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105. Psalm 105

O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

2Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.

3Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.

4Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

5Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

6O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.

7He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.

8He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.

9Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;

10And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:

11Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:

12When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.

13When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;

14He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;

15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

16Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.

17He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:

18Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:

19Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.

20The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.

21He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:

22To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.

23Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

24And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.

25He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.

26He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.

27They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.

28He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.

29He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.

30Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.

31He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.

32He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.

33He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.

34He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,

35And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.

36He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.

37He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.

38Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.

39He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.

40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

41He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.

42For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.

43And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:

44And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;

45That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the Lord.

18 They afflicted his feet in the fetters It is not without cause that the Psalmist prosecutes the winding course of Jacob’s early history, which might so confuse the minds of men as to prevent them from directing their attention to the counsel of God. What seemed less likely than to believe that God, by so directly opposite and circuitous a path, meant to accomplish what he had purposed? But his providence, by surmounting so many obstacles, is brought out more conspicuously, than if he had despatched the whole matter by a short and easy road. Had Joseph, as soon as he arrived in Egypt, been presented to the king, and made its governor, the way to what followed would have been easy. But when he was carried away to prison, and lay there separated from the society of men, living as one half-dead; and when his becoming known to the king was a long time subsequent to this, and beyond all expectation, such a sudden change renders the miracle much more evident. This circuitous course then, which the prophet recounts, serves not a little to illustrate the subject in hand. Joseph was many times dead before he was sold. Hence it follows, that God as often showed his care of his Church by delivering him who might be termed her father. When after, having been brought into Egypt, Joseph was conveyed from hand to hand till he descended into another grave, is it not the more clearly manifest from this that God, while he seems to be asleep in heaven, is all the while keeping the strictest watch over his servants, and that he is carrying forward his purpose more effectually by these various windings, than if he had gone straight forward, yea, than if he had run with rapid pace? For this reason the prophet affirms that his feet were afflicted in the fetters; a fact which, although not stated in the narrative of Moses, he speaks of as well known. And no doubt, many things were delivered by tradition to the Jews of which no mention is made in the Scriptures. 212212     The memory of this circumstance might, therefore, have been preserved by tradition; or it may be simply a conclusion drawn from Joseph’s being incarcerated, and from the crime of which he was accused. When it is considered that prisoners were ordinarily secured by chains, and when the magnitude of the crime charged upon him, that of making an attempt upon the chastity of his mistress, is farther taken into account, it is a very probable inference, that when cast into prison, he was put in chains. It is also probable enough, that, instead of being put at first under mild restraint, as was afterwards the case, he was rigorously confined. Whether we read, his soul entered into the iron, or the iron entered into his soul, 213213     The first of these readings is the most probable. The Hebrew is ברזל באה נפשו. “The verb being here in the feminine gender shows that the subject is נפשו, and that ברזל is accusative. In this manner the phrase is rendered by the LXX. Σίδηρον διὢλθεν ἡ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ, ‘his soul passed through iron;’ and so the Syriac, ‘his soul went into iron;’ but the Chaldee, disregarding the gender, has taken it the other way, ‘the chain of iron went into his soul.’” — (Phillips Psalms in Hebrew, with a Critical, Exegetical, and Philological Commentary.) the meaning, which, in either case, is exactly the same, amounts to this, that the holy man was so galled with fetters, that it seemed as if his life had been given over to the sword. Whence it follows, that the safety of his life was as hopeless as the restoration of life to a dead body.


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