Ps 105:1-45. After an exhortation to praise God,
addressed especially to the chosen people, the writer presents the
special reason for praise, in a summary of their history from the
calling of Abraham to their settlement in Canaan, and reminds them that
their obedience was the end of all God's gracious dealings.
1. call … name—(Ps 79:6; Ro
10:13). Call on Him,
according to His historically manifested glory. After the example of
Abraham, who, as often as God acquired for Himself a name in guiding
him, called in solemn worship upon the name of the Lord (Ge 12:8;
among the people—or, "peoples" (Ps 18:49).
deeds—or, "wonders" (Ps 103:7).
3, 4. Seeking God's favor is the only true
mode of getting true happiness, and His strength [Ps 105:4] is the only true source of protection
(compare Ps 32:11; 40:16).
Glory … name—boast in His
perfections. The world glories in its horses and chariots against the
Church of God lying in the dust; but our hope is in the name,
that is, the power and love of God to His people, manifested in past
5, 6. judgments … mouth—His
judicial decisions for the good and against the wicked.
6. chosen—rather qualifies "children"
than "Jacob," as a plural.
7. Rather, "He, Jehovah, is our God." His
title, "Jehovah," implies that He, the
unchangeable, self-existing Being, makes things to be, that is, fulfils
His promises, and therefore will not forsake His people. Though
specially of His people, He is God over all.
8-11. The covenant was often ratified.
word—answering to "covenant" [Ps 105:9] in the parallel clause, namely,
the word of promise, which, according to Ps 105:10, He set forth for an inviolable law.
commanded—or, "ordained" (Ps 68:28).
to a thousand generations—perpetually.
A verbal allusion to De 7:9
9. Which covenant—or, "Word" (Ps 105:8).
10, 11. Alluding to God's promise to Jacob
28:13). Out of the whole
storehouse of the promises of God, only one is prominently brought
forward, namely, that concerning the possession of Canaan [Ps 105:11]. Everything revolves around this. The
wonders and judgments have all for their ultimate design the fulfilment
of this promise.
12-15. few … in number—alluding to
Jacob's words (Ge 34:30),
"I being few in number."
yea, very few—literally, "as a few,"
that is, like fewness itself (compare Isa 1:9).
strangers—sojourners in the land of
their future inheritance, as in a strange country (Heb 11:9).
13. from one nation to another—and so
from danger to danger; now in Egypt, now in the wilderness, and lastly
in Canaan. Though a few strangers, wandering among various nations, God
14. reproved kings—Pharaoh of Egypt and
Abimelech of Gerar (Ge 12:17; 20:3).
15. Touch not—referring to Ge 26:11, where Abimelech says of Isaac, "He that
toucheth this man or his wife shall surely be put to death."
mine anointed—as specially consecrated
to Me (Ps
2:2). The patriarch was the
prophet, priest, and king of his family.
my prophets—in a similar sense,
20:7. The "anointed" are
those vessels of God, consecrated to His service, "in whom (as Pharaoh
said of Joseph, Ge 41:38)
the Spirit of God is" [Hengstenberg].
16. God ordered the famine. God
called for a famine—as if it were a
servant, ready to come at God's bidding. Compare the centurion's
words, as to disease being God's servant (Mt 8:8, 9).
upon the land—namely, Canaan (Ge 41:54).
staff of bread—what supports life
(Le 26:26; Ps 104:15; Isa 3:1).
17-21. Joseph was sent of God (Ge 45:5).
18. hurt with fetters—(Ge 40:3).
was laid in iron—literally, "his soul"
(see on Ps 16:10), or, "he came into iron," or,
he was bound to his grief (compare Ps 3:2; 11:1). The "soul" is put for the whole
person, because the soul of the captive suffers still more than the
body. Joseph is referred to as being an appropriate type of those
"bound in affliction and iron" (Ps 107:10).
19. his word came—His prophecy (Ge
41:11-20) to the officers
came to pass, or was fulfilled (Jud 13:12, 17; 1Sa 9:6, explain the form of speech).
the word of the Lord—or, "saying," or
"decree of the Lord."
tried him—or, "proved him," by the
afflictions it appointed him to endure before his elevation (compare
22. To bind—Not literally bind;
but exercise over them absolute control, as the parallel in the
second clause shows; also Ge 41:40, 44, in which not literal fettering,
but commanding obedience, is spoken of. It refers to Ps 105:18. The soul that was once
bound itself now binds others, even princes. The same
moral binding is assigned to the saints (Ps 149:8).
teach … senators wisdom—the
ground of his exaltation by Pharaoh was his wisdom (Ge 41:39); namely, in state policy, and ordering
well a kingdom.
