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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 106

PSALM 106

:-. This Psalm gives a detailed confession of the sins of Israel in all periods of their history, with special reference to the terms of the covenant as intimated ( :-). It is introduced by praise to God for the wonders of His mercy, and concluded by a supplication for His favor to His afflicted people, and a doxology.

Verse 1

1. Praise, &c.—(See on :-), begins and ends the Psalm, intimating the obligations of praise, however we sin and suffer :- is the source from which the beginning and end of this Psalm are derived.

Verse 2

2. His acts exceed our comprehension, as His praise our powers of expression ( :-). Their unutterable greatness is not to keep us back, but to urge us the more to try to praise Him as best we can (Psalms 40:5; Psalms 71:15).

Verse 3

3. The blessing is limited to those whose principles and acts are right. How "blessed" Israel would be now, if he had "observed God's statutes" (Psalms 105:45).

Verse 4

4, 5. In view of the desert of sins to be confessed, the writer invokes God's covenant mercy to himself and the Church, in whose welfare he rejoices. The speaker, me, I, is not the Psalmist himself, but the people, the present generation (compare :-).

visit—(Compare :-).

Verse 5

5. see the good—participate in it (Psalms 37:13).

thy chosen—namely, Israel, God's elect (Isaiah 43:20; Isaiah 45:4). As God seems to have forgotten them, they pray that He would "remember" them with the favor which belongs to His own people, and which once they had enjoyed.

thine inheritance— (Deuteronomy 9:29; Deuteronomy 32:9).

Verse 6

6. Compare 1 Kings 8:47; Daniel 9:5, where the same three verbs occur in the same order and connection, the original of the two later passages being the first one, the prayer of Solomon in dedicating the temple.

sinned . . . fathers—like them, and so partaking of their guilt. The terms denote a rising gradation of sinning (compare Daniel 9:5- :).

with our fathers—we and they together forming one mass of corruption.

Verse 7

7-12. Special confession. Their rebellion at the sea (Exodus 14:11) was because they had not remembered nor understood God's miracles on their behalf. That God saved them in their unbelief was of His mere mercy, and for His own glory.

the sea . . . the Red Sea—the very words in which Moses' song celebrated the scene of Israel's deliverance (Exodus 15:4). Israel began to rebel against God at the very moment and scene of its deliverance by God!

Verse 8

8. for his name's sake— ( :-).

Verse 9

9. rebuked— ( :-).

as through the wilderness— (Isaiah 63:11-14).

Verse 10

7-12. Special confession. Their rebellion at the sea (Exodus 14:11) was because they had not remembered nor understood God's miracles on their behalf. That God saved them in their unbelief was of His mere mercy, and for His own glory.

the sea . . . the Red Sea—the very words in which Moses' song celebrated the scene of Israel's deliverance (Exodus 15:4). Israel began to rebel against God at the very moment and scene of its deliverance by God!

Verse 12

12. believed . . . his words—This is said not to praise the Israelites, but God, who constrained even so unbelieving a people momentarily to "believe" while in immediate view of His wonders, a faith which they immediately afterwards lost (Psalms 106:13; Exodus 14:31; Exodus 15:1).

Verse 13

13-15. The faith induced by God's display of power in their behalf was short lived, and their new rebellion and temptation was visited by God with fresh punishment, inflicted by leaving them to the result of their own gratified appetites, and sending on them spiritual poverty ( :-).

They soon forgat—literally, "They hasted, they forgat" (compare :-). "They have turned aside quickly (or, hastily) out of the way." The haste of our desires is such that we can scarcely allow God one day. Unless He immediately answers our call, instantly then arise impatience, and at length despair.

his works— (Deuteronomy 11:3; Deuteronomy 11:4; Daniel 9:14).

his counsel—They waited not for the development of God's counsel, or plan for their deliverance, at His own time, and in His own way.

Verse 14

14. Literally, "lusted a lust" (quoted from Numbers 11:4, Margin). Previously, there had been impatience as to necessaries of life; here it is lusting (Numbers 11:4- :).

Verse 15

15. but sent leanness—rather, "and sent," that is, and thus, even in doing so, the punishment was inflicted at the very time their request was granted. So Psalms 78:30, "While their meat was yet in their mouths, the wrath of God came upon them."

soul—the animal soul, which craves for food (Numbers 11:6; Psalms 107:18). This soul got its wish, and with it and in it its own punishment. The place was therefore called Kibroth-hattaavah, "the graves of lust" [Numbers 11:34], because there they buried the people who had lusted. Animal desires when gratified mostly give only a hungry craving for more (Numbers 11:34- :).

Verse 16

16-18. All the congregation took part with Dathan, Korah, c., and their accomplices ( :-).

Aaron the saint—literally, "the holy one," as consecrated priest not a moral attribute, but one designating his office as holy to the Lord. The rebellion was followed by a double punishment: (1) of the non-Levitical rebels, the Reubenites, Dathan and Abiram, c. (Deuteronomy 11:6 Numbers 26:10); these were swallowed up by the earth.

Verse 17

17. covered—"closed upon them" (Numbers 16:33). (2) Of the Levitical rebels, with Korah at their head (Numbers 16:35; Numbers 26:10); these had sinned by fire, and were punished by fire, as Aaron's (being high priest) sons had been (Leviticus 10:2; Numbers 16:1-35).

Verse 18

16-18. All the congregation took part with Dathan, Korah, c., and their accomplices ( :-).

Aaron the saint—literally, "the holy one," as consecrated priest not a moral attribute, but one designating his office as holy to the Lord. The rebellion was followed by a double punishment: (1) of the non-Levitical rebels, the Reubenites, Dathan and Abiram, c. (Deuteronomy 11:6 Numbers 26:10); these were swallowed up by the earth.

