Psalms 106

Listen to Psalms 106
1 1Praise the LORD! 2Oh give thanks to the LORD, 3for he is good, 4for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the LORD, or declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are they who observe justice, who 5do righteousness at all times!
4 6Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them,[a]
5 that I may look upon the prosperity of your 7chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.
6 8Both we and 9our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works; they 10did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love, but 11rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them 12for his name's sake, 13that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He 14rebuked the Red Sea, and it 15became dry, and he 16led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he 17saved them from the hand of the foe and 18redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And 19the waters covered their adversaries; not one of them was left.
12 Then 20they believed his words; they 21sang his praise.
13 But they soon 22forgot his works; they did not wait for 23his counsel.
14 But they had 24a wanton craving in the wilderness, and 25put God to the test in the desert;
15 he 26gave them what they asked, but sent 27a wasting disease among them.
16 When men in the camp 28were jealous of Moses and Aaron, 29the holy one of the LORD,
17 30the earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram.
18 31Fire also broke out in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.
19 They 32made a calf in Horeb and worshiped a metal image.
20 They 33exchanged the glory of God for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They 34forgot God, their Savior, who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in 35the land of Ham, and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore 36he said he would destroy them-- had not Moses, his 37chosen one, 38stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
24 Then they 39despised 40the pleasant land, having 41no faith in his promise.
25 They 42murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD.
26 Therefore he 43raised his hand and swore to them that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 and would make their offspring fall among the nations, 44scattering them among the lands.
28 Then they 45yoked themselves to the 46Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to 47the dead;
29 they provoked the LORD to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then 48Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed.
31 And that was 49counted to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever.
32 They 50angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account,
33 for they 51made his spirit bitter,[b] and he 52spoke rashly with his lips.
34 They did not 53destroy the peoples, 54as the LORD commanded them,
35 but they 55mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols, which became 56a snare to them.
37 They 57sacrificed their sons and their daughters to 58the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was 59polluted with blood.
39 Thus they 60became unclean by their acts, and 61played the whore in their deeds.
40 Then 62the anger of the LORD was kindled against 63his people, and he abhorred his 64heritage;
41 he 65gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies 66oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 67Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their 68purposes and were 69brought low through their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he 70heard their cry.
45 For their sake he 71remembered his covenant, and 72relented according to 73the abundance of his steadfast love.
46 He caused them to be 74pitied by all those who held them captive.
47 75Save us, O LORD our God, and 76gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
48 77Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! 78And let all the people say, "Amen!" 79Praise 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.

Cross References 79

  • 1. [See Psalms 105:45 above]
  • 2. See Psalms 105:1
  • 3. See Psalms 100:5
  • 4. See 1 Chronicles 16:34, 41
  • 5. [Psalms 15:2]
  • 6. [Psalms 119:132]
  • 7. Psalms 105:6, 43
  • 8. 1 Kings 8:47; Ezra 9:6; Nehemiah 1:6, 7; Nehemiah 9:16; Jeremiah 3:25; Jeremiah 14:20; Daniel 9:5
  • 9. Psalms 79:8; Leviticus 26:40
  • 10. [ver. 13, 21]
  • 11. Exodus 14:11, 12
  • 12. Ezekiel 20:9, 14
  • 13. Exodus 9:16
  • 14. [Psalms 18:15; Psalms 104:7]
  • 15. Exodus 14:21; [Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 51:10]
  • 16. Isaiah 63:13
  • 17. Exodus 14:30
  • 18. Psalms 107:2
  • 19. Exodus 14:28; Exodus 15:5
  • 20. Exodus 14:31
  • 21. See Exodus 15:1-21
  • 22. Psalms 78:11; [Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:2; Exodus 17:2]
  • 23. [Psalms 107:11]
  • 24. Numbers 11:4; 1 Corinthians 10:6; [Psalms 78:18]
  • 25. Exodus 17:2; 1 Corinthians 10:9
  • 26. Psalms 78:29
  • 27. Isaiah 10:16
  • 28. See Numbers 16:1-3
  • 29. Deuteronomy 33:2; Zechariah 14:5; Jude 14
  • 30. Numbers 16:31, 32; Deuteronomy 11:6
  • 31. Numbers 16:35
  • 32. Exodus 32:4; Deuteronomy 9:8; Acts 7:41
  • 33. Jeremiah 2:11; [Romans 1:23]
  • 34. ver. 7, 13; Psalms 78:11; Deuteronomy 32:18
  • 35. Psalms 105:23, 27; [Psalms 78:51]
  • 36. Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 9:14; Ezekiel 20:8
  • 37. Psalms 105:6
  • 38. Ezekiel 22:30
  • 39. Numbers 14:31
  • 40. Zechariah 7:14
  • 41. Deuteronomy 1:32; Deuteronomy 9:23
  • 42. Numbers 14:2; Deuteronomy 1:27
  • 43. Exodus 6:8; Numbers 14:30; Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezek. 20:6, 15, 23; [Psalms 95:11]
  • 44. See Psalms 44:11
  • 45. Numbers 25:3; Hosea 9:10
  • 46. Numbers 25:3; Hosea 9:10
  • 47. Isaiah 8:19
  • 48. Numbers 25:7, 8
  • 49. [Genesis 15:6]; See Numbers 25:10-13
  • 50. See Numbers 20:2-13; Deuteronomy 1:37
  • 51. Psalms 107:11; [Psalms 78:40; Isaiah 63:10]
  • 52. Numbers 20:10
  • 53. See Judg. 1:21, 27-36
  • 54. Deuteronomy 7:2, 16; Judges 2:2
  • 55. Judges 3:5, 6; [Ezra 9:2]
  • 56. Exodus 23:33; Deuteronomy 7:16; Judges 2:3
  • 57. 2 Kings 16:3; Isaiah 57:5; Ezekiel 16:20; Ezekiel 20:26
  • 58. Deuteronomy 32:17; [1 Corinthians 10:20]
  • 59. Isaiah 24:5
  • 60. Ezek. 20:18, 30, 31
  • 61. See Psalms 73:27
  • 62. Psalms 78:59, 62; Judges 2:14
  • 63. See Psalms 28:9
  • 64. See Psalms 28:9
  • 65. Nehemiah 9:27
  • 66. Judges 4:3; Judges 10:12
  • 67. Judges 2:16
  • 68. See Psalms 81:12
  • 69. Leviticus 26:39
  • 70. Judges 3:9; Judges 4:3; Judges 6:7; Judges 10:10
  • 71. Psalms 105:8; Leviticus 26:42
  • 72. See Psalms 90:13
  • 73. ver. 7; Psalms 51:1; Psalms 69:16; Isaiah 63:7; Lamentations 3:32
  • 74. 1 Kings 8:50; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Ezra 9:9; Nehemiah 1:11; Jeremiah 42:12
  • 75. For ver. 47, 48, see 1 Chronicles 16:35, 36
  • 76. See Psalms 107:3
  • 77. See Psalms 41:13
  • 78. See Psalms 41:13
  • 79. See Psalms 104:35

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or Remember me, O Lord, with the favor you show to your people; help me with your salvation
  • [b]. Or they rebelled against God's Spirit

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.