The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Psalms
Praise the Lord, the Lord is gracious; his mercy endures for ever;
what tongue can recount all the great deeds of the Lord, can echo all his praise?
Blessed are they who abide ever by his decrees, ever do the right!
Remember me, Lord, with loving thoughts towards thy people, come and strengthen me with thy aid,
to witness the prosperity of thy chosen servants, to rejoice with thy people that rejoices, to share the glory of thy own domain.
We have taken part in our fathers’ sins; we are guilty men, rebels against thee.
So it was with our fathers in Egypt; unremarked, thy wonderful doings, unremembered, thy abundant mercies; even at the Red Sea they must prove rebellious.
Yet, for his own honour, to make known his power, he delivered them,
checking the Red Sea, so that it dried up, and leading them through its depths as safely as if they trod the desert sands.
From a cruel tyrant’s grasp he rescued them, claimed them for his own;
and the water overwhelmed their pursuers, till not one of them was left.
They believed, then, in his promises, sang songs, then, in his honour,
but soon they forgot what he had done, and could not wait upon his will.
They must needs give way to their cravings in the wilderness, challenge God’s power, there in the desert,
till he granted their will, then sent a wasting sickness to plague them.
Faction raised its head in the camp against Moses, against Aaron, the Lord’s chosen priest;
and now earth gaped, swallowing up Dathan, overwhelming Abiron and his conspiracy;
fire broke out in their company, and the rebels perished by its flames.
They made a calf, too, at Horeb, casting a golden image and worshipping it,
as if they would exchange the glory that dwelt among them for the semblance of a bullock at grass.
So little they remembered the God who had delivered them, those portents of his in Egypt,
strange things seen in the land of Cham, terrible things down by the Red Sea!
What wonder if he threatened to make an end of them? But Moses, the man of his choice, stood in the breach to confront his anger, to ward off destruction.
And now they poured scorn on the land of their desire, distrusting his promise;
and the camp was all disaffection. So the Lord, finding they would not listen to his voice,
lifted his hand and threatened to smite them down, there in the wilderness;
they should be lost among the peoples, scattered wide through the world.
They dedicated themselves to Beelphegor, in honour of the dead gods sat down to feast;
till their wicked ways roused God’s anger, and a plague fell upon them.
Nor might the destruction cease, till Phinees rose up and made amends,
winning himself such title to God’s favour as shall be remembered, age after age, eternally.
They provoked his anger, too, at the waters of Meriba, so that Moses was punished for their sake;
because, in his heart’s bitterness, he broke out into open complaint.
Not theirs to root out the heathen, as the Lord had bidden them;
they mingled with the heathen instead, and learned their ways;
worshipping carved images, to their own undoing,
sacrificing their sons and daughters in honour of devils.
Innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, was poured out in worship to the idols of Chanaan; with blood the whole land was polluted,
so heinous the guilt of its people, so wanton their ways.
Then God’s anger blazed up against his people, his chosen race became abominable to him,
and he handed them over to the Gentiles; despised slaves,
they were oppressed by their enemies, bowed down under the yoke.
Again and again he brought them deliverance, but ever there were fresh shifts to provoke him, there was fresh guilt to drag them in the dust.
And still, when he saw their distress, when he heard their appeals to him,
the thought him of his covenant availed them; in his great mercy he would relent;
their very captors should be moved to pity.
Deliver us, O Lord our God, and gather us again, scattered as we are among the heathen, to praise thy holy name, to triumph in thy renown.
Blessed be the God of Israel from all eternity to all eternity; let all the people cry, Amen, Alleluia.
The Holy Bible