Listen, my people, to my teaching; incline your ear to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable, I will utter riddles of long ago; that which we have heard and know to be true, and that our fathers have told us.
We will not withhold from their children, telling the final generation the praises of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders He has performed. He established a testimony in Jacob, and set down the Torah in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to make known to their children, so that the last generation shall know; children yet to be born will rise and tell their children, and they shall put their hope in God, and not forget the works of the Almighty; and they shall guard His commandments.
And they shall not be like their fathers, a wayward and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart straight, and whose spirit was not faithful to God. The children of Ephraim, armed archers, retreated on the day of battle. They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to follow His Torah. They forgot His deeds and His wonders that He had shown them. He performed wonders before their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.He split the sea and brought them across; He erected the waters like a wall. He led them with a cloud by day, and all night long with the light of fire. He split rocks in the wilderness, and gave them to drink as if from the abundant depths. And He brought forth flowing waters from the rock, and caused waters to descend like rivers.
Yet they again continued to sin against Him, to provoke the Most High in the parched land. 18. And they tested God in their hearts, by requesting food for their craving. They spoke against God; they said, "Can God set a table in the wilderness? True, He hit the rock and waters flowed, streams gushed forth; but can He also give bread? Will He prepare meat for His people?” And so the Lord heard and was enraged; a fire was kindled against Jacob; wrath, too, flared against Israel.
For they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation, though He had commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven. He had rained upon them manna to eat, and given them grain of heaven. Man ate the bread of angels; He sent them enough provisions to satiate.
He drove the east wind through the heaven, and led the south wind with His might. He rained meat upon them like dust, winged birds like the sand of seas; and He dropped them inside His camp, around His dwellings. And they ate and were very satiated, for He brought them their desire. They were not yet estranged from their craving, their food was still in their mouths, when the wrath of God rose against them and slew their mighty ones, and brought down the chosen of Israel.
Despite this, they sinned again, and did not believe in His wonders; so He ended their days in futility, and their years in terror. When He slew them they would seek Him, they would return and pray to God. They remembered that God is their rock, God the Most High, their redeemer. But they beguiled Him with their mouth, and deceived Him with their tongue. Their heart was not steadfast with Him; they were not faithful to His covenant.
Yet He is compassionate, pardons iniquity, and does not destroy; time and again He turns away His anger, and does not arouse all His wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a spirit that leaves and does not return. How often they provoked Him in the desert, and grieved Him in the wasteland! Again and again they tested God, and sought a sign from the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His hand, the day He redeemed them from the oppressor; that He set His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan. He turned their rivers to blood, and made their flowing waters undrinkable. He sent against them a mixture of beasts which devoured them, and frogs that destroyed them. He gave their produce to the grasshopper, and their toil to the locust. He killed their vines with hail, and their sycamores with biting frost. He delivered their animals to the hail, and their livestock to fiery bolts.
He sent against them His fierce anger, fury, rage, and affliction; a delegation of messengers of evil. He leveled a path for His anger, and did not spare their soul from death; He delivered their animals to pestilence. He struck every firstborn in Egypt, the first fruit of their strength in the tents of Ham. He drove His nation like sheep, and guided them like a flock in the desert. He led them in security and they did not fear, for the sea covered their enemies.
And He brought them to the boundary of His holy place, this mountain which His right hand acquired. He drove out nations before them, and allotted them an inheritance measured by the cord; He settled the tribes of Israel in their tents. Yet they tested and defied God, the Most High, and did not keep His testimonies. They regressed and rebelled like their fathers; they turned around like a deceptive bow. They angered Him with their high altars, and provoked Him with their idols.
God heard and was enraged, and He was utterly disgusted with Israel; He abandoned the Tabernacle of Shilo, the Tent where He had dwelled among men.He put His might into captivity, and His glory into the hand of the oppressor. He delivered His nation to the sword, and was enraged with His inheritance. Fire consumed His young men, and His maidens had no marriage song. His priests fell by the sword, and their widows did not weep.
And the Lord awoke like one who had been asleep, like a warrior shouting to sober himself] from wine.He beat His enemies into retreat, and dealt them eternal disgrace. He was disgusted with the tent of Joseph, and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim. He chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion which He loves. And He built His Sanctuary permanent as the heavens; like the earth, He established it forever. And He chose David His servant, and took him from the sheep corrals. From following the nursing ewes, He brought Him to shepherd His nation Jacob, Israel His inheritance. And he tended them with the integrity of his heart, and led them with the skill of his hands.