23-25. Israel … and Jacob—that is,
Jacob himself is meant, as Ps 105:24
speaks of "his people." Still, he came with his whole house (Ge 46:6, 7).
land of Ham—or, Egypt (Ps 78:51).
25. turned their heart—God controls
men's free acts (compare 1Sa 10:9).
"When Saul had turned his back to go from (God's prophet) Samuel, God
turned (Margin) him another heart" (see Ex 1:8, &c.). Whatever evil the wicked man
plots against God's people, God holds bound even his heart, so as not
to lay a single plan except what God permits. Thus Isaiah (Isa 43:17) says it was God who brought
forth the army of Pharaoh to pursue Israel to their own destruction
26. Moses … chosen—both what they
were by divine choice (Ps 78:70).
27. signs—literally, "words of signs,"
or rather, as "words" in Hebrew means "things," "things of His
signs," that is, His marvellous tokens of power (Ps 145:5, Margin). Compare the same
28-36. The ninth plague is made prominent as
they rebelled not—Moses and Aaron
promptly obeyed God (Heb 11:27);
(compare Ex 7:1-11:10 and Ps 78:44-51, with which this summary substantially
agrees). Or, rather, the "darkness" here is figurative (Jer 13:16), the literal plague of darkness (Ex 10:22,
23) being only alluded
to as the symbol of God's wrath which overhung Egypt as a dark cloud
during all the plagues. Hence, it is placed first, out of the
historical order. Thus, "They rebelled not (that is, no longer) against
His word," refers to the Egyptians. Whenever God sent a plague
on them, they were ready to let Israel go, though refusing when
the plague ceased.
his word—His command to let Israel go
[Hengstenberg]. Of the ten plagues, only
eight are mentioned, the fifth, the murrain of beasts, and the sixth,
the boils, being omitted.
29-31. He deprived them of their favorite
"fish," and gave them instead, [Ps 105:30] out of the water, loathsome "frogs,"
105:31) upon their land
tormenting "flies" (the dog-fly, according to Maurer) and "lice" (gnats, according to Hengstenberg).
32. gave them—referring to Le 26:4, "I give you rain in due season."
His "gift" to Israel's foes is one of a very different kind from that
bestowed on His people.
hail for rain—instead of fertilizing
showers, hail destructive to trees. This forms the transition to the
vegetable kingdom. The locusts in Ps 105:34 similarly are destructive to plants.
33. their coasts—all their land (Ps 78:54).
34. caterpillars—literally, "the lickers
up," devouring insects; probably the hairy-winged locust.
36. the chief—literally, "the
firstlings." The ascending climax passes from the food of man to man
himself. The language here is quoted from Ps 78:51.
37. with silver and
gold—presented them by the Egyptians, as an
acknowledgment due for their labors in their bondage (compare Ex 12:35).
one feeble person—or, "stumbler,"
unfit for the line of march. Compare "harnessed," that is, accoutred
and marshalled as an army on march (Ex 13:18; Isa 5:27).
38. (Compare Ex 12:33; De 11:25).
39. covering—in sense of protection
(compare Ex 13:21; Nu 10:34). In the burning sands of the desert the
cloud protected the congregation from the heat of the sun; an emblem of
God's protecting favor of His people, as interpreted by Isaiah (Isa 4:5, 6; compare Nu 9:16).
42-45. The reasons for these dealings: (1)
God's faithfulness to His covenant, "His holy promise" of Canaan, is
the fountain whence flowed so many acts of marvellous kindness to His
people (compare Ps 105:8, 11). Ex 2:24 is the fundamental passage [Hengstenberg]. (2) That they might be obedient. The
observance of God's commands by Abraham was the object of the covenant
with him (Ge 18:19),
as it was also the object of the covenant with Israel, that they might
observe God's statutes.
remembered … and Abraham—or,
"remembered His holy word (that is, covenant confirmed) with
44. inherited the labour—that is, the
fruits of their labor; their corn and vineyards (Jos 21:43-45).