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Psalms 78:18-20


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?”

Psalms 78:40-41


78:40 How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness,

and insulted him 5  in the desert!

78:41 They again challenged God, 6 

and offended 7  the Holy One of Israel. 8 

Psalms 78:56


78:56 Yet they challenged and defied 9  the sovereign God, 10 

and did not obey 11  his commands. 12 

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 Or “caused him pain.”

6 tn Heb “and they returned and tested God.” The Hebrew verb שׁוּב (shuv, “to return”) is used here in an adverbial sense to indicate that an earlier action was repeated.

7 tn Or “wounded, hurt.” The verb occurs only here in the OT.

8 sn The basic sense of the word “holy” is “set apart from that which is commonplace, special, unique.” The Lord’s holiness is first and foremost his transcendent sovereignty as the ruler of the world. He is “set apart” from the world over which he rules. At the same time his holiness encompasses his moral authority, which derives from his royal position. As king he has the right to dictate to his subjects how they are to live; indeed his very own character sets the standard for proper behavior. This expression is a common title for the Lord in the book of Isaiah.

9 tn Or “tested and rebelled against.”

10 tn Heb “God, the Most High.”

11 tn Or “keep.”

12 tn Heb “his testimonies” (see Ps 25:10).

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