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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Psalms 106

Verse 1

Alleluia. St. Augustine repeats this word. But it occurs in the Hebrew, &c., at the end of the preceding psalm, of which this is a continuation, shewing how God pardoned his people, and delivered them from captivity, (Calmet) and mankind from sin. (Haydock) (Fathers) (Berthier) --- Glory. Literally, "confess" your sins, thay you may praise God, (Psalm cv.; Haydock) and adore his mercy and providence. (Worthington)

Verse 2

Countries. The Jews from Babylon, and all who were redeemed by Christ. (Calmet) --- He was promised immediately after the fall. [Genesis iii. 15.] (Worthington)

Verse 3

Sea. Hebrew miyam, for which we should read imim "the right," denoting the south. (Calmet) --- But the sea, or ocean, is properly used in the same sense. (Berthier) --- The Ammonites, Philistines, Syrians, and Idumeans, from these four quarters, often reduced the Israelites to servitude, under the judges. (Houbigant) --- From all parts, the Jews of the ten tribes returned in the reigns of Darius and Alexander. (Calmet, Diss.) --- But the texts which are applied to this event speak rather of the conversion of the Gentiles, which the prophet has here in view. (Berthier) --- None are excluded from the benefits of this redemption, but by their own fault. (Worthington)

Verse 4

Habitation. So were the Jews distressed at Babylon, (Calmet) as many are forced to wander in the world, and all are involved in sin. (Worthington)

Verse 5

Hungry. As both Jews and Gentiles were for the word of God, (Amos viii. 11.) when Christ appeared. (Haydock) --- Their wants cried aloud, (St. Augustine) though they sought him not, Isaias lxv. 1. (Berthier) --- Those who call upon God are relieved by him, in the manner which is most for their welfare. (Worthington)

Verse 8

Mercies. We are unworthy to open our mouths. This chorus is repeated, (ver. 15, 21, 31.) by the people, after the Levites had sung the intermediate sentences. (Calmet) --- The ver. 6, 9, 13, 19., are of the same nature, and refer to different sorts of calamities. (Berthier) --- All the benefits of God, proceeding from his mercy, and not from man’s deserts, praise him. (Worthington)

Verse 10

Darkness. This second allegory represents the condition of the captives, and of mankind, before Christ’s coming. (Calmet) --- The former enjoyed some liberty, Jeremias xxix. 5. --- But the latter were most miserable, (Matthew ix. 15., and Luke iv. 18.) and of these the words are most naturally explained. (Berthier)

Verse 11

Exasperated. Hebrew, "changed, or frustrated." This is the source of all misery, (Calmet) as calamities are commonly inflicted on account of sin. (Worthington)

Verse 12

Labours. There were slaves of various descriptions: some were confined to hard labour, and chained down at night. (Calmet)

Verse 14

Bonds. Of their passions. See St. Augustine, Confessions viii. 11. (Haydock)

Verse 17

Iniquity. Making them alter their conduct. Hebrew seems less correct: "they are foolish on account of their way, and they," &c. Illness is sent to punish sin, Job xxxiii. 19., Matthew ix. 2., and John v. 14. (Calmet)

Verse 20

Word. Jesus Christ, according to the prophetical sense, adopted by the Fathers, (St. Athanasius, or. 3., &c.) though it literally implies, that at God’s command the sick were healed, Matthew viii. 7. --- This allegory again represents the state of captivity. (Calmet)

Verse 22

Praise. Instead of victims, Psalm xxvi., &c.

Verse 23

Down to the sea, &c. Captivity is here compared to a tempest. (Calmet) --- The apostles carry the tidings of salvation to all places. Persecutions are raised; but God grants peace to his Church under Constantine. (Eusebius)

Verse 24

Deep. The fury of tempests. Various nations, and the treasures of the deep. (Menochius)

Verse 26

Heavens. So Virgil says: Tollimur in cælum curvato gurgite & iidem

Subducta ad Manes imos descendimus unda. (Æneid iii.)

Verse 27

Up. They knew not how to proceed. Ambiguis ars stupet ipsa malis. (Calmet)

Verse 29

Breeze. Hebrew, "silence, or calm."

Verse 30

For. Even to Jerusalem. (Calmet)

Verse 31

Men. We must thank God for having enabled us to repent, ver. 8. (Worthington)

Verse 33

Wilderness. God caused his people to pass through the Red Sea, and the Jordan, to possess the fruitful country of Chanaan, part of which had been cursed for the crimes of the Sodomites. (Haydock) --- He has punished Babylon, (Jeremias xxv. 12.) made a straight road from his people, (Isaias xxxv. 8.) and enabled them to cultivate their country again, ver. 41. (Calmet) --- The synagogue has been abandoned, and the Church chosen. (Berthier) --- The power of God is displayed, who caused the land of promise to be more fertile for his people, which is now very barren. (Worthington)

Verse 34

Barrenness. Or "saltness." (Haydock) --- He alludes to the environs of Sodom, Genesis xiii. 10., and xix. 24. (Worthington)

Verse 37

Of birth. A plentiful crop, facient fruges germina. (St. Jerome) (Calmet) --- Abundance of fruit shall grow in some places, while others are punished on account of sin. (Worthington)

Verse 40

Princes. Jochonias was humbled, (Haydock) and exalted, with Daniel, &c., 4 Kings xxv. 27. Others explain it of Nabuchodonosor and Baltasar, who were reduced to the state of ignominy and death. (Calmet) --- The Jews experienced the greatest miseries at the last siege of Jerusalem. (Berthier)

Verse 41

Sheep. The Gentiles took the place of the obstinate Jews. (St. Augustine)

Verse 42

Mouth. The psalmist saw Babylon before its ruin, (Calmet) at least in spirit. God’s judgment strengthen virtue, and repress the wicked. (Haydock) The propagation of the gospel put to silence the oracles of the pagans. (Berthier)

Verse 43

Lord. This is the part of wisdom, and deserves our serious consideration, (Haydock) as Osee (xiv. 10.) and our Saviour admonish, Matthew xi. 15., and xiii. 9., and Mark iv. 9., &c.

Verse 48


All are invited to give thanks to God for his perpetual providence over men.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 106". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.