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Psalm 106

A Confession of Israel’s Sins


Praise the L ord!

O give thanks to the L ord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever.


Who can utter the mighty doings of the L ord,

or declare all his praise?


Happy are those who observe justice,

who do righteousness at all times.



Remember me, O L ord, when you show favor to your people;

help me when you deliver them;


that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,

that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,

that I may glory in your heritage.



Both we and our ancestors have sinned;

we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.


Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt,

did not consider your wonderful works;

they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,

but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea.


Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,

so that he might make known his mighty power.


He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry;

he led them through the deep as through a desert.


So he saved them from the hand of the foe,

and delivered them from the hand of the enemy.


The waters covered their adversaries;

not one of them was left.


Then they believed his words;

they sang his praise.



But they soon forgot his works;

they did not wait for his counsel.


But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,

and put God to the test in the desert;


he gave them what they asked,

but sent a wasting disease among them.



They were jealous of Moses in the camp,

and of Aaron, the holy one of the L ord.


The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,

and covered the faction of Abiram.


Fire also broke out in their company;

the flame burned up the wicked.



They made a calf at Horeb

and worshiped a cast image.


They exchanged the glory of God

for the image of an ox that eats grass.


They forgot God, their Savior,

who had done great things in Egypt,


wondrous works in the land of Ham,

and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.


Therefore he said he would destroy them—

had not Moses, his chosen one,

stood in the breach before him,

to turn away his wrath from destroying them.



Then they despised the pleasant land,

having no faith in his promise.


They grumbled in their tents,

and did not obey the voice of the L ord.


Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them

that he would make them fall in the wilderness,


and would disperse their descendants among the nations,

scattering them over the lands.



Then they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor,

and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;


they provoked the L ord to anger with their deeds,

and a plague broke out among them.


Then Phinehas stood up and interceded,

and the plague was stopped.


And that has been reckoned to him as righteousness

from generation to generation forever.



They angered the L ord at the waters of Meribah,

and it went ill with Moses on their account;


for they made his spirit bitter,

and he spoke words that were rash.



They did not destroy the peoples,

as the L ord commanded them,


but they mingled with the nations

and learned to do as they did.


They served their idols,

which became a snare to them.


They sacrificed their sons

and their daughters to the demons;


they poured out innocent blood,

the blood of their sons and daughters,

whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;

and the land was polluted with blood.


Thus they became unclean by their acts,

and prostituted themselves in their doings.



Then the anger of the L ord was kindled against his people,

and he abhorred his heritage;


he gave them into the hand of the nations,

so that those who hated them ruled over them.


Their enemies oppressed them,

and they were brought into subjection under their power.


Many times he delivered them,

but they were rebellious in their purposes,

and were brought low through their iniquity.


Nevertheless he regarded their distress

when he heard their cry.


For their sake he remembered his covenant,

and showed compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love.


He caused them to be pitied

by all who held them captive.



Save us, O L ord our God,

and gather us from among the nations,

that we may give thanks to your holy name

and glory in your praise.



Blessed be the L ord, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting.

And let all the people say, “Amen.”

Praise the L ord!

15. He gave them their desire There is a fine paronomasia in the word רזון, razon, for if, instead of ז, zain, we read ץ, tsädhé, the word would signify good pleasure. The prophet, therefore, in allusion to their lusting, by a word which is very similar to good pleasure or desire, says that God sent leanness into their souls; meaning by that, that he had indeed gratified the inordinate desires of the people, in such a way, however, as that those who had loathed the manna, now received nothing but leanness. 246246     The reference here is to the quails which God granted to the people in answer to their request for flesh, but which, from the excess in which they partook of them, so far from affording nourishment, proved the cause of disease. When food of an unwholesome quality, or too much of that which is wholesome, is eaten, nature with much violence seeks to throw it off from the system by the several evacuations, upon which follows a sudden and almost incredible deprivation of strength and flesh. The Israelites, when God gave them the quails, having indulged their appetite to an immoderate degree, (Exodus 16:8; Psalm 78:25, 29,) the effect was their being seized with a sudden and wasting sickness, which is supposed by some to have been what is called cholera, a disease which produces a rapid prostration of strength and emaciation of the whole frame. This opinion seems confirmed from what is stated in Numbers 11:20, where it is threatened that the quails should “come out at their nostrils,” probably indicating the violent vomitings which accompany that malady. It is indeed said, that the Lord smote the people with a very great plague, Numbers 11:33. But God’s agency, and even his miraculous agency, admits of the subserviency of means. French and Skinner read the clause, “But sent a wasting disease among them.” “The word רזה, to attenuate, emaciate,” says Hammond, “is used also for destroying, Zephaniah 2:11, when God threatens that he will emaciate, i.e., destroy all the gods. And then רזון, may be rendered, more generally, destruction or plague, and so R. Tanchum on Zephaniah renders it destruction. Thus the prophet would seem to charge the people with what we daily observe among those who live luxuriously and are fastidious, especially when their stomach, in consequence of the fluids poured into it, being vitiated, has no relish for wholesome food. For such persons only relish that food which is pernicious; and, therefore, the more they pamper themselves with it, so much the more do they become the creatures of noxious habits; and thus in a very short time, the very food itself makes them pine away. The prophet, seems, therefore, to apply to the mind what he says about the unhealthy state of the body, and to compare the Jews to those morbid persons, whose voraciousness, instead of promoting health, injures it, because they do not derive any nourishment from their food. The reason is, that God withheld his blessing from the food which they had so immoderately longed for, in order that this their punishment for their transgression might humble them. But their perversity is seen to be very great, in that even this mode of punishing them did not overcome their stubborn hearts. It is a proverbial saying, that fools learn wisdom from the experience of evil. How insane and incorrigible must they have been, whom even compulsion itself could not reform!

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