Psalms 106

1 Alleluia. Acknowledge ye to the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy is [into] without end. (Alleluia. Give ye thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his love is forever.)
2 Who shall speak (of) the powers of the Lord; shall make known all his praisings? (Who shall speak of the Lord's powers? who shall make known all his praises?/who shall make known all the praises that he is due?)
3 Blessed be they that keep doom; and do rightfulness in all time. (Happy be they who obey his commands, or his judgements; and who always do what is right.)
4 Lord, have thou mind on us, in the good pleasance of thy people; visit thou us in thine health. (Lord, remember me when thou helpest thy people; include me in their salvation, or in their deliverance.)
5 To see in the goodness of thy chosen men, to be glad in the gladness of thy folk; that thou be praised with thine heritage. (So that I may see the goodness of thy chosen people, and that I be glad, or rejoice, in the gladness of thy nation; and so that I may have glory with thy inheritance.)
6 We have sinned with our fathers; we have done unjustly, we have done wickedness. (We have all sinned like our forefathers; we have all done unjustly, we have all done wickedness.)
7 Our fathers in Egypt understood not thy marvels; they were not mindful of the multitude of thy mercy. And they going into the sea, into the Red Sea, stirred (him) to wrath; (Our forefathers in Egypt did not understand thy marvellous deeds; they did not remember thy many loving deeds. And they stirred thee to anger at the sea, yea, at the Red Sea/And they rebelled against thee at the sea, yea, at the Sea of Reeds;)
8 and he saved them for his name, that he should make known his power. (but still he saved them for the sake of his name, so that he could make known his power.)
9 And he parted the Red Sea, and it was dried; and he led forth them in the depths of waters, as in desert. (And he parted the Red Sea, or the Sea of Reeds, and it dried up; and he led them forth through the depths of the waters, as though through the wilderness.)
10 And he saved them from the hand of haters; and he again-bought them from the hand of the enemy (and he redeemed them from the power of the enemy).
11 And the waters covered men troubling them; one of them abode not. (And then the waters covered the men who troubled them; yea, not one of them was left alive.)
12 And they believed to his words; and they praised the praising of him. (And they believed in his promises; and they sang his praises.)
13 They had soon done, (that) they forgat his works; and they abided not his counsel. (But soon they had forgotten all his works; and they did not wait for his counsel.)
14 And they coveted covetousness in desert (And they were utterly insatiable in the wilderness); and tempted God in a place without water.
15 And he gave to them the asking of them; and he sent fullness into the souls of them. (And so he gave them what they asked for; but he also sent leanness, that is, sickness, into their bodies.)
16 And they wrathed (against) Moses in the castles; (and against) Aaron, the holy (man) of the Lord. (And they envied Moses in their tents; and also Aaron, the holy man of the Lord.)
17 The earth was opened, and swallowed [down] Dathan; and covered on the congregation of Abiram. (And the earth opened up, and swallowed Dathan; and it covered up the company, or the family, of Abiram.)
18 And fire burnt on high in the synagogue of them; flame burnt [the] sinners. (And fire burned on high throughout their company, or their congregation; yea, the flame burned up the sinners.)
19 And they made a calf in Horeb; and worshipped a molten image. (And then they made a golden calf at Sinai; and so they worshipped a cast image.)
20 And they changed their glory; into the likeness of a calf eating hay. (And they exchanged the glory of God; for the metal likeness of a calf that eateth grass.)
21 They forgat God, that saved them, that did great works in Egypt, (They forgot their God, who saved them, and who did great works in Egypt,)
22 marvels in the land of Ham; fearedful things in the Red Sea. (yea, marvellous deeds in the land of Ham; and fearful things in the Red Sea/in the Sea of Reeds.)
23 And God said, that he would lose them; (and he would have,) if Moses, his chosen man, had not stood in the breaking of his sight. That he should turn away his ire; lest he lost them. (And God said, that he would destroy them; and he would have, if Moses, his chosen man, had not stood in the gap, or the breach, before him; so that he would turn away his anger, lest it destroy the people.)
24 And they had the desirable land for nought, (for) they believed not to his word, (And they considered the desirable land as worth nothing, for they did not believe his promise,)
25 and they grutched in their tabernacles (and they grumbled in their tents); (and) they heard not the voice of the Lord.
26 And he raised his hand on them; to cast down them in desert. (And he raised up his hand against them; to throw them down in the wilderness.)
27 And to cast away their seed in nations; and to lose them in countries. (And to scatter their descendants among the nations; and so to let them die in foreign, or strange, lands.)
28 And they made sacrifice to Baalpeor; and they ate the sacrifices of dead beasts. (And then they sacrificed to Baalpeor; and they ate the sacrifices offered to dead, or lifeless, gods.)
29 And they wrathed God in their findings; and falling, either death, was multiplied in them. (And they angered God with their deeds; and many died from the plague.)
30 And Phinehas stood, and pleased God; and the vengeance ceased. (But then Phinehas stood up, and pleased God; and the plague ceased.)
31 And it was areckoned to him to rightfulness; in generation and into generation, till into without end. (And it was counted unto him as righteousness; throughout all generations, forever.)
32 And they wrathed God at the waters of against-saying; and Moses was travailed for them, that is, troubled in soul, (And then they angered God again, this time at the waters of Meribah; and Moses was travailed for them, that is, his soul was troubled over them/and Moses was in great trouble because of them,)
33 for they made bitter his spirit, and he parted in his lips. (for they made his spirit so bitter, that he spoke rashly with his lips.)
34 They lost not [the] heathen men; which the Lord said to them (to do). (And they did not destroy the heathen; which the Lord had commanded them to do.)
35 And they were meddled among heathen men, and learned the works of them; (Indeed, they were mixed in among the heathen, and learned all their ways;)
36 and served the graven images of them; and it was made to them into cause of stumbling