Psalm 77. Attendite, popule
God's providence in the history of Israel
To me, too, God was faithful: I was the faithless one
The Psalm is a sort of poetic
chronicle, recording the history of Israel from the exodus out of Egypt up
to the crowning of King David. God's long-suffering patience is
vividly depicted. Despite the constant infidelity of Israel, his
patience is not exhausted. We must figuratively strike our breast when
we pray this Psalm; we marvel at God's patience with ourselves.
Hearken unto the lesson of history
pópule meus, legem meam: * inclináte aurem vestram in verba oris mei.
2 Apériam in parábolis os meum: * loquar propositiónes ab inítio.
3 Quanta audívimus et cognóvimus ea: * et patres nostri narravérunt
4 Non sunt occultáta a fíliis eórum: * in generatióne áltera.
5 Narrántes laudes Dómini, et virtútes ejus: * et mirabília
ejus, quæ fecit.
Hear my law, O
my people; * incline your ears unto the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable; * I will declare the
propositions from of old;
3 How great things we have heard and known, * and such as our fathers have
4 They have not been hidden from their children : * in another generation.
5 Declaring the praises of the Lord, and his mighty powers : and
the wonderful works that he hath done.
The Covenant with Jacob
6 Et suscitávit testimónium in Jacob: * et legem pósuit in Israël.
7 Quanta mandávit pátribus nostris nota fácere ea fíliis suis:
* ut cognóscat generátio áltera.
8 Fílii qui nascéntur, et exsúrgent, * et narrábunt fíliis suis.
9 Ut ponant in Deo spem suam, et non obliviscántur óperum Dei: * et
mandáta ejus exquírant.
10 Ne fiant sicut patres eórum: * generátio prava et exásperans.
11 Generátio, quæ non
diréxit cor suum: * et non est créditus cum Deo spíritus ejus.
6 And he hath stablished a testimony in Jacob, * and made a law
7 How great things he commanded our forefathers to teach their children
: * that their posterity might know it.
8 The children which were yet unborn, and should rise up, * they
shall shew the same also to their
9 That they might put their trust in God, and not forget
the works of God, * and may seek his commandments.
10 That they might not become as their forefathers, * a
perverse and stubborn
11 A generation that set not their heart aright, * and whose spirit
was not faithful unto God.
Miracles and goodness of God
In the far past
Ephrem intendéntes et mitténtes arcum: * convérsi sunt in die belli.
13 Non custodiérunt testaméntum Dei: * et in lege ejus noluérunt
14 Et oblíti sunt benefactórum ejus: * et mirabílium ejus quæ
12 Like as the children of Ephraim, who
bending and shooting with the bow, * turned themselves back in the day of
13 They kept not the covenant of God, * and would not walk in
14 But forgat what he had done, * and the wonderful works that
he had shewed for them.
In Egypt and the wilderness
15 Coram pátribus eórum fecit mirabília in terra
Ægypti: * in campo Táneos.
16 Interrúpit mare, et perdúxit eos: * et státuit aquas quasi in
17 Et dedúxit eos in nube diéi: * et tota nocte in illuminatióne
18 Interrúpit petram in erémo: * et adaquávit eos velut in abysso
19 Et edúxit aquam de petra: * et dedúxit tamquam flúmina aquas.
15 Marvellous things did he in the sight of their forefathers, in
the land of Egypt, * even in the field of Tanis.
16 He divided the sea, and brought them through; * he made the
waters to stand on an heap.
17 In the day-time also he led them with a cloud, * and all the
night through with a light of fire.
18 He clave the hard rock in the wilderness, * and gave them
to drink, as out of the great deep.
19 He brought forth waters out of the rock, * and made waters
run out like rivers.
Ingratitude and disbelief
apposuérunt adhuc peccáre ei: * in iram excitavérunt Excélsum in inaquóso.
21 Et tentavérunt Deum in córdibus suis, * ut péterent escas
22 Et male locúti sunt de Deo: * dixérunt: Numquid póterit Deus
paráre mensam in desérto?
23 Quóniam percússit petram, et fluxérunt aquæ:
* et torréntes inundavérunt.
24 Numquid et panem póterit dare, * aut paráre mensam pópulo suo?
20 And they added yet more sin against
him, * they provoked the Most Highest to wrath in the wilderness.
21 And they tempted God in their hearts, * by asking meat for
22 They spake ill of God also, * they said : Can God prepare a
table in the wilderness?
23 For he smote the stony rock, that the waters gushed out, * and the
24 But can he give bread also, * or provide
a table for his people?
Manna and quail
25 Ideo audívit Dóminus, et dístulit: * et ignis accénsus est in
Jacob, et ira ascéndit in Israël.
