Ps 106:1-48. 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 (Ps 105:45). 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.
1. Praise, &c.—(See on Ps 104:35), begins and ends the Psalm, intimating the
obligations of praise, however we sin and suffer 1Ch 16:34-36 is the source from which the
beginning and end of this Psalm are derived.
2. His acts exceed our comprehension, as His
praise our powers of expression (Ro 11:33). Their unutterable greatness is not to
keep us back, but to urge us the more to try to praise Him as best we
can (Ps 40:5; 71:15).
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" (Ps 105:45).
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 Ps 8:4).
5. see the good—participate in it (Ps 37:13).
thy chosen—namely, Israel, God's elect
43:20; 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—(De 9:29; 32:9).
6. Compare 1Ki 8:47; Da 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 Ps 1:1).
with our fathers—we and they together
forming one mass of corruption.
7-12. Special confession. Their rebellion at
the sea (Ex
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
the sea … the Red Sea—the very
words in which Moses' song celebrated the scene of Israel's deliverance
15:4). Israel began to rebel
against God at the very moment and scene of its deliverance by God!
8. for his name's sake—(Eze 20:14).
9. rebuked—(Ps 104:7).
as through the wilderness—(Isa
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 (Ps
106:13; Ex 14:31; 15:1).
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 (Nu 11:18).
They soon forgat—literally, "They
hasted, they forgat" (compare Ex 32:8). "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—(De 11:3, 4; Da
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.
14. Literally, "lusted a lust" (quoted from
Nu 11:4, Margin). Previously, there
had been impatience as to necessaries of life; here it is
lusting (Ps 78:18).
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
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 (Nu 11:6; Ps 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" [Nu 11:34], because there they buried the people
who had lusted. Animal desires when gratified mostly give only a hungry
craving for more (Jer 2:13).
16-18. All the congregation took part with
Dathan, Korah, &c., and their accomplices (Nu 16:41).
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. (De 11:6; Nu 26:10); these were swallowed up by the
17. covered—"closed upon them" (Nu 16:33). (2) Of the Levitical
rebels, with Korah at their head (Nu 16:35; 26:10); these had sinned by fire, and
were punished by fire, as Aaron's (being high priest) sons had been
(Le 10:2; Nu 16:1-35).
19-23. From indirect setting God at naught,
they pass to direct.
made—though prohibited in Ex 20:4, 5 to make a likeness, even of the
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
32:1-6). Though intending to
worship Jehovah under the symbol of the calf, yet as this was
incompatible with His nature (De 4:15-17), 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.
23. he said—namely, to Moses (De 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
(Ex 32:11-14; De 9:18, 19).
Moses his chosen—that is, to be His
servant (compare Ps 105:26).
in the breach—as a warrior covers with
his body the broken part of a wall or fortress besieged, a perilous
place (Eze 13:5; 22:30).
to turn away—or, "prevent"
his wrath—(Nu 25:11; Ps
24-27. The sin of refusing to invade Canaan,
"the pleasant land" (Jer 3:19; Eze 20:6; Da 8:9), "the land of beauty," was punished by
the destruction of that generation (Nu 14:28), and the threat of dispersion (De 4:25;
28:32) afterwards made to
their posterity, and fulfilled in the great calamities now bewailed,
may have also been then added.
believed not his word—by which He
promised He would give them the land; but rather the word of the
faithless spies (compare Ps 78:22).
26. lifted up his hand—or, "swore," the
usual form of swearing (compare Nu 14:30, Margin).
27. To overthrow—literally, "To make
them fall"; alluding to the words (Nu 14:39).
among … nations …
lands—The "wilderness" was not more destructive to the
fathers (Ps 106:26)
than residence among the heathen ("nations") shall be to the children.
26:33, 38 is here, before the
Psalmist's mind, the determination against the "seed" when rebellious,
being not expressed in Nu 14:31-33, but implied in the determination
against the fathers.
28-30. sacrifices of the dead—that is,
of lifeless idols, contrasted with "the living God" (Jer 10:3-10; compare Ps 115:4-7;
1Co 12:2). On the words,
joined themselves to Baal-peor—see
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
23:28). The name never occurs
except in connection with that locality and that circumstance.
29. provoked—excited grief and
indignation (Ps 6:7; 78:58).
30. stood—as Aaron "stood between the
living and the dead, and the plague was stayed" (Nu 16:48).
executed judgment—literally, "judged,"
including sentence and act.
31. counted … righteousness—"a
just and rewardable action."
for—or, "unto," to the procuring of
righteousness, as in Ro 4:2; 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 (Nu 25:13; 1Ch 6:4, &c.).
32, 33. (Compare Nu
20:3-12; De 1:37; 3:26).
went ill with—literally, "was bad
Moses—His conduct, though under great
provocation, was punished by exclusion from Canaan.
34-39. They not only failed to expel the
heathen, as God
commanded—(Ex 23:32, 33), literally, "said (they should),"
but conformed to their idolatries [Ps 106:36], and thus became spiritual adulterers
37. unto devils—Septuagint,
"demons" (compare 1Co 10:20),
or "evil spirits."
38. polluted with blood—literally,
"blood," or "murder" (Ps 5:6; 26:9).
40-43. Those nations first seduced and then
oppressed them (compare Jud 1:34; 2:14; 3:30). Their apostasies ungratefully repaid
God's many mercies till He finally abandoned them to punishment (Le 26:39).
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.
45. repented—(compare Ps 90:13).
46. made … pitied—(1Ki 8:50; Da
1:9). These tokens encourage
the prayer and the promise of praise (Ps 30:4), which is well closed by a