Verse 19

19-23. From indirect setting God at naught, they pass to direct.

made—though prohibited in Exodus 20:4; Exodus 20:5 to make a likeness, even of the true God.

calf—called so in contempt. They would have made an ox or bull, but their idol turned out but a calf; an imitation of the divine symbols, the cherubim; or of the sacred bull of Egyptian idolatry. The idolatry was more sinful in view of their recent experience of God's power in Egypt and His wonders at Sinai (Exodus 20:5- :). Though intending to worship Jehovah under the symbol of the calf, yet as this was incompatible with His nature (Exodus 20:5- :), they in reality gave up Him, and so were given up by Him. Instead of the Lord of heaven, they had as their glory the image of an ox that does nothing but eat grass.

Verse 23

23. he said—namely, to Moses (Deuteronomy 9:13). With God, saying is as certain as doing; but His purpose, while full of wrath against sin, takes into account the mediation of Him of whom Moses was the type (Exodus 32:11-14; Deuteronomy 9:18; Deuteronomy 9:19).

Moses his chosen—that is, to be His servant (compare Deuteronomy 9:19- :).

in the breach—as a warrior covers with his body the broken part of a wall or fortress besieged, a perilous place (Ezekiel 13:5; Ezekiel 22:30).

to turn away—or, "prevent"

his wrath— (Numbers 25:11; Psalms 78:38).

Verse 24

24-27. The sin of refusing to invade Canaan, "the pleasant land" (Jeremiah 3:19; Ezekiel 20:6; Daniel 8:9), "the land of beauty," was punished by the destruction of that generation (Numbers 14:28), and the threat of dispersion (Deuteronomy 4:25; Deuteronomy 28:32) afterwards made to their posterity, and fulfilled in the great calamities now bewailed, may have also been then added.

despised— (Deuteronomy 28:32- :).

believed not his word—by which He promised He would give them the land; but rather the word of the faithless spies (compare Deuteronomy 28:32- :).

Verse 26

26. lifted up his hand—or, "swore," the usual form of swearing (compare :-, Margin).

Verse 27

27. To overthrow—literally, "To make them fall"; alluding to the words ( :-).

among . . . nations . . . lands—The "wilderness" was not more destructive to the fathers (Psalms 106:26) than residence among the heathen ("nations") shall be to the children. Leviticus 26:33; Leviticus 26:38 is here, before the Psalmist's mind, the determination against the "seed" when rebellious, being not expressed in Leviticus 26:38- :, but implied in the determination against the fathers.

Verse 28

28-30. sacrifices of the dead—that is, of lifeless idols, contrasted with "the living God" (Jeremiah 10:3-10; compare Psalms 115:4-7; 1 Corinthians 12:2). On the words,

joined themselves to Baal-peor—see Numbers 25:2; Numbers 25:3; Numbers 25:5.

Baal-peor—that is, the possessor of Peor, the mountain on which Chemosh, the idol of Moab, was worshipped, and at the foot of which Israel at the time lay encamped (Numbers 23:28). The name never occurs except in connection with that locality and that circumstance.

Verse 29

29. provoked—excited grief and indignation (Psalms 6:7; Psalms 78:58).

Verse 30

30. stood—as Aaron "stood between the living and the dead, and the plague was stayed" ( :-).

executed judgment—literally, "judged," including sentence and act.

Verse 31

31. counted . . . righteousness—"a just and rewardable action."

for—or, "unto," to the procuring of righteousness, as in Romans 4:2; Romans 10:4. Here it was a particular act, not faith, nor its object Christ; and what was procured was not justifying righteousness, or what was to be rewarded with eternal life; for no one act of man's can be taken for complete obedience. But it was that which God approved and rewarded with a perpetual priesthood to him and his descendants (Numbers 25:13; 1 Chronicles 6:4, &c.).

Verse 32

32, 33. (Compare Numbers 20:3-12; Deuteronomy 1:37; Deuteronomy 3:26).

went ill with—literally, "was bad for"

Moses—His conduct, though under great provocation, was punished by exclusion from Canaan.

Verse 34

34-39. They not only failed to expel the heathen, as God

commanded— (Exodus 23:32; Exodus 23:33), literally, "said (they should)," but conformed to their idolatries [Exodus 23:33- :], and thus became spiritual adulterers (Exodus 23:33- :).

Verse 37

37. unto devilsSeptuagint, "demons" (compare :-), or "evil spirits."

Verse 38

38. polluted with blood—literally, "blood," or "murder" (Psalms 5:6; Psalms 26:9).

Verse 39

34-39. They not only failed to expel the heathen, as God

commanded— (Exodus 23:32; Exodus 23:33), literally, "said (they should)," but conformed to their idolatries [Exodus 23:33- :], and thus became spiritual adulterers (Exodus 23:33- :).

Verse 40

40-43. Those nations first seduced and then oppressed them (compare Judges 1:34; Judges 2:14; Judges 3:30). Their apostasies ungratefully repaid God's many mercies till He finally abandoned them to punishment (Judges 3:30- :).

Verse 44

44-46. If, as is probable, this Psalm was written at the time of the captivity, the writer now intimates the tokens of God's returning favor.

Verse 45

45. repented—(compare :-).

Verse 46

46. made . . . pitied— (1 Kings 8:50; Daniel 1:9). These tokens encourage the prayer and the promise of praise (Daniel 1:9- :), which is well closed by a doxology.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 106". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/psalms-106.html. 1871-8.