Psalm 78:2

Hebrew Bible

1 A well-written song by Asaph. Pay attention, my people, to my instruction. Listen to the words I speak. 2 I will sing a song that imparts wisdom; I will make insightful observations about the past. 3 What we have heard and learned—that which our ancestors have told us— 4 we will not hide from their descendants. We will tell the next generation about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts, about his strength and the amazing things he has done. 5 He established a rule in Jacob; he set up a law in Israel. He commanded our ancestors to make his deeds known to their descendants,

LXX Psalm 77:2


1 Give heed, O my people, to my law: incline your ear to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter dark sayings which have been from the beginning. 3 All which we have heard and known, and our fathers have declared to us. 4 They were not hid from their children to a second generation; the fathers declaring the praises of the Lord, and his mighty acts, and his wonders which he wrought. 5 And he raised up a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, to make it known to their children:

 Notes and References

"... A parabolic expression is easy to recognize when it follows upon an introductory “like” or “as.” To give some examples: “Like water I am poured out and all my bones are scattered”; or “I have become to them like a dead abomination.” There are many instances which follow this pattern. Often, however, Scripture speaks parabolically even without this introduction. It says, for instance: “You made my arms a bronze bow,” instead of “like a brazen bow”; or: “And when Abraham looked up with his eyes, he saw three men,” instead of “something resembling three men.” In these cases, Scripture formulates parables by way of ellipsis, omitting the word “like.” Frequently, Scripture also calls a narrative or a teaching “parable,” for instance, when we read: “I will open my mouth in a parable, I will utter problems from the beginning.” (Psalm 78:2 ... Where the Hebrew has ḥīdōt, “riddles” or “dark sayings,” the Septuagint has problēmata, “problems”) Here the author’s teaching, or at least the narrative, is called a parable. Actually, the parable itself may sometimes be called a “problem.” Thus, it is even possible to speak of a problem as an “enigma”: Samson proposed such a “problem” to the Philistines, or rather to the Palestinians—the Philistines are in fact the Palestinians—by saying: “Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet.” ..."

Graves, Michael Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church (p. 135) Fortress Press, 2017

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.