while their food was yet in their mouths,
the wrath of God came upon them and slew the fattest of them and smote down the chosen of Israel.
For all this they sinned still and did not give him credit for his wondrous works.
Therefore he consumed their days in vanity and their years in tribulation.
When he slew them, then they sought him, and they returned and enquired early after God.
And they remembered that God was their rock and the high God their redeemer.
Nevertheless they flattered him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues.
For their heart was not right with him, neither were they steadfast in his covenant.
But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them; many a time turned he his anger away and did not stir up all his wrath.
For he remembered that they were but flesh: a wind that passes away and does not come again.
How often did they provoke him in the wilderness and grieve him in the desert!
And they turned back and tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel.
They did not remember his hand, nor the day when he ransomed them from anguish.
How he had wrought his signs in Egypt and his wonders in the field of Zoan
and had turned their rivers into blood and their floods, that they could not drink.
He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them, and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave also their fruits unto the caterpillar and their works unto the locust.
He destroyed their vines with hail and their wild fig trees with stones.
He gave up their cattle also to the hail and their flocks to thunderbolts of fire.
He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation and trouble by sending evil angels among them.
He made a way to his anger; he did not spare their soul from death but gave their life over to the pestilence
and smote all the firstborn in Egypt, the firstfruits of their strength in the tents of Ham:
But made his own people to go forth like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
And he led them on safely, so that they feared not; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
And he brought them into the borders of his holiness, into this mountain, which his right hand had purchased.
He cast out the Gentiles also before them and divided them an inheritance by line and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their habitations.
Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God and did not keep his testimonies:
But turned back and rebelled like their fathers; they became like a deceitful bow.
For they provoked him to anger with their high places and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
God heard this and was wroth and greatly abhorred Israel:
For this reason he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent in which he dwelt among men
and delivered his strength into captivity and his glory into the enemy’s hand.
He gave his people over also unto the sword and was wroth with his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men; and their virgins were not honored in marriage songs.
Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep and like a mighty man that shouts by reason of wine.
And he smote his enemies in the hinder parts; he put them to a perpetual reproach.
Moreover he refused the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim:
But chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which he loved.
And he built his sanctuary in preeminence like the earth which he has established for ever.
He chose David also his slave and took him from the sheepfolds,
from following the ewes great with young, he brought him to feed Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance.
So he fed them out of the integrity of his heart and guided them by the intelligence of his hands.