My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
They would not be like their ancestors— a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.
The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle;
they did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law.
They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them.
He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.
He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand up like a wall.
He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night.
He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.
But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?
True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly, but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?”
When the LORD heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel,
for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens;
he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
He let loose the east wind from the heavens and by his power made the south wind blow.
He rained meat down on them like dust, birds like sand on the seashore.
He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents.
They ate till they were gorged— he had given them what they craved.
But before they turned from what they craved, even while the food was still in their mouths,
God’s anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.
In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again.
They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues;
their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.
Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness and grieved him in the wasteland!
Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel.