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106. Psalm 106

Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord? who can shew forth all his praise?

3Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.

4Remember me, O Lord, with the favour that thou bearest unto thy people: O visit me with thy salvation;

5That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.

6We have sinned with our fathers, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly.

7Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.

8Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

9He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

10And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.

11And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left.

12Then believed they his words; they sang his praise.

13They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel:

14But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

15And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.

16They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the Lord.

17The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.

18And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.

19They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image.

20Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.

21They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt;

22Wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea.

23Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

24Yea, they despised the pleasant land, they believed not his word:

25But murmured in their tents, and hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.

26Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:

27To overthrow their seed also among the nations, and to scatter them in the lands.

28They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.

29Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them.

30Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.

31And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.

32They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes:

33Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips.

34They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them:

35But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.

36And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.

37Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,

38And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.

39Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

40Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.

41And he gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.

42Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

43Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.

44Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry:

45And he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies.

46He made them also to be pitied of all those that carried them captives.

47Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

48Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the Lord.

7 Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt, Here he relates how the people immediately, from the very commencement of their emancipation from bondage, were ungrateful to God, and conducted themselves in a rebellious manner. Nor does he confine himself to the history of one period only, but the whole drift of his narrative is to point out that the people had never ceased from doing wickedly, although God met them in return with inconceivable kindness; which is a proof of the invincible and desperate perversity of this nation. He first blames the folly of the people as the occasion of such ingratitude. In calling it folly, he does not intend to lessen the offense, (as some are often wont to do,) but to expose the vile and disgraceful stupidity of the people, in being blind in matters so plain; for God’s works were such that even the blind might behold them. Whence could such gross ignorance originate, unless that Satan had so maddened them that they did not regard the miracles of God, which might have moved the very stones? Now, when he adds, they remembered not, he expresses more forcibly the inexcusable nature of their ignorance, nay, that their blindness was the result of stupid indifference, more than the want of proper instruction. For the cause of their ignorance was their overlooking those matters which, in themselves, were abundantly manifest. He further mentions how quickly that forgetfulness came upon them, which tended to increase their guilt. For it was marvelous that not even the very sight of these things could arouse their spirits. Hence it came to pass, that while they had scarcely made their departure from Egypt, and were passing through the sea, they proudly rose up against their deliverer. Surely not one year, nor even a century, ought to have erased from their minds deeds so worthy of being remembered. What madness, then, at that very time to murmur against God, as if he had abandoned them to be slaughtered by their enemies? That arm of the sea through which the people passed is, in the Hebrew, called the Sea of Suph. Some translate it the Sea of Sedge, and will have the word סופ, suph, to signify sea-weed. 244244     “At the Red Sea, i.e., at the Arabian Gulf; literally, at the Sea of Suph, which, if Suph be not here a proper name, (as it seems to be in Deuteronomy 1:1 and, with a slight variation, in Numbers 21:14) means the sea of weeds; and that sea is still called by a similar name in modern Egypt. This, its designation throughout the books of the Old Testament, is in the Syriac version and the Chaldee paraphrase likewise rendered the sea of weeds; which name may have been derived from the weeds growing near its shore, or from the weeds, or coralline productions, with which, according to Diodorus Siculus and Kircher, it abounded; and which were seen through its translucent waters. Finati, quoted by Laborde, speaks of the transparency of its waters, and the corals seen at its bottom ” — Cresswell. It has sometimes been asserted that this sea received the appellation of Red from its color. But it has been abundantly attested by those who have seen it, that it is no more red than any other sea. Niebuhr, in his description of Arabia, says, “The Europeans are accustomed to give the Arabian Gulf the name of Red Sea; nevertheless, I have not found it any more red than the Black Sea or the White Sea, or any other sea in the world.” Artemidorus in Strabo expressly tells us that “it looks of a green color, by reason of the abundance of sea-weed and moss that grow in it;” which Diodorus Siculus also asserts of a particular part of it. It appears to have derived its name of “Red Sea” from Edom, which signifies red. Although throughout the whole Scriptures of the Old Testament it is called Yam Suph, the weedy sea, yet among the ancient inhabitants of the countries adjoining it was called Yam Edom, the sea of Edom, (1 Kings 9:26; 2 Chronicles 8:17, 18,) the land of Edom having extended to the Arabian Gulf; and the Edomites or Idumeans having occupied at one time a part, if not the whole, of Arabia Petraea. The Greeks, who took the name of the sea from the Phoenicians, who called it Yam Edom, instead of rendering it the sea of Edom, or, the Idumean Sea, as they ought to have done, took the word Edom, by mistake, for an appellative, instead of a proper name, and accordingly rendered it ερυθρα θαλασσα, that is, the Red Sea. Hence the LXX. translate Yam Suph, by the Red Sea; in which they have been followed by the authors of our English version. But the sea of weeds is undoubtedly the best translation of the Hebrew text. — See Prideaux Connections, etc., volume 1, pages 39, 40. But whatever be its derivation, there can be no doubt about the place. It is very likely that the name was given to it because it abounded with rushes.


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