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Psalms 78:18-31


78:18 They willfully challenged God 1 

by asking for food to satisfy their appetite.

78:19 They insulted God, saying, 2 

“Is God really able to give us food 3  in the wilderness?

78:20 Yes, 4  he struck a rock and water flowed out,

streams gushed forth.

But can he also give us food?

Will he provide meat for his people?”

78:21 When 5  the Lord heard this, he was furious.

A fire broke out against Jacob,

and his anger flared up 6  against Israel,

78:22 because they did not have faith in God,

and did not trust his ability to deliver them. 7 

78:23 He gave a command to the clouds above,

and opened the doors in the sky.

78:24 He rained down manna for them to eat;

he gave them the grain of heaven. 8 

78:25 Man ate the food of the mighty ones. 9 

He sent them more than enough to eat. 10 

78:26 He brought the east wind through the sky,

and by his strength led forth the south wind.

78:27 He rained down meat on them like dust,

birds as numerous as the sand on the seashores. 11 

78:28 He caused them to fall right in the middle of their camp,

all around their homes.

78:29 They ate until they were stuffed; 12 

he gave them what they desired.

78:30 They were not yet filled up, 13 

their food was still in their mouths,

78:31 when the anger of God flared up against them.

He killed some of the strongest of them;

he brought the young men of Israel to their knees.

1 tn Heb “and they tested God in their heart.” The “heart” is viewed here as the center of their volition.

2 tn Heb “they spoke against God, they said.”

3 tn Heb “to arrange a table [for food].”

4 tn Heb “look.”

5 tn Heb “therefore.”

6 tn Heb “and also anger went up.”

7 tn Heb “and they did not trust his deliverance.”

8 sn Manna was apparently shaped like a seed (Exod 16:31), perhaps explaining why it is here compared to grain.

9 sn Because of the reference to “heaven” in the preceding verse, it is likely that mighty ones refers here to the angels of heaven. The LXX translates “angels” here, as do a number of modern translations (NEB, NIV, NRSV).

10 tn Heb “provision he sent to them to satisfaction.”

11 tn Heb “and like the sand of the seas winged birds.”

12 tn Heb “and they ate and were very satisfied.”

13 tn Heb “they were not separated from their desire.”

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