26 Quia non credidérunt in Deo: * nec speravérunt in salutári ejus :
27 Et mandávit núbibus désuper: * et jánuas cæli
28 Et pluit illis manna ad manducándum: * et panem cæli
29 Panem Angelórum manducávit homo, * cibária misit eis in
30 Tránstulit Austrum de cælo: *
et indúxit in virtúte sua Africum.
31 Et pluit super eos sicut púlverem carnes: * et sicut arénam maris
32 Et cecidérunt in médio castrórum eórum: * circa tabernácula eórum.
33 Et manducavérunt, et saturáti sunt nimis, et desidérium eórum
áttulit eis: * non sunt fraudáti a desidério suo.
25 Therefore the Lord heard this, and was wroth; * and a fire was
kindled in Jacob, and wrath came up heavy against Israel;
26 Because they believed not in God, * and put not their trust
in his salvation.
27 So he commanded the clouds from above, * and opened the
28 And he rained down manna upon them for to eat, * and gave
them the bread of heaven.
29 Man did eat the bread of angels : * he sent them provisions
30 He removed the south wind from heaven; * and through
his power he brought in the southwest wind.
31 And he rained upon them flesh as dust, * and feathered
fowls like as the sand of the sea.
32 And they fell in the midst of their camp, * round about their
33 So they did eat, and were filled exceedingly, and he gave them
their own desire: * they were not disappointed of that which they craved.
Punishment of their unbelief
34 Adhuc escæ eórum erant
in ore ipsórum: * et ira Dei ascéndit super eos
35 Et occídit pingues eórum, * et eléctos Israël impedívit.
34 But while the meat was yet in their mouths, * the heavy wrath
of God came upon them.
35 And he slew the rich amongst them : * yea, and smote
down the chosen men of Israel.
Continuation of their punishment
36 In ómnibus his peccavérunt
adhuc: * et non credidérunt mirabílibus ejus.
37 Et defecérunt in vanitáte
dies eórum: * et anni eórum cum festinatióne.
36 In all these things they sinned still, * and believed
not his wondrous works.
37 And their days were consumed in vanity, * and their years in
Their apparent conversion
38 Cum occíderet eos,
quærébant eum: * et revertebántur, et dilúculo veniébant ad eum.
39 Et rememoráti sunt quia
Deus adjútor est eórum: * et Deus excélsus redémptor eórum est.
40 Et dilexérunt eum in ore suo, * et lingua sua mentíti sunt ei.
41 Cor autem eórum non erat
rectum cum eo: * nec fidéles hábiti sunt in testaménto ejus.
38 When he slew them, then they sought him, * and they returned,
and came unto him early in the morning.
39 And they remembered that God was their helper, * and the
most high God
40 And they loved him with their mouth, * and dissembled
with him in their tongue.
41 For their heart was not right with him, * neither continued they stedfast
in his covenant.
The pattern is repeated time and
42 Ipse autem est miséricors,
et propítius fiet peccátis eórum: * et non dispérdet eos.
Et abundávit ut avérteret iram suam: * et non accéndit omnem iram suam:
44 Et recordátus est quia
caro sunt: * spíritus vadens et non rédiens.
45 Quóties exacerbavérunt
eum in desérto, * in iram concitavérunt eum in inaquóso?
46 Et convérsi sunt, et
tentavérunt Deum: * et Sanctum Israël exacerbavérunt.
42 But he is merciful, and will forgive their misdeeds,
* and will destroy
43 Yea, many a time turned he his wrath away, * and did not
44 And he remembered that they are but flesh, * even a
wind that goeth, and cometh not again.
45 How often did they provoke him in the wilderness, * and move him
to wrath in the desert?
46 And they turned back, and tempted God, * and grieved the Holy One of Israel.
The plagues in Egypt
47 Non sunt recordáti manus
ejus, * die qua redémit eos de manu tribulántis.
48 Sicut pósuit in Ægypto
signa sua, * et prodígia sua in campo Táneos.
49 Et convértit in sánguinem flúmina eórum: * et imbres eórum, ne bíberent.
50 Misit in eos cnomyíam,
et comédit eos: * et ranam, et dispérdidit eos.
51 Et dedit ærúgini
fructus eórum: * et labóres eórum locústæ.
52 Et occídit in grándine
víneas eórum: * et moros eórum in pruína.
53 Et trádidit grándini
juménta eórum: * et possessiónem eórum igni.
54 Misit in eos iram
indignatiónis suæ: * indignatiónem, et iram, et tribulatiónem:
per ángelos malos.
55 Viam fecit sémitæ
non pepércit a morte animábus
eórum: * et juménta eórum in morte conclúsit.
