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Psalms 78

1 - Hear my teaching, my people.Turn 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,his strength, and his wondrous deeds that he has done.
5 - For he established a testimony in Jacob,and appointed a teaching in Israel,which he commanded our fathers,that they should make them known to their children;
6 - that the generation to come might know, even the children who should be born;who should arise and tell their children,
7 - that they might set their hope in God,and not forget God's deeds,but keep his commandments,
8 - and might not be as their fathers,a stubborn and rebellious generation,a generation that didn't make their hearts loyal,whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
9 - The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,turned back in the day of battle.
10 - They didn't keep God's covenant,and refused to walk in his law.
11 - They forgot his doings,his wondrous deeds that he had shown them.
12 - He did marvelous things in the sight of their fathers,in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 - He split the sea, and caused them to pass through.He made the waters stand as a heap.
14 - In the daytime he also led them with a cloud,and all night with a light of fire.
15 - He split rocks in the wilderness,and gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
16 - He brought streams also out of the rock,and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 - Yet they still went on to sin against him,to rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 - They tempted God in their heartby asking food according to their desire.
19 - Yes, they spoke against God.They said, "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 - Behold, he struck the rock, so that waters gushed out,and streams overflowed.Can he give bread also?Will he provide meat for his people?"
21 - Therefore the LORD heard, and was angry.A fire was kindled against Jacob,anger also went up against Israel,
22 - because they didn't believe in God,and didn't trust in his salvation.
23 - Yet he commanded the skies above,and opened the doors of heaven.
24 - He rained down manna on them to eat,and gave them food from the sky.
25 - Man ate the bread of angels.He sent them food to the full.
26 - He caused the east wind to blow in the sky.By his power he guided the south wind.
27 - He rained also meat on them as the dust;winged birds as the sand of the seas.
28 - He let them fall in the middle of their camp,around their habitations.
29 - So they ate, and were well filled.He gave them their own desire.
30 - They didn't turn from their cravings.Their food was yet in their mouths,
31 - when the anger of God went up against them,killed some of their fattest,and struck down the young men of Israel.
32 - For all this they still sinned,and didn't believe in his wondrous works.
33 - Therefore he consumed their days in vanity,and their years in terror.
34 - When he killed them, then they inquired after him.They returned and sought God earnestly.
35 - They remembered that God was their rock,the Most High God, their redeemer.
36 - But they flattered him with their mouth,and lied to him with their tongue.
37 - For their heart was not right with him,neither were they faithful in his covenant.
38 - But he, being merciful, forgave iniquity, and didn't destroy them.Yes, many times he turned his anger away,and didn't stir up all his wrath.
39 - He remembered that they were but flesh,a wind that passes away, and doesn't come again.
40 - How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness,and grieved him in the desert!
41 - They turned again and tempted God,and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42 - They didn't remember his hand,nor the day when he redeemed them from the adversary;
43 - how he set his signs in Egypt,his wonders in the field of Zoan,
44 - he turned their rivers into blood,and their streams, so that they could not drink.
45 - He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them;and frogs, which destroyed them.
46 - He gave also their increase to the caterpillar,and their labor to the locust.
47 - He destroyed their vines with hail,their sycamore fig trees with frost.
48 - He gave over their livestock also to the hail,and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.
49 - He threw on them the fierceness of his anger,wrath, indignation, and trouble,and a band of angels of evil.
50 - He made a path for his anger.He didn't spare their soul from death,but gave their life over to the pestilence,
51 - and struck all the firstborn in Egypt,the chief of their strength in the tents of Ham.
52 - But he led out his own people like sheep,and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 - He led them safely, so that they weren't afraid,but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 - He brought them to the border of his sanctuary,to this mountain, which his right hand had taken.
55 - He also drove out the nations before them,allotted them for an inheritance by line,and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56 - Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God,and didn't keep his testimonies;
57 - but turned back, and dealt treacherously 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 engraved images.
59 - When God heard this, he was angry,and greatly abhorred Israel;
60 - So that he abandoned the tent of Shiloh,the tent which he placed among men;
61 - and delivered his strength into captivity,his glory into the adversary's hand.
62 - He also gave his people over to the sword,and was angry with his inheritance.
63 - Fire devoured their young men.Their virgins had no wedding song.
64 - Their priests fell by the sword,and their widows couldn't weep.
65 - Then the Lord awakened as one out of sleep,like a mighty man who shouts by reason of wine.
66 - He struck his adversaries backward.He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67 - Moreover he rejected the tent of Joseph,and didn't choose the tribe of Ephraim,
68 - But chose the tribe of Judah,Mount Zion which he loved.
69 - 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 have their young,he brought him to be the shepherd of Jacob, his people,and Israel, his inheritance.
72 - So he was their shepherd according to the integrity of his heart,and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.

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Psalms Images and Notes

The Book of Psalms

Psalm 2:7-9 - I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give [thee] the heathen [for] thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth [for] thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Psalm 8:3-4 - When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Psalm 53:1-3 - The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: [there is] none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were [any] that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survey - Psalms
Hebrew Name - Tehillim "praises"
Greek Name - Psalmoi (Greek form of the Hebrew mizmor, meaning instrument songs)
Author - David (According to Tradition)
Date - 1056 BC Approximately
Theme - Give praise to the Lord
Types and Shadows - In Psalms Jesus is the One worthy of all praise

The Tomb of King David in Jerusalem
Painted Sketch of the Tomb of King David in Second Temple Jerusalem

Summary of The Book of Psalms

The title of the Book of Psalms in the Hebrew is sepher tehillim, meaning "book of praises", and indeed it is a fitting title. Every chapter is devoted to praise and thanksgiving from the author to Yahweh. This book clearly provides hope and confidence in the Lord as the maker of all things, the ultimate ruler of everything including the universe. He sees everything, knows everything, he has no limits, his presence is everywhere even in darkness there is no hiding and he is to be praised.

The Psalms are full of religious poetry and this was not uncommon in the ancient Near Eastern nations and peoples, and it was not surprising for the Hebrews to have produced such a powerful work. David was the recognized writer of the Psalms and they are many times referred to as the Psalms of David, although some of the chapters are not attributed to him in the notes.

The Psalms of David included Psalms 2-41 (except Psalms 33), Psalms 51-72, Psalms 108-110, and Psalms 138-145. David was no doubt a very skillful musician, the Bible mentions that he played the lyre for King Saul (1 Samuel 16:23), and the prophet Amos mentions that David invented instruments of music for worship of the Lord (Amos 6:5). There is also mention in the book of Samuel about David lamenting over Saul and Jonathan in a poetic fashion revealing his natural ability.

David went to many experiences in his life that he wrote about, especially when he was hunted down by King Saul from place to place like a "Partridge" in the wilderness. David was a young shepherd, he knew what it was like to tend his flock and to guard them from predators, this gave him a beautiful imagery for the Lord the great Shepherd. David was also a musician, a man of war, a king, a father, a husband, a friend, and many more. He repented over his sin in Psalm 51, acknowledging himself to be a sinner before God and God alone. God called David "a man after my own heart" and these experiences allowed him to share with the reader, a man who knew the heart of God. David was a master at finding different ways to praise God in life experiences and the book of Psalms is a wonder book for those who want to know how to please God. He was filled with the Holy Spirit (1 Samuel 16:13). There is no doubt the David wrote most of the Psalms, and the ones that he did not write are in his style as well.

Among the Psalms are two collections of Levitical Psalms, one is ascribed to the "sons of Korah" (Psalms 42-49), the other is ascribed to Asaph (Psalms 73-83 and Psalms 50). These exalt the tribes of Joseph. There are Psalms mentioning Moses, Haman, Ethan, and Solomon, some are anonymous (Psalm 33, 84-89). Some of the Psalms reveal a strong liturgical emphasis which might've been used in worship services, or on special days and do not mention the author (Psalms 91-100).

It is impossible to determine exactly how the Psalms were compiled and collected, and dating them is also difficult for most of the Psalms. Some of the Psalms are commemorating victories, while others are historical, remembering the Lord and God's people in past events. Other Psalms are prophetic and look to the future and the coming of the Messiah, as well as the heavenly kingdom. There are Psalms of affliction, lamentation and remorse over sin, as well as songs of Thanksgiving and trusting the Lord.

Some of the songs were chosen to be good for reciting on certain Jewish holy days, like the Sabbath, or Passover, the feast of Tabernacles, etc. There are titles on about 100 of the Psalms, the titles are so old that they cannot be understood even in the second century BC. Some of the titles point to the source of the Psalm, while others point to a certain purpose, or a certain melody, or something related to music.

Outline of the Book of Psalms

Psalms is divided into five books : Psalms 1-41, which witness to David's life and faith; Psalms 42-72, a group of historical writings; Psalms 73-99, ritual psalms; Psalms 90-106, reflecting pre-captivity sentiment and history; and Psalms 107-150, dealing with the captivity and return to Jerusalem. These five books are often regarded as the devotional counterpart to the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).


House of David Inscription - Tel Dan Stele

Tel Dan Stele - House of David Inscription
1 Kings 2:11 - And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.

An inscription containing the words "house of David" was found on a black basalt stone slab called the Tel Dan Stele, from Tel Dan, Israel, 9th Century B.C.

 Interesting facts about the Psalms: The book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible. The 119th Psalm is a longest chapter in the whole Bible. The 117th Psalm is the shortest chapter in the Bible and located in the middle. When the Old Testament is quoted in the New Testament by someone, over one third of all the quotes are from the Psalms.

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Empires of David and Solomon
Map of the Empires of David and Solomon (Click to Enlarge)

Quick Reference Maps - Psalms



Zion and the City of David

The Kidron Valley and David's City

The Empire of David and Solomon

The Kingdom of David


Kirjath Jearim

Jabesh Gilead


Judah in the Time of David

The City of Nob and David's Flight

The First Day. Light.

Psalms Resources

Samuel the Prophet
Saul, Israel's First King
King David
King Solomon

More About the Book of Psalms
Psalms in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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