Psalm 78 – A History of Backsliding
TEXT (Hebrew text at end)
1. A maskil.1 Of Asaph.
Give ear, my people, to my instruction; lend your ear to the sayings of my mouth.
2. I will open my mouth with wise utterance, articulate the perplexities of old.
3. Things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us,
4. we will not conceal from their children, telling the future generation the glorious deeds of the LORD and His might and the wonders that He performed.
5. He established a decree in Jacob, placed an instruction in
: that which He commanded our fathers should be made known to their children, Israel
6. so that the future generation, children yet to be born, would know and rise and tell their children.
7. Thus they would place their confidence in God, and not forget the Deity’s great deeds, but observe His commandments,
8. and not be like their fathers, a wayward and defiant generation, a generation that had not readied its heart and whose spirit was unfaithful to the Deity.
9. The Children of Ephraim, armed archers of the bow, turned away on the day of battle;
10. they did not keep the covenant with God, and they refused to follow His instruction,
11. and they forgot His deeds and His wonders that He had showed them.
12. He performed marvels before their fathers, in the
, the Plain-of-Zoan.2 land of Egypt
13. He split the sea open and took them through; He made the waters stand like a dike.
14. He led them by a cloud by day and through the night by the light of fire.
15. He split rocks open in the wilderness and gave drink as if from the great deep.
16. He brought forth streams from a crag and made them flow down like rivers.
17. Yet they continued to sin against Him, defying the Most High in the arid land.
18. They tested the Deity in their heart by demanding something to eat for their gullet.3
19. They spoke against God: they said, “Can the Deity prepare a table in the wilderness?
20. Yes, He struck the rock and water flowed, currents gushed forth; but can He also provide bread or make meat ready for His people?"
21. So the LORD heard and He raged: fire blazed out against Jacob, anger rose up at
22. because they did not put their trust in God, did not rely on His saving power.
23. Yet He commanded the skies up above, opened the doors of heaven
24. and rained on them manna to eat, and gave them heavenly grain.
25. Every man ate the bread of the powerful; He sent them satiating food.
26. He moved the east wind through the heavens, and drove the south wind by His might.
27. He rained meat on them like dust, like the sand of the seas, winged birds,
28. making them fall inside His camp, around His dwelling-place.
29. They ate till totally sated; He brought them what they craved.
30. They had not yet become glutted on what they craved, and what they ate was still in their mouths,
31. when God’s anger rose up against them. He destroyed their sturdiest, brought the young men of
to their knees. Israel
32. Nonetheless, they went on sinning and had no trust in His wonders.
33. He brought their days to an end in futility, their years in terror.
34. At His destruction of them, they sought Him, and once again looked for the Deity.
35. They remembered that God was their Rock, and that the Deity Most High was their Redeemer.
36. Yet they flattered Him with their mouth, lied to Him with their tongue;
37. their heart was not ready to be with Him; they were unfaithful to His covenant.
38. But He, the Merciful One, forgave iniquity and would not annihilate; He again reversed His anger and did not arouse all His fury;
39. for He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing spirit that shall never return.
40. How often they defied Him in the wilderness, grieved Him in the wasteland!
41. They again tested God, provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42. They did not remember His hand, the day He redeemed them from the foe;
43. how He placed His signs within
, His miracles in the Plain-of-Zoan.2 Egypt
44. He turned their rivers into blood; He made their streams undrinkable.
45. He sent forth among them insect swarms to eat them, frogs to annihilate them.
46. He gave their crops over to grasshoppers, their produce to locusts.
47. He killed their vines with hail, their sycamores with frost.1
48. He consigned their beasts to hail, and their cattle to lightning bolts.
49. He sent forth His burning anger in their midst—wrath, indignation, trouble―a delegation4 of evil emissaries.
50. He cleared a path for His anger; He did not save their soul from death, but gave their life over to the plague.
51. He struck all the firstborn in
, the first fruits of their vigor in the tents of Ham.5 Egypt
52. He moved forth His people like sheep, drove them like a flock in the wilderness.
53. He led them to safety, so they were not afraid; as for their enemies, the sea engulfed them.
54. He brought them to the border of His holy place, the mountain His right hand had acquired.
55. He expelled nations before them, allotting their territory to them as a possession; and He caused
’s tribes to dwell in their tents, Israel
56. Yet they tested and defied God Most High, and did not keep His decrees.
57. They retreated and were disloyal like their fathers; they turned back like a treacherous bow.
58. They provoked Him with their high places6, and they incensed Him with their idols.
59. God heard and was enraged, and He totally rejected
60. He abandoned the Dwelling of Shiloh, the tent where He dwelt among men.
61. He gave His might7 over into captivity, His glory7 into the hand of the foe.
62. He consigned His people to the sword; He was enraged at His own possession.
63. Fire ate up their young men, and their maidens remained unwed.8
64. Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows could not weep.
65. Then the Lord awoke like one who was asleep; like a warrior screaming from wine,
66. He beat back His foes, giving them eternal shame.
67. He rejected the tent of Joseph; He chose not the tribe of Ephraim,
68. but chose the tribe of
, Judah , which He loves. Mount Zion
69. He built His holy sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth that He established―forever.
70. He chose David, His servant, and He took him from the sheepfolds.
71. He brought him from tending the nursing ewes to shepherd His people
, His possession. Jacob, Israel
72. He shepherded them with a heart of integrity; with his skillful hands, he led them.
1. Meaning of the Hebrew uncertain.
2. One-time royal capital of
3. “Gullet” verse 18 and “soul,” verse 50, are the same term.
4. Same root as "send" in this verse and verses 25 and 45.
5. That is,
(see Gen. 10:6). Egypt
6. Refers to places of pagan sacrifice.
7. Refers to the
8. Literally, “did not have their praises sung” (i.e., in wedding celebration).
Psalm 78 is quite unlike all the others. It is the second longest psalm, and although it opens with a distinctive didactic introduction, similar in some respects to openings in Proverbs (and see Psalm 49), its historical and national emphases differ markedly from Wisdom literature.
Ostensibly, the poem carries out the repeated command to relate the Exodus story to future generations (cf. Exod. 10:2; 12:26f.; 13:8,14), but the lessons of history are stressed, not history itself (which is told partially and not chronologically). Anyone not familiar with the Bible will find Psalm 78 difficult to follow, since it includes an enormous number of references to earlier events. Furthermore, one familiar with those stories will be puzzled, as phrases from one event are used for another, the order of events is sometimes reversed, and tales are summarized with striking omissions (e.g., only seven of the ten plagues are included and the desert period omits any mention of Sinai).
The historical concentration and length of the poem also lead to large numbers of term and root repetitions (over seventy!), making the search for the implications of repetition, to the degree that they exist, extremely difficult.
I describe Psalm 78 from the general to the specific, as follows: the frame of the psalm (and the implied date of writing), the historiography (with theological and historical implications), and the cadence of the poem and its poetic language. I end with thoughts about the reader and the psalm and additional notes (on the absence of Sinai and an attempt to identify the most important references).
The Frame and Date of the Poem
The phrase “Children of Ephraim” appears after the introduction (v. 9) and is echoed near the end by the “Tribe of Ephraim” (v. 67). In light of early history, given the final emphasis on David, this enclosure is significant. Subsequent to the kingships of David and his son Solomon, the country split politically north and south, the latter under the Davidic dynasty, ruling from
, and the former with other kings and centers. “Ephraim” was the largest of the ten tribes that made up the North. Thus the text seems polemical, rejecting the North and endorsing the South, either as a taunt to the North or reinforcement for the South, seeking to ensure loyalty to the Davidic line. Jerusalem
The date of the psalm must be near that of the division (c. 921 BCE). On one hand, the
(built by Solomon) stands. On the other hand, were the date of writing significantly later, surely the rejection of David and Temple by the North would appear within the framework of past sins of the people. A linguistic consideration reinforces this early dating. Psalm 78, more than any of the other psalms, uses the imperfect mode for verbs indicating past tense, an inheritance from Ugaritic. Dahood opines that this makes it a very early psalm, toward Davidic times. (The date of the psalm is significant, as I show below.) Jerusalem
One other word repetition seems particularly important, “he led them,” the last Hebrew word of the psalm, which also appears in verses 14 and 53. It refers twice to God and in the end it refers to David, an apt summary of both of the psalm’s emphases, historical and political.
Psalm 78 weaves back and forth through history. From his own time the speaker returns to the salvation that the people forgot, the Exodus, followed by a long recollection of the desert wanderings that followed, with their ups and downs. This ends by noting that in the desert they did not recall the wonders of
, which only then are detailed, through the plagues and up to the Exodus. The account then skips forward (after v. 53) to the entrance into the land, the period of the Judges and its idolatry, God’s punishment and the forfeit of His sanctuary, and finally forward to His renewed beneficence, with the choice of Egypt and David. This is not a consecutive history, nor do details appear in time order (e.g., here Jerusalem is chosen before David). Such blatant changes certainly do not indicate an alternate historical account, but have rather a different purpose. All changes noted point toward an historical reflection, not an historical record. Mount Zion
The presented historiography is a sad account of cyclical forgetting and rebellion. The two terms “test” and “defy” appear together three times (vv. 17–18, 40–41, and 56), setting the tone. There are five mentions of forgetting or not remembering. Evidently, the past is detailed so that it will not be repeated.
Before further comment on the historiography, I note one historical observation that is interesting for us as readers from a distance. This entire poem implies an audience for whom the history and its specific articulation are both very familiar. There is no way to follow this psalm otherwise. Therefore the date is of great import, for we encounter here an Israelite community of the mid-tenth century BCE familiar both with the salvational history (Exodus, desert, entrance into
, and period of the Judges) and with texts found in the Bible, an indication of the antiquity of the narratives and a broad-based familiarity with them. Israel
I return to the historiography. There are two actors, the people and God. The former are wont to forget, to rebel, and to doubt God’s abilities. They respond to punishment, only to slip back afterward into duplicity, as the cycle begins again. However, God also exhibits erratic behavior. He acts out of grace, flares up in anger and punishes, but takes pity and accepts repentance (even if it is not sincere!). Several of His salvational acts remain unexplained.
All this leaves much room for thought. Forgetting seems a sin among humans and a desideratum for God. Historically, cause-and-effect sometimes holds and sometimes does not. Man’s capricious backsliding is bemoaned, but God’s capricious grace is applauded. Motivation for obedience alternates between appreciation and fear. Although the purpose of this early work is didactic/motivational, the theology is challenging (is there a logic to when God acts as he does?) and the sociology sad (is the cycle inevitable?).
Psalm 78 as Read
Evidently time-connected, Psalm 78 was nevertheless included in the corpus of Psalms. What impression does it make?
Here the reader confronts major contentions. God exhibits grace, anger, forgiveness, and determination (to try again). The people, on the other hand, have an almost limitless capacity to forget, with only fleeting moments of (occasionally sincere) repentance. History is depressingly cyclical. In fact, one wonders whether the poet would have been optimistic or pessimistic about the chances of his message having any effect.
Beyond vicissitudes, the Exodus remains the one event to which one can constantly return. In this, as well as in the tone of the entire poem, Psalm 78 typifies one of the great ongoing Israelite/Jewish emphases—its religion would remain for all time a religion of history.
By the end, the term “perplexities” (v. 2) has gained importance. If it is more than a stock phrase of the Wisdom opening, what is its implication? The psalm makes no claim to unravel the perplexities noted, just to articulate them. Much remains unresolved, particularly the people forgetting and rebelling so constantly, and God continuing to try (even in finally bringing forth David!).
Finally, the poet’s declared didactic purpose (vv. 7, 8) is to end this cycle, hoping that the descendants will not be like their forebears. The psalm survived. The reader is to judge its effect since its writing.