56 Et percússit omne
primogénitum in terra Ægypti: * primítias omnis labóris eórum in
47 THEY thought not of his hand, * and of the day when he
delivered them from the hand of the enemy;
48 How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, * and his wonders in the field
49 He turned their rivers into blood, * and their rain so that they might not drink.
50 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them up; * and frogs to destroy
51 He gave their fruits unto the caterpillar, * and their labour unto the
52 He destroyed their vineyards with hailstones, * and their mulberry trees
with the hoarfrost.
53 He gave up their cattle also to the hailstones, * and their
stock to the fire.
54 He cast upon them the furiousness of his wrath : * anger,
trouble, which he sent by evil angels.
55 He made a way for a path to his anger, and spared not their souls from death;
* and their cattle he confined in death.
56 And he smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, * the
firstfruits of all their labour in the dwellings of Ham.
The promised land
57 Et ábstulit sicut oves
pópulum suum: * et perdúxit eos tamquam gregem in desérto.
58 Et dedúxit eos in spe, et
non timuérunt: * et inimícos eórum opéruit mare.
59 Et indúxit eos in montem
sanctificatiónis suæ: * montem, quem acquisívit déxtera ejus.
Et ejécit a fácie eórum Gentes: * et sorte divísit eis terram in
61 Et habitáre fecit in
tabernáculis eórum: * tribus Israël.
57 And his own people he led forth like sheep,
* and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
58 He brought them out in hope, and they feared not, * and he overwhelmed
their enemies with the sea.
59 And brought them within the mountain of his sanctuary, * even to his
mountain, which he purchased with his right hand.
60 He cast out the heathen also before them, * and by lot
divided their land unto them by a line of distribution.
61 And he made the tribes of Israel * to dwell
in their tents.
Unfaithful in the promised land
62 Et tentavérunt, et
exacerbavérunt Deum excélsum: * et testimónia ejus non custodiérunt.
63 Et avertérunt se, et non servavérunt pactum: * quemádmodum patres
eórum convérsi sunt in arcum pravum.
64 In iram concitavérunt eum in cóllibus suis: * et in sculptílibus suis
ad æmulatiónem eum provocavérunt.
62 Yet they tempted and provoked the Most
High God, * and kept not his testimonies.
63 And they turned their backs, and kept not the covenant, *
even as their forefathers they were turned aside like a broken bow.
64 They moved him to anger on their hills, * and provoked him to
jealousy with their graven things.
Defeat at Silo
65 Audívit Deus, et sprevit:
* et ad níhilum redégit valde Israël.
66 Et répulit
tabernáculum Silo: * tabernáculum suum, ubi habitávit in homínibus.
67 Et trádidit in
captivitátem virtútem eórum: * et pulchritúdinem eórum in manus inimíci.
68 Et conclúsit in gládio
pópulum suum: * et hereditátem suam sprevit.
69 Júvenes eórum comédit
ignis: * et vírgines eórum non sunt lamentátæ.
70 Sacerdótes eórum in gládio
cecidérunt: * et víduæ eórum non plorabántur.
65 God heard, and despised them, * and he
reduced Israel exceedingly as it were to naught.
66 And he forsook the tabernacle in Silo, * even his tabernacle
where he dwelt among men.
67 And he delivered their power into captivity, * and their beauty into the
hands of the enemy.
68 And he gave his people over unto the sword, * and he
69 The fire consumed their young men, * and their maidens were not
70 Their priests fell by the sword, * and their widows did not
Finale: Juda is chosen
71 Et excitátus est tamquam
dórmiens Dóminus: * tamquam potens crapulátus a vino.
72 Et percússit inimícos suos
in posterióra: * oppróbrium sempitérnum dedit illis.
73 Et répulit tabernáculum
Joseph: * et tribum Ephraim non elégit.
74 Sed elégit tribum Juda, * montem Sion quem diléxit.
75 Et ædificávit sicut
unicórnium sanctifícium suum in terra, * quam fundávit in sæcula.
76 Et elégit David, servum suum, et sústulit eum de grégibus óvium: * de
post ftántes accépit eum,
77 Páscere Jacob, servum suum,
* et Israël, hereditátem suam:
78 Et pavit eos in
innocéntia cordis sui: * et in intelléctibus mánuum suárum dedúxit eos.
71 And the Lord awaked as one out of sleep,
* and like a mighty man drunk with
72 He smote his enemies in the hinder parts, * and put them to a perpetual
73 And he rejected the tabernacle of Joseph, * and chose not the tribe of
74 But he chose the tribe of Judah, * even Mount Sion which he loved.
75 And he built his sanctuary as of unicorns, * in the land
which he stablished for ever.
76 And he chose David his servant, and took him away from the
flocks of sheep : * as he was following the ewes great with young ones he took him.
77 That he might feed Jacob his servant, * and Israel his inheritance.
78 And he fed them in the innocency of his heart, * and led them
by the skilfulness of his hands.