A well-written song 2 by Asaph.
78:1 Pay attention, my people, to my instruction!
Listen to the words I speak! 3
78:2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom;
I will make insightful observations about the past. 4
that which our ancestors 6 have told us –
We will tell the next generation
about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts, 8
about his strength and the amazing things he has done.
he set up a law in Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to make his deeds known to their descendants, 10
78:6 so that the next generation, children yet to be born,
might know about them.
They will grow up and tell their descendants about them. 11
78:7 Then they will place their confidence in God.
They will not forget the works of God,
and they will obey 12 his commands.
1 sn Psalm 78. The author of this lengthy didactic psalm rehearses Israel’s history. He praises God for his power, goodness and patience, but also reminds his audience that sin angers God and prompts his judgment. In the conclusion to the psalm the author elevates Jerusalem as God’s chosen city and David as his chosen king.
3 tn Heb “Turn your ear to the words of my mouth.”
4 tn Heb “I will open with a wise saying my mouth, I will utter insightful sayings from long ago.” Elsewhere the Hebrew word pair חִידָה+מָשָׁל (mashal + khidah) refers to a taunt song (Hab 2:6), a parable (Ezek 17:2), proverbial sayings (Prov 1:6), and an insightful song that reflects on the mortality of humankind and the ultimate inability of riches to prevent death (Ps 49:4).
5 tn Or “known.”
11 tn Heb “in order that they might know, a following generation, sons [who] will be born, they will arise and will tell to their sons.”
12 tn Heb “keep.”