Ps 107:1-43. Although the general theme of this
Psalm may have been suggested by God's special favor to the Israelites
in their restoration from captivity, it must be regarded as an
instructive celebration of God's praise for His merciful providence to
all men in their various emergencies. Of these several are
given—captivity and bondage, wanderings by land and sea, and
famine; some as evidences of God's displeasure, and all the
deliverances as evidence of His goodness and mercy to them who humbly
1, 2. This call for thankful praise is the
burden or chorus (compare Ps 107:8, 15, &c.).
2. redeemed of the Lord—(compare Isa 35:9,
say—that is, that His mercy,
hand of—or, "power of enemy."
3. gathered—alluding to the dispersion
of captives throughout the Babylonian empire.
from the south—literally, "the sea,"
or, Red Sea (Ps 114:3),
which was on the south.
4-7. A graphic picture is given of the
sufferings of those who from distant lands returned to Jerusalem;
city of habitation—may mean the land
5. fainted—was overwhelmed (Ps 61:3; 77:3).
8, 9. To the chorus is added, as a reason for
praise, an example of the extreme distress from which they had been
delivered—extreme hunger, the severest privation of a journey in
10-16. Their sufferings were for their
rebellion against (Ps 105:28)
the words, or purposes, or promises, of God for their benefit. When
humbled they cry to God, who delivers them from bondage, described as a
dark dungeon with doors and bars of metal, in which they are bound in
iron—that is, chains and fetters.
shadow of death—darkness with danger
16. broken—literally, "shivered" (Isa 45:2).
17-22. Whether the same or not, this exigency
illustrates that dispensation of God according to which sin brings its
are afflicted—literally, "afflict
themselves," that is, bring on disease, denoted by loathing of food,
18. near unto—literally, "even to"
gates—or, "domains" (Ps 9:13).
20. sent his word—that is, put forth His
their destructions—that is, that which
threatened them. To the chorus is added the mode of giving thanks, by a
sacrifice and joyful singing (Ps 50:14).
23-32. Here are set forth the perils of
seafaring, futility of man's, and efficiency of God's, help.
go … sea—alluding to the
elevation of the land at the coast.
24. These see … deep—illustrated
both by the storm He raises and the calm He makes with a word (Ps 33:9).
25. waves thereof—literally, "His waves"
27. are … end—literally, "all
their wisdom swallows up itself," destroys itself by vain and
contradictory devices, such as despair induces.
29-32. He maketh … calm—or, "to
stand to stillness," or "in quiet." Instead of acts of temple-worship,
those of the synagogue are here described, where the people with
assembly—or session of elders,
convened for reading, singing, prayer, and teaching.
33-41. He turneth rivers into a wilderness,
&c.—God's providence is illustriously displayed in His
influence on two great elements of human prosperity, the earth's
productiveness and the powers of government. He punishes the wicked by
destroying the sources of fertility, or, in mercy, gives fruitfulness
to deserts, which become the homes of a busy and successful
agricultural population. By a permitted misrule and tyranny, this scene
of prosperity is changed to one of adversity. He rules rulers, setting
up one and putting down another.
40. wander … wilderness—reduced to
misery (Job 12:24).
42, 43. In this providential government, good
men will rejoice, and the cavils of the wicked will be stopped (Job
5:16; Isa 52:15), and all who
take right views will appreciate God's unfailing mercy and unbounded