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Psalm 78


[Recommended tunes: Tallis, Bedford, Durham, Caithness, Manchester, 
Old 44th]


Maschil of Asaph.


1Attend, my people, to my law;

thereto give thou an ear;

The words that from my mouth proceed

attentively do hear.

2My mouth shall speak a parable,

and sayings dark of old;

3The same which we have heard and known,

and us our fathers told.


4We also will them not conceal

from their posterity;

Them to the generation

to come declare will we:

The praises of the Lord our God,

and his almighty strength,

The wondrous works that he hath done,

we will shew forth at length.


5His testimony and his law

in Isr'el he did place,

And charg'd our fathers it to show

to their succeeding race;

6That so the race which was to come

might well them learn and know;

And sons unborn, who should arise,

might to their sons them show:


7That they might set their hope in God,

and suffer not to fall

His mighty works out of their mind,

but keep his precepts all:

8And might not, like their fathers, be

a stiff rebellious race;

A race not right in heart; with God

whose sp'rit not stedfast was.


9The sons of Ephraim, who nor bows

nor other arms did lack,

When as the day of battle was,

they faintly turned back.

10They brake God's cov'nant, and refus'd

in his commands to go;

11His works and wonders they forgot,

which he to them did show.


12Things marvellous he brought to pass;

their fathers them beheld

Within the land of Egypt done,

yea, ev'n in Zoan's field.

13By him divided was the sea,

he caus'd them through to pass;

And made the waters so to stand,

as like an heap it was.


14With cloud by day, with light of fire

all night, he did them guide.

15In desert rocks he clave, and drink,

as from great depths, supply'd.

16He from the rock brought streams, like floods

made waters to run down.

17Yet sinning more, in desert they

provok'd the Highest One.


18For in their heart they tempted God,

and, speaking with mistrust,

They greedily did meat require

to satisfy their lust.

19Against the Lord himself they spake,

and, murmuring, said thus,

A table in the wilderness

can God prepare for us?


20Behold, he smote the rock, and thence

came streams and waters great;

But can he give his people bread?

and send them flesh to eat?

21The Lord did hear, and waxed wroth;

so kindled was a flame

'Gainst Jacob, and 'gainst Israel

up indignation came.


22For they believ'd not God, nor trust

in his salvation had;

23Though clouds above he did command,

and heav'n's doors open made,

24And manna rain'd on them, and gave

them corn of heav'n to eat.

25Man angels' food did eat; to them

he to the full sent meat.


26And in the heaven he did cause

an eastern wind to blow;

And by his power he let out

the southern wind to go.

27Then flesh as thick as dust he made

to rain down them among;

And feather'd fowls, like as the sand

which li'th the shore along.


28At his command amidst their camp

these show'rs of flesh down fell,

All round about the tabernacles

and tents where they did dwell.

29So they did eat abundantly,

and had of meat their fill;

For he did give to them what was

their own desire and will.


30They from their lust had not estrang'd

their heart and their desire;

But while the meat was in their mouths,

which they did so require,

31God's wrath upon them came, and slew

the fattest of them all;

So that the choice of Israel,

o'erthrown by death, did fall.


32Yet, notwithstanding of all this,

they sinned still the more;

And though he had great wonders wrought,

believ'd him not therefore:

33Wherefore their days in vanity

he did consume and waste;

And by his wrath their wretched years

away in trouble past.


34But when he slew them, then they did

to seek him shew desire;

Yea, they return'd, and after God

right early did enquire.

35And that the Lord had been their Rock,

they did remember then;

Ev'n that the high almighty God

had their Redeemer been.


36Yet with their mouth they flatter'd him,

and spake but feignedly;

And they unto the God of truth

with their false tongues did lie.

37For though their words were good, their heart

with him was not sincere;

Unstedfast and perfidious

they in his cov'nant were.


38But, full of pity, he forgave

their sin, them did not slay;

Nor stirr'd up all his wrath, but oft

his anger turn'd away.

39For that they were but fading flesh

to mind he did recall;

A wind that passeth soon away,

and not returns at all.


40How often did they him provoke

within the wilderness!

And in the desert did him grieve

with their rebelliousness!

41Yea, turning back, they tempted God,

and limits set upon

Him, who in midst of Isr'el is

the only Holy One.


42They did not call to mind his pow'r,

nor yet the day when he

Deliver'd them out of the hand

of their fierce enemy;

43Nor how great signs in Egypt land

he openly had wrought;

What miracles in Zoan's field

his hand to pass had brought.


44How lakes and rivers ev'ry where

he turned into blood;

So that nor man nor beast could drink

of standing lake or flood.

45He brought among them swarms of flies,

which did them sore annoy;

And divers kinds of filthy frogs

he sent them to destroy.


46He to the caterpillar gave

the fruits of all their soil;

Their labours he deliver'd up

unto the locusts' spoil.

47Their vines with hail, their sycamores

he with the frost did blast:

48Their beasts to hail he gave; their flocks

hot thunderbolts did waste.


49Fierce burning wrath he on them cast,

and indignation strong,

And troubles sore, by sending forth

ill angels them among.

50He to his wrath made way; their soul

from death he did not save;

But over to the pestilence

the lives of them he gave.


51In Egypt land the first-born all

he smote down ev'ry where;

Among the tents of Ham, ev'n these

chief of their strength that were.

52But his own people, like to sheep,

thence to go forth he made;

And he, amidst the wilderness,

them, as a flock, did lead.


53And he them safely on did lead,

so that they did not fear;

Whereas their en'mies by the sea

quite overwhelmed were.

54To borders of his sanctuary

the Lord his people led,

Ev'n to the mount which his right hand

for them had purchased.


55The nations of Canaan,

by his almighty hand,

Before their face he did expel

out of their native land;

Which for inheritance to them

by line he did divide,

And made the tribes of Israel

within their tents abide.


56Yet God most high they did provoke,

and tempted ever still;

And to observe his testimonies

did not incline their will:

57But, like their fathers, turned back,

and dealt unfaithfully:

Aside they turned, like a bow

that shoots deceitfully.


58For they to anger did provoke

him with their places high;

And with their graven images

mov'd him to jealousy.

59When God heard this, he waxed wroth,

and much loath'd Isr'el then:

60So Shiloh's tent he left, the tent

which he had plac'd with men.


61And he his strength delivered

into captivity;

He left his glory in the hand

of his proud enemy.

62His people also he gave o'er

unto the sword's fierce rage:

So sore his wrath inflamed was

against his heritage.


63The fire consum'd their choice young men;

their maids no marriage had;

64And when their priests fell by the sword,

their wives no mourning made.

65But then the Lord arose, as one

that doth from sleep awake;

And like a giant that, by wine

refresh'd, a shout doth make:


66Upon his en'mies' hinder parts

he made his stroke to fall;

And so upon them he did put

a shame perpetual.

67Moreover, he the tabernacle

of Joseph did refuse;

The mighty tribe of Ephraim

he would in no wise chuse:


68But he did chuse Jehudah's tribe

to be the rest above;

And of mount Sion he made choice,

which he so much did love.

69And he his sanctuary built

like to a palace high,

Like to the earth which he did found

to perpetuity.


70Of David, that his servant was,

he also choice did make,

And even from the folds of sheep

was pleased him to take:

71From waiting on the ewes with young,

he brought him forth to feed

Israel, his inheritance,

his people, Jacob's seed.


72So after the integrity

he of his heart them fed;

And by the good skill of his hands

them wisely governed.


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