Psalms 106

Psalm 106

1 Praise the LORD! Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his faithful love endures forever.
2 Who could possibly repeat all of the LORD's mighty acts or publicly recount all his praise?
3 The people who uphold justice, who always do what is right, are truly happy!
4 Remember me, LORD, with the favor you show your people. Visit me with your saving help
5 so I can experience the good things your chosen ones experience, so I can rejoice in the joy of your nation, so I can praise along with your possession.
6 We have sinned—right along with our ancestors. We've done what is wrong. We've acted wickedly.
7 Our ancestors in Egypt didn't understand your wondrous works. They didn't remember how much faithful love you have. So they rebelled by the sea—at the Reed Sea.
8 But God saved them for the sake of his good name, to make known his mighty power.
9 God scolded the Reed Sea, and it dried right up; he led them through the deeps like they were a dry desert.
10 God saved them from hostile powers; he redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 But the waters covered over their foes— not one of them survived!
12 So our ancestors trusted God's words; they sang God's praise.
13 But how quickly they forgot what he had done! They wouldn't wait for his advice.
14 They were overcome with craving in the desert; they tested God in the wastelands.
15 God gave them what they asked for; he sent food to satisfy their appetites.
16 But then they were jealous of Moses in the camp, jealous too of Aaron, the LORD's holy one.
17 So the earth opened up, swallowing Dathan, and covering over Abiram's crowd.
18 Fire blazed throughout that whole group; flames burned up the wicked.
19 They made a calf at Horeb, bowing down to a metal idol.
20 They traded their glorious God for an image of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them— the one who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham, awesome deeds at the Reed Sea.
23 So God determined that he would destroy them— except for the fact that Moses, his chosen one, stood in the way, right in front of him, and turned God's destructive anger away.
24 But then they rejected the land that was so desirable. They didn't trust God's promise.
25 They muttered in their tents and wouldn't listen to the LORD's voice.
26 So God raised his hand against them, making them fall in the desert,
27 scattering their offspring among the nations, casting them across many lands.
28 They joined themselves to Baal-peor and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
29 They made God angry by what they did, so a plague broke out against them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and prayed, and the plague was contained.
31 That's why Phinehas is considered righteous, generation after generation, forever.
32 But they angered God at Meribah's waters, and things went badly for Moses because of them,
33 because they made him bitter so that he spoke rashly with his lips.
34 They didn't destroy the nations as the LORD had ordered them to do.
35 Instead, they got mixed up with the nations, learning what they did
36 and serving those false gods, which became a trap for them.
37 They sacrificed their own sons and daughters to demons!
38 They shed innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters— the ones they sacrificed to Canaan's false gods— so the land was defiled by the bloodshed.
39 They made themselves unclean by what they did; they prostituted themselves by their actions.
40 So the LORD's anger burned against his people; he despised his own possession.
41 God handed them over to the nations; people who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them, and they were humbled under their power.
43 God delivered them numerous times, but they were determined to rebel, and so they were brought down by their own sin.
44 But God saw their distress when he heard their loud cries.
45 God remembered his covenant for their sake, and because of how much faithful love he has, God changed his mind.
46 God allowed them to receive compassion from all their captors.
47 LORD our God, save us! Gather us back together from among all the nations so we can give thanksto your holy name and rejoice in your praise!
48 Bless the LORD, the God of Israel, from forever ago to forever from now! And let all the people say, "Amen!" Praise the LORD!

Psalms 106 Commentary

Chapter 106

The happiness of God's people. (1-5) Israel's sins. (6-12) Their provocations. (13-33) Their rebellions in Canaan. (34-46) Prayer for more complete deliverance. (47,48)

Verses 1-5 None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired. And those who depend on the Redeemer's righteousness will endeavour to copy his example, and by word and deed to show forth his praise. God's people have reason to be cheerful people; and need not envy the children of men their pleasure or pride.

Verses 6-12 Here begins a confession of sin; for we must acknowledge that the Lord has done right, and we have done wickedly. We are encouraged to hope that though justly corrected, yet we shall not be utterly forsaken. God's afflicted people own themselves guilty before him. God is distrusted because his favours are not remembered. If he did not save us for his own name's sake, and to the praise of his power and grace, we should all perish.

Verses 13-33 Those that will not wait for God's counsel, shall justly be given up to their own hearts' lusts, to walk in their own counsels. An undue desire, even for lawful things, becomes sinful. God showed his displeasure for this. He filled them with uneasiness of mind, terror of conscience, and self-reproach. Many that fare deliciously every day, and whose bodies are healthful, have leanness in their souls: no love to God, no thankfulness, no appetite for the Bread of life, and then the soul must be lean. Those wretchedly forget themselves, that feast their bodies and starve their souls. Even the true believer will see abundant cause to say, It is of the Lord's mercies that I am not consumed. Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed. If God dealt severely with Moses for unadvised words, what do those deserve who speak many proud and wicked words? It is just in God to remove those relations that are blessings to us, when we are peevish and provoking to them, and grieve their spirits.

Verses 34-48 The conduct of the Israelites in Canaan, and God's dealings with them, show that the way of sin is down-hill; omissions make way for commissions: when they neglected to destroy the heathen, they learned their works. One sin led to many more, and brought the judgments of God on them. Their sin was, in part, their own punishment. Sinners often see themselves ruined by those who led them into evil. Satan, who is a tempter, will be a tormentor. At length, God showed pity to his people for his covenant's sake. The unchangeableness of God's merciful nature and love to his people, makes him change the course of justice into mercy; and no other change is meant by God's repentance. Our case is awful when the outward church is considered. When nations professing Christianity, are so guilty as we are, no wonder if the Lord brings them low for their sins. Unless there is general and deep repentance, there can be no prospect but of increasing calamities. The psalm concludes with prayer for completing the deliverance of God's people, and praise for the beginning and progress of it. May all the people of the earth, ere long, add their Amen.

Footnotes 3

Chapter Summary


This psalm is without the name of its author, as the Syriac interpreter observes. Aben Ezra, on Ps 106:47, says, that one of the wise men of Egypt (perhaps Maimonides) was of opinion that it was written in the time of the judges, when there was no king in Israel; and another, he says, thought it was written in Babylon: but he was of opinion it was wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, or by a prophetic spirit, concerning their present captivity; and so Kimchi. The petition in Ps 106:47, "gather us from among the Heathen", has led most interpreters to conclude that it was written either in the Babylonish captivity, or, as some, in the times of Antiochus: but by comparing it with 1Ch 16:7, it appears that it was written by David, at the time of the bringing up of the ark to Zion; since the first and two last verses of it are there expressly mentioned, in the psalm he gave Asaph to sing on that occasion, Ps 106:34-36, who therein might have respect to the Israelites that had been taken captive by some of their neighbours, as the Philistines, and still retained; though there is no difficulty in supposing that David, under a prophetic spirit, foresaw future captivities, and represents those that were in them. As the preceding psalm treats of the mercies and favours God bestowed upon Israel, this of their sins and provocations amidst those blessings, and of the goodness of God unto them; that notwithstanding he did not destroy them from being a people; for which they had reason to be thankful.

Psalms 106 Commentaries