Psalms 106

1 Praise the Lord! Thank the Lord because he is good. His love continues forever.
2 No one can tell all the mighty things the Lord has done; no one can speak all his praise.
3 Happy are those who do right, who do what is fair at all times.
4 Lord, remember me when you are kind to your people; help me when you save them.
5 Let me see the good things you do for your chosen people. Let me be happy along with your happy nation; let me join your own people in praising you.
6 We have sinned just as our ancestors did. We have done wrong; we have done evil.
7 Our ancestors in Egypt did not learn from your miracles. They did not remember all your kindnesses, so they turned against you at the Red Sea.
8 But the Lord saved them for his own sake, to show his great power.
9 He commanded the Red Sea, and it dried up. He led them through the deep sea as if it were a desert.
10 He saved them from those who hated them. He saved them from their enemies,
11 and the water covered their foes. Not one of them escaped.
12 Then the people believed what the Lord said, and they sang praises to him.
13 But they quickly forgot what he had done; they did not wait for his advice.
14 They became greedy for food in the desert, and they tested God there.
15 So he gave them what they wanted, but he also sent a terrible disease among them.
16 The people in the camp were jealous of Moses and of Aaron, the holy priest of the Lord.
17 Then the ground opened up and swallowed Dathan and closed over Abiram's group.
18 A fire burned among their followers, and flames burned up the wicked.
19 The people made a gold calf at Mount Sinai and worshiped a metal statue.
20 They exchanged their glorious God for a statue of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them, who had done great things in Egypt,
22 who had done miracles in Egyptn and amazing things by the Red Sea.
23 So God said he would destroy them. But Moses, his chosen one, stood before him and stopped God's anger from destroying them.
24 Then they refused to go into the beautiful land of Canaan; they did not believe what God promised.
25 They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the Lord.
26 So he swore to them that they would die in the desert.
27 He said their children would be killed by other nations and that they would be scattered among other countries.
28 They joined in worshiping Baal at Peor and ate meat that had been sacrificed to lifeless statues.
29 They made the Lord angry by what they did, so many people became sick with a terrible disease.
30 But Phinehas prayed to the Lord, and the disease stopped.
31 Phinehas did what was right, and it will be remembered from now on.
32 The people also made the Lord angry at Meribah, and Moses was in trouble because of them.
33 The people turned against the Spirit of God, so Moses spoke without stopping to think.
34 The people did not destroy the other nations as the Lord had told them to do.
35 Instead, they mixed with the other nations and learned their customs.
36 They worshiped other nations' idols and were trapped by them.
37 They even killed their sons and daughters as sacrifices to demons.
38 They killed innocent people, their own sons and daughters, as sacrifices to the idols of Canaan. So the land was made unholy by their blood.
39 The people became unholy by their sins; they were unfaithful to God in what they did.
40 So the Lord became angry with his people and hated his own children.
41 He handed them over to other nations and let their enemies rule over them.
42 Their enemies were cruel to them and kept them under their power.
43 The Lord saved his people many times, but they continued to turn against him. So they became even more wicked.
44 But God saw their misery when he heard their cry.
45 He remembered his agreement with them, and he felt sorry for them because of his great love.
46 He caused them to be pitied by those who held them captive.
47 Lord our God, save us and bring us back from other nations. Then we will thank you and will gladly praise you.
48 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel. He always was and always will be. Let all the people say, "Amen!"

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.

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