The Poetic Cadence
Psalm 78 is clearly poetry, marked by ongoing parallel phrases and a very smooth flow, almost a rhythm. Repetition of terms, a meaningful usage in most poetry, is ubiquitous here, but so much so that it is difficult to define its roles. The phenomenon is almost more tantalizing than informative. That said, I note the following.
No one term is repeated often enough to be a guideword of Psalm 78. The roots that are repeated three or more times derive in most part from the history surveyed, such as “fire,” “eat,” “return” (sometimes translated “revert” or “reverse”), “dwell,” “generation,” “wonders” “rage,” “father,” “child,” “anger,” and “hear.” Attempts to divide the poem on the basis of such repetitions are unconvincing.
Any reader, of course, may find meaning in a specific repetition. For example, might the use of the same term, “again,” in verses 34 and 41 create an irony, one reversion toward God, one away from Him? Might the use of “remember” and “not remember” (vv. 35, 42) emphasize the shortness of memory?
A connection always seems more probable when more than one term is involved. I find it no accident, for example, that both God and David “led” the “people” as “sheep” (vv. 52–53, 70–72). God’s propulsion of the winds and of his People uses the same verbs, “moved” and “drove” (vv. 26, 52). The terms “heart” “unfaithful,” and (not) “steadfast” describe the forefathers both in the introduction and the description of the desert period (vv. 8, 37). “Hear,” “enrage,” and “
” are used both for the desert period (v. 21) and the period of the Judges (v. 57). Similarly, “turned” and “bow” describe the disloyalty during the Judges’ period and the speaker’s own time (vv. 10 and 57). Recall also the refrain of “test” and “defy” in verses 17–18, 40–41, and 56, setting a tone for the psalm. Israel
Psalm 78 also includes appealing use of language, including occasional plays on words, such as “futility” and “terror” (roots h-b-l, b-h-l, v. 33) and “from the foe” and “
” (mini-tsar, mitsrayim, vv. 42–3). In verse 19, the beginning and end reflect each other in homonymic roots—“they spoke” and “wilderness” (root d-b-r). Egypt
There are a number of phrases with more than one meaning. “Instruction” (Torah) in verse 1 may have a second implication in verse 5, a more formal body of law and norms. In verse 9, “archers” of the bow may also imply “treacherous men,” which is another meaning of that root (r-m-h). In verse 18, the last term means gullet and/or soul (see note 3). In verse 33 the words “futility” and “terror” also both bear the implication of rapidity. In verse 41 the term translated “again” (root, sh-u-v) has three complementary meanings: “backslid,” “repeatedly,” and “continuously.” The “border of His Holy place” (v. 54) is delightfully unclear, referring to the
, land of Israel , the Jerusalem , or the Temple Mount . Temple
* * * * * * * *
Sinai – Various commentators dwell on the absence of any reference in Psalm 78 to the Revelation at Sinai (and the story of the Golden Calf!). However, in principle, one should never draw conclusions from the silence of a text. (There is simply an enormous number of possible explanations.) One should note, however, that throughout the Bible the Exodus is a much more cited than the Sinai Revelation.
The Literary References – Only a full verse-by-verse commentary can adequately pinpoint the many phrases that Psalm 78 borrowed from other sections of the biblical narrative. The English-speaking reader interested in exploring these is referred to one of two older commentaries, both of which do an excellent job at pointing these out―Kirkpatrick and A. Cohen. Hebrew-speaking readers are referred to Hacham. (See the bibliographical details at the end of the Introduction to these essays on the website.)
Historical References – The history of the Exodus is found in Exodus 1–14; the rebellions here recalled in Exodus 16 and 17 and Numbers 11, 14, 20, and 21 (with repeated accounts in Deuteronomy); the fall of Shiloh and the Ark in I Samuel 4. The first reference, to a retreat by the Tribe of Ephraim, is not recorded elsewhere.
The author of these essays is Rabbi Benjamin Segal, former president of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies in
and author of The Song of Songs: A Woman in Love ( Jerusalem : Gefen, 2009). This material is copyright by the author, and may not be reproduced. If you are interested in using the texts for study groups, please be in direct contact with the author, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jerusalem
(א) מַשְׂכִּיל לְאָסָף הַאֲזִינָה עַמִּי תּוֹרָתִי הַטּוּ אָזְנְכֶם לְאִמְרֵי פִי:
(ב) אֶפְתְּחָה בְמָשָׁל פִּי אַבִּיעָה חִידוֹת מִנִּי קֶדֶם:
(ג) אֲשֶׁר שָׁמַעְנוּ וַנֵּדָעֵם וַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ סִפְּרוּ לָנוּ:
(ד) לֹא נְכַחֵד מִבְּנֵיהֶם לְדוֹר אַחֲרוֹן מְסַפְּרִים תְּהִלּוֹת יְהֹוָה וֶעֱזוּזוֹ וְנִפְלְאֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה:
(ה) וַיָּקֶם עֵדוּת בְּיַעֲקֹב וְתוֹרָה שָׂם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶת אֲבוֹתֵינוּ לְהוֹדִיעָם לִבְנֵיהֶם:
(ו) לְמַעַן יֵדְעוּ דּוֹר אַחֲרוֹן בָּנִים יִוָּלֵדוּ יָקֻמוּ וִיסַפְּרוּ לִבְנֵיהֶם:
(ז) וְיָשִׂימוּ בֵאלֹהִים כִּסְלָם וְלֹא יִשְׁכְּחוּ מַעַלְלֵי אֵל וּמִצְוֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ:
(ח) וְלֹא יִהְיוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם דּוֹר סוֹרֵר וּמֹרֶה דּוֹר לֹא הֵכִין לִבּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנָה אֶת אֵל רוּחוֹ:
(ט) בְּנֵי אֶפְרַיִם נוֹשְׁקֵי רוֹמֵי קָשֶׁת הָפְכוּ בְּיוֹם קְרָב:
(י) לֹא שָׁמְרוּ בְּרִית אֱלֹהִים וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ מֵאֲנוּ לָלֶכֶת:
(יא) וַיִּשְׁכְּחוּ עֲלִילוֹתָיו וְנִפְלְאוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר הֶרְאָם:
(יב) נֶגֶד אֲבוֹתָם עָשָׂה פֶלֶא בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם שְׂדֵה צֹעַן:
(יג) בָּקַע יָם וַיַּעֲבִירֵם וַיַּצֶּב מַיִם כְּמוֹ נֵד:
(יד) וַיַּנְחֵם בֶּעָנָן יוֹמָם וְכָל הַלַּיְלָה בְּאוֹר אֵשׁ:
(טו) יְבַקַּע צֻרִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיַּשְׁקְ כִּתְהֹמוֹת רַבָּה:
(טז) וַיּוֹצִא נוֹזְלִים מִסָּלַע וַיּוֹרֶד כַּנְּהָרוֹת מָיִם:
(יז) וַיּוֹסִיפוּ עוֹד לַחֲטֹא לוֹ לַמְרוֹת עֶלְיוֹן בַּצִּיָּה:
(יח) וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל בִּלְבָבָם לִשְׁאָל אֹכֶל לְנַפְשָׁם:
(יט) וַיְדַבְּרוּ בֵּאלֹהִים אָמְרוּ הֲיוּכַל אֵל לַעֲרֹךְ שֻׁלְחָן בַּמִּדְבָּר:
(כ) הֵן הִכָּה צוּר וַיָּזוּבוּ מַיִם וּנְחָלִים יִשְׁטֹפוּ הֲגַם לֶחֶם יוּכַל תֵּת אִם יָכִין שְׁאֵר לְעַמּוֹ:
(כא) לָכֵן שָׁמַע יְהֹוָה וַיִּתְעַבָּר וְאֵשׁ נִשְֹּקָה בְיַעֲקֹב וְגַם אַף עָלָה בְיִשְׂרָאֵל:
(כב) כִּי לֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בֵּאלֹהִים וְלֹא בָטְחוּ בִּישׁוּעָתוֹ:
(כג) וַיְצַו שְׁחָקִים מִמָּעַל וְדַלְתֵי שָׁמַיִם פָּתָח:
(כד) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם מָן לֶאֱכֹל וּדְגַן שָׁמַיִם נָתַן לָמוֹ:
(כה) לֶחֶם אַבִּירִים אָכַל אִישׁ צֵידָה שָׁלַח לָהֶם לָשׂבַע:
(כו) יַסַּע קָדִים בַּשָּׁמָיִם וַיְנַהֵג בְּעֻזּוֹ תֵימָן:
(כז) וַיַּמְטֵר עֲלֵיהֶם כֶּעָפָר שְׁאֵר וּכְחוֹל יַמִּים עוֹף כָּנָף:
(כח) וַיַּפֵּל בְּקֶרֶב מַחֲנֵהוּ סָבִיב לְמִשְׁכְּנֹתָיו:
(כט) וַיֹּאכְלוּ וַיִּשְׂבְּעוּ מְאֹד וְתַאֲוָתָם יָבִא לָהֶם:
(ל) לֹא זָרוּ מִתַּאֲוָתָם עוֹד אָכְלָם בְּפִיהֶם:
(לא) וְאַף אֱלֹהִים עָלָה בָהֶם וַיַּהֲרֹג בְּמִשְׁמַנֵּיהֶם וּבַחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הִכְרִיעַ:
(לב) בְּכָל זֹאת חָטְאוּ עוֹד וְלֹא הֶאֱמִינוּ בְּנִפְלְאוֹתָיו:
(לג) וַיְכַל בַּהֶבֶל יְמֵיהֶם וּשְׁנוֹתָם בַּבֶּהָלָה:
(לד) אִם הֲרָגָם וּדְרָשׁוּהוּ וְשָׁבוּ וְשִׁחֲרוּ אֵל:
(לה) וַיִּזְכְּרוּ כִּי אֱלֹהִים צוּרָם וְאֵל עֶלְיוֹן גֹּאֲלָם:
(לו) וַיְפַתּוּהוּ בְּפִיהֶם וּבִלְשׁוֹנָם יְכַזְּבוּ לוֹ:
(לז) וְלִבָּם לֹא נָכוֹן עִמּוֹ וְלֹא נֶאֶמְנוּ בִּבְרִיתוֹ:
(לח) וְהוּא רַחוּם יְכַפֵּר עָוֹן וְלֹא יַשְׁחִית וְהִרְבָּה לְהָשִׁיב אַפּוֹ וְלֹא יָעִיר כָּל חֲמָתוֹ:
(לט) וַיִּזְכֹּר כִּי בָשָׂר הֵמָּה רוּחַ הוֹלֵךְ וְלֹא יָשׁוּב:
(מ) כַּמָּה יַמְרוּהוּ בַמִּדְבָּר יַעֲצִיבוּהוּ בִּישִׁימוֹן:
(מא) וַיָּשׁוּבוּ וַיְנַסּוּ אֵל וּקְדוֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל הִתְווּ:
(מב) לֹא זָכְרוּ אֶת יָדוֹ יוֹם אַשֶׁר פָּדָם מִנִּי צָר:
(מג) אֲשֶׁר שָׂם בְּמִצְרַיִם אֹתוֹתָיו וּמוֹפְתָיו בִּשְׂדֵה צֹעַן:
(מד) וַיַּהֲפֹךְ לְדָם יְאֹרֵיהֶם וְנֹזְלֵיהֶם בַּל יִשְׁתָּיוּן:
(מה) יְשַׁלַּח בָּהֶם עָרֹב וַיֹּאכְלֵם וּצְפַרְדֵּעַ וַתַּשְׁחִיתֵם:
(מו) וַיִּתֵּן לֶחָסִיל יְבוּלָם וִיגִיעָם לָאַרְבֶּה:
(מז) יַהֲרֹג בַּבָּרָד גַּפְנָם וְשִׁקְמוֹתָם בַּחֲנָמַל:
(מח) וַיַּסְגֵּר לַבָּרָד בְּעִירָם וּמִקְנֵיהֶם לָרְשָׁפִים:
(מט) יְשַׁלַּח בָּם חֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ עֶבְרָה וָזַעַם וְצָרָה מִשְׁלַחַת מַלְאֲכֵי רָעִים:
(נ) יְפַלֵּס נָתִיב לְאַפּוֹ לֹא חָשַׂךְ מִמָּוֶת נַפְשָׁם וְחַיָּתָם לַדֶּבֶר הִסְגִּיר:
(נא) וַיַּךְ כָּל בְּכוֹר בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אוֹנִים בְּאָהֳלֵי חָם:
(נב) וַיַּסַּע כַּצֹּאן עַמּוֹ וַיְנַהֲגֵם כַּעֵדֶר בַּמִּדְבָּר:
(נג) וַיַּנְחֵם לָבֶטַח וְלֹא פָחָדוּ וְאֶת אוֹיְבֵיהֶם כִּסָּה הַיָּם:
(נד) וַיְבִיאֵם אֶל גְּבוּל קָדְשׁוֹ הַר זֶה קָנְתָה יְמִינוֹ:
(נה) וַיְגָרֶשׁ מִפְּנֵיהֶם גּוֹיִם וַיַּפִּילֵם בְּחֶבֶל נַחֲלָה וַיַּשְׁכֵּן בְּאָהֳלֵיהֶם שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
(נו) וַיְנַסּוּ וַיַּמְרוּ אֶת אֱלֹהִים עֶלְיוֹן וְעֵדוֹתָיו לֹא שָׁמָרוּ:
(נז) וַיִּסֹּגוּ וַיִּבְגְּדוּ כַּאֲבוֹתָם נֶהְפְּכוּ כְּקֶשֶׁת רְמִיָּה:
(נח) וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ בְּבָמוֹתָם וּבִפְסִילֵיהֶם יַקְנִיאוּהוּ:
(נט) שָׁמַע אֱלֹהִים וַיִּתְעַבָּר וַיִּמְאַס מְאֹד בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל:
(ס) וַיִּטֹּשׁ מִשְׁכַּן שִׁלוֹ אֹהֶל שִׁכֵּן בָּאָדָם:
(סא) וַיִּתֵּן לַשְּׁבִי עֻזּוֹ וְתִפְאַרְתּוֹ בְיַד צָר:
(סב) וַיַּסְגֵּר לַחֶרֶב עַמּוֹ וּבְנַחֲלָתוֹ הִתְעַבָּר:
(סג) בַּחוּרָיו אָכְלָה אֵשׁ וּבְתוּלֹתָיו לֹא הוּלָּלוּ:
(סד) כֹּהֲנָיו בַּחֶרֶב נָפָלוּ וְאַלְמְנֹתָיו לֹא תִבְכֶּינָה:
(סה) וַיִּקַץ כְּיָשֵׁן אֲדֹנָי כְּגִבּוֹר מִתְרוֹנֵן מִיָּיִן:
(סו) וַיַּךְ צָרָיו אָחוֹר חֶרְפַּת עוֹלָם נָתַן לָמוֹ:
(סז) וַיִּמְאַס בְּאֹהֶל יוֹסֵף וּבְשֵׁבֶט אֶפְרַיִם לֹא בָחָר:
(סח) וַיִּבְחַר אֶת שֵׁבֶט יְהוּדָה אֶת הַר צִיּוֹן אֲשֶׁר אָהֵב:
(סט) וַיִּבֶן כְּמוֹ רָמִים מִקְדָּשׁוֹ כְּאֶרֶץ יְסָדָהּ לְעוֹלָם:
(ע) וַיִּבְחַר בְּדָוִד עַבְדּוֹ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מִמִּכְלְאֹת צֹאן:
(עא) מֵאַחַר עָלוֹת הֱבִיאוֹ לִרְעוֹת בְּיַעֲקֹב עַמּוֹ וּבְיִשְׂרָאֵל נַחֲלָתוֹ:
(עב) וַיִּרְעֵם כְּתֹם לְבָבוֹ וּבִתְבוּנוֹת כַּפָּיו יַנְחֵם: