NEW KING JAMES VERSION
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.
5 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 children;
6 That the generation to come might know them,
The children who would be born,
That they may arise and declare them to their children,
7 That they may set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments;
8 And may not be like their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation,
A generation that did not set its heart aright,
And whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,
Turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep the covenant of God;
They refused to walk in His law,
11 And forgot His works
And His wonders that He had shown them.
12 Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea and caused them to pass through;
And He made the waters stand up like a heap.
14 In the daytime also He led them with the cloud,
And all the night with a light of fire.
15 He split the rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them drink in abundance like the depths.
16 He also brought streams out of the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 But they sinned even more against Him
By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness.
18 And they tested God in their heart
By asking for the food of their fancy.
19 Yes, they spoke against God:
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 Behold, He struck the rock,
So that the waters gushed out,
And the streams overflowed.
Can He give bread also?
Can He provide meat for His people?”
21 Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious;
So a fire was kindled against Jacob,
And anger also came up against Israel,
22 Because they did not believe in God,
And did not trust in His salvation.
23 Yet He had commanded the clouds above,
And opened the doors of heaven,
24 Had rained down manna on them to eat,
And given them of the bread of heaven.
25 Men ate angels’ food;
He sent them food to the full.
26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heavens;
And by His power He brought in the south wind.
27 He also rained meat on them like the dust,
Feathered fowl like the sand of the seas;
28 And He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
All around their dwellings.
29 So they ate and were well filled,
For He gave them their own desire.
30 They were not deprived of their craving;
But while their food was still in their mouths,
31 The wrath of God came against them,
And slew the stoutest of them,
And struck down the choice men of Israel.
32 In spite of this they still sinned,
And did not believe in His wondrous works.
33 Therefore their days He consumed in futility,
And their years in fear.
34 When He slew them, then they sought Him;
And they returned and sought earnestly for God.
35 Then they remembered that God was their rock,
And the Most High God their Redeemer.
36 Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouth,
And they lied to Him with their tongue;
37 For their heart was not steadfast with Him,
Nor were they faithful in His covenant.
38 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity,
And did not destroy them.
Yes, many a time He turned His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath;
39 For He remembered that they were but flesh,
A breath that passes away and does not come again.
40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness,
And grieved Him in the desert!
41 Yes, again and again they tempted God,
And limited the Holy One of Israel.
42 They did not remember His power:
The day when He redeemed them from the enemy,
43 When He worked His signs in Egypt,
And His wonders in the field of Zoan;
44 Turned their rivers into blood,
And their streams, that they could not drink.
45 He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them,
And frogs, which destroyed them.
46 He also gave their crops to the caterpillar,
And their labor to the locust.
47 He destroyed their vines with hail,
And their sycamore trees with frost.
48 He also gave up their cattle to the hail,
And their flocks to fiery lightning.
49 He cast on them the fierceness of His anger,
Wrath, indignation, and trouble,
By sending angels of destruction among them.
50 He made a path for His anger;
He did not spare their soul from death,
But gave their life over to the plague,
51 And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt,
The first of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 But He made His own people go forth like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock;
53 And He led them on safely, so that they did not fear;
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And He brought them to His holy border,
This mountain which His right hand had acquired.
55 He also drove out the nations before them,
Allotted them an inheritance by survey,
And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they tested and provoked the Most High God,
And did not keep His testimonies,
57 But turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers;
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.
58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their carved images.
59 When God heard this, He was furious,
And greatly abhorred Israel,
60 So that He forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh,
The tent He had placed among men,
61 And delivered His strength into captivity,
And His glory into the enemy’s hand.
62 He also gave His people over to the sword,
And was furious with His inheritance.
63 The fire consumed their young men,
And their maidens were not given in marriage.
64 Their priests fell by the sword,
And their widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
Like a mighty man who shouts because of wine.
66 And He beat back His enemies;
He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67 Moreover He rejected the tent of Joseph,
And did not choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which He loved.
69 And He built His sanctuary like the heights,
Like the earth which He has established forever.
70 He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION
My friends, I beg you
to listen as I teach.
2 I will give instruction
and explain the mystery
of what happened long ago.
3 These are things we learned
from our ancestors,
4 and we will tell them
to the next generation.
We won’t keep secret
the glorious deeds
and the mighty miracles
of the Lord.
5 God gave his Law
to Jacob’s descendants,
the people of Israel.
And he told our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so that each new generation
would know his Law
and tell it to the next.
7 Then they would trust God
and obey his teachings,
without forgetting anything
God had done.
