Psalm 78:57
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Like their ancestors they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow.

King James Bible
But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

Darby Bible Translation
And they drew back and dealt treacherously like their fathers: they turned like a deceitful bow.

World English Bible
but turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers. They were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

Young's Literal Translation
And they turn back, And deal treacherously like their fathers, They have been turned like a deceitful bow,

Psalm 78:57 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

They were turned aside like a deceitful bow - The eastern bow, which when at rest is in the form of a [curved figure], must be recurved, or turned the contrary way, in order to be what is called bent and strung. If a person who is unskilful or weak attempt to recurve and string one of these bows, if he take not great heed it will spring back and regain its quiescent position, and perhaps break his arm. And sometimes I have known it, when bent, to start aside, and regain its quiescent position, to my no small danger, and in one or two cases to my injury. This image is frequently used in the sacred writings; but no person has understood it, not being acquainted with the eastern bow [curved figure], which must be recurved, or bent the contrary way, [figure] in order to be proper for use. If not well made, they will fly back in discharging the arrow. It is said of the bow of Jonathan, it turned not back, 2 Samuel 1:22, לא נשוג אחור lo nasog achor, "did not twist itself backward." It was a good bow, one on which he could depend. Hosea, Hosea 7:16, compares the unfaithful Israelites to a deceitful bow; one that, when bent, would suddenly start aside and recover its former position. We may find the same passage in Jeremiah 9:3. And this is precisely the kind of bow mentioned by Homer, Odyss. xxi., which none of Penelope's suitors could bend, called καμπυλα τοξα and αγκυλα τοξα, the crooked bow in the state of rest; but τοξον παλιντονον, the recurred bow when prepared for use. And of this trial of strength and skill in the bending of the bow of Ulysses, none of the critics and commentators have been able to make any thing, because they knew not the instrument in question. On the τοξου θησις of Homer, I have written a dissertation elsewhere. The image is very correct; these Israelites, when brought out of their natural bent, soon recoiled, and relapsed into their former state.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

but

Psalm 78:41 Yes, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Judges 3:5-7,12 And the children of Israel dwelled among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites...

Ezekiel 20:27,28 Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and say to them, Thus said the Lord GOD...

they were

Psalm 78:8,10-37 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright...

Hosea 7:16 They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow...

Library
Memory, Hope, and Effort
'That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.'--PSALM lxxviii. 7. In its original application this verse is simply a statement of God's purpose in giving to Israel the Law, and such a history of deliverance. The intention was that all future generations might remember what He had done, and be encouraged by the remembrance to hope in Him for the future; and by both memory and hope, be impelled to the discharge of present duty. So, then, the words
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Fifteenth Day for Schools and Colleges
WHAT TO PRAY.--For Schools and Colleges "As for Me, this is My covenant with them, saith the Lord: My Spirit that is upon thee, and My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LoThe future of the Church and the world depends, to an extent we little conceive, on the education of the day. The Church may be seeking to evangelise the heathen, and be giving up her own children to secular
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

Out of the Deep of Loneliness, Failure, and Disappointment.
My heart is smitten down, and withered like grass. I am even as a sparrow that sitteth alone on the housetop--Ps. cii. 4, 6. My lovers and friends hast Thou put away from me, and hid mine acquaintance out of my sight--Ps. lxxviii. 18. I looked on my right hand, and saw there was no man that would know me. I had no place to flee unto, and no man cared for my soul. I cried unto Thee, O Lord, and said, Thou art my Hope. When my spirit was in heaviness, then Thou knewest my path.--Ps. cxlii. 4, 5.
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep

The Good Shepherd: a Farewell Sermon
John 10:27-28 -- "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand." It is a common, and I believe, generally speaking, my dear hearers, a true saying, that bad manners beget good laws. Whether this will hold good in every particular, in respect to the affairs of this world, I am persuaded the observation is very pertinent in respect to the things of another: I mean bad manners,
George Whitefield—Selected Sermons of George Whitefield

Cross References
Psalm 44:17
All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant.

Psalm 44:18
Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path.

Psalm 78:9
The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle;

Psalm 85:8
I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants-- but let them not turn to folly.

Psalm 106:6
We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.

Ezekiel 20:27
"Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In this also your ancestors blasphemed me by being unfaithful to me:

Ezekiel 20:28
When I brought them into the land I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that aroused my anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings.

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