8 They would be different
from their ancestors,
who were stubborn, rebellious,
and unfaithful to God.
9 The warriors from Ephraim
were armed with arrows,
but they ran away
when the battle began.
10 They broke their agreement
and they turned their backs
on his teaching.
11 They forgot all he had done,
even the mighty miracles
12 he did for their ancestors
near Zoan in Egypt.
13 God made a path in the sea
and piled up the water
as he led them across.
14 He guided them during the day
with a cloud,
and each night he led them
with a flaming fire.
15 God made water flow
he split open
in the desert,
and his people drank freely,
as though from a lake.
16 He made streams gush out
like rivers from rocks.
17 But in the desert,
the people of God Most High
kept sinning and rebelling.
18 They stubbornly tested God
and demanded from him
what they wanted to eat.
19 They challenged God by saying,
“Can God provide food
out here in the desert?
20 It’s true God struck the rock
and water gushed out
like a river,
but can he give his people
bread and meat?”
21 When the Lord heard this,
he was angry and furious
with Jacob’s descendants,
the people of Israel.
22 They had refused to trust him,
and they had doubted
his saving power.
23 But God gave a command
to the clouds,
and he opened the doors
in the skies.
24 From heaven he sent grain
that they called manna.
25 He gave them more than enough,
and each one of them ate
this special food.
26 God’s mighty power
brought a strong wind
from the southeast,
27 and it brought birds
that covered the ground,
like sand on the beach.
28 Then God made the birds fall
in the camp of his people
near their tents.
29 God gave his people
all they wanted,
and each of them ate
until they were full.
30 But before they had swallowed
the last bite,
31 God became angry and killed
from the families of Israel.
32 But the rest kept on sinning
and would not trust
33 So he cut their lives short
and made them terrified.
34 After he killed some of them,
the others turned to him
with all their hearts.
35 They remembered God Most High,
the mighty rock
that kept them safe.
36 But they tried to flatter God,
and they told him lies;
37 they were unfaithful
and broke their promises.
38 Yet God was kind.
He kept forgiving their sins
and didn’t destroy them.
He often became angry,
but never lost his temper.
39 God remembered that they
were made of flesh
and were like a wind
that blows once
and then dies down.
40 While they were in the desert,
they often rebelled
and made God sad.
41 They kept testing him
and caused terrible pain
for the Holy One of Israel.
42 They forgot about his power
and how he had rescued them
from their enemies.
43 God showed them all kinds
of wonderful miracles
near Zoan in Egypt.
44 He turned the rivers of Egypt
and no one could drink
from the streams.
45 He sent swarms of flies
to pester the Egyptians,
and he sent frogs
to cause them trouble.
46 God let worms and grasshoppers
eat their crops.
47 He destroyed their grapevines
and their fig trees
with hail and floods.
48 Then he killed their cattle
and their other animals
49 God was so angry and furious
that he went into a rage
and caused them great trouble
by sending swarms
of destroying angels.
50 God gave in to his anger
and slaughtered them
in a terrible way.
51 He killed the first-born son
of each Egyptian family.
52 Then God led his people
out of Egypt
and guided them in the desert
like a flock of sheep.
53 He led them safely along,
and they were not afraid,
but their enemies drowned
in the sea.
54 God brought his people
to the sacred mountain
that he had taken
by his own power.
55 He made nations run
from the tribes of Israel,
and he let the tribes
take over their land.
56 But the people tested
God Most High,
and they refused
to obey his laws.
57 They were as unfaithful
as their ancestors,
and they were as crooked
as a twisted arrow.
58 God demanded all their love,
but they made him angry
by worshiping idols.
59 So God became furious
and completely rejected
the people of Israel.
60 Then he deserted his home
where he lived
here on earth.
61 He let enemies capture
the sacred chest
and let them dishonor him.
62 God took out his anger
on his chosen ones
and let them be killed
by enemy swords.
63 Fire destroyed the young men,
and the young women were left
with no one to marry.
64 Priests died violent deaths,
but their widows
were not allowed to mourn.
65 Finally the Lord woke up,
and he shouted
like a drunken soldier.
66 God scattered his enemies
and made them ashamed
67 Then the Lord decided
not to make his home
with Joseph’s descendants
68 Instead he chose the tribe
and he chose Mount Zion,
the place he loves.
69 There he built his temple
as lofty as the mountains
and as solid as the earth
that he had made
to last forever.
70 The Lord God chose David
to be his servant
and took him
from tending sheep
71 and from caring for lambs.
Then God made him the leader
of Israel, his own nation.
72 David treated the people fairly
and guided them with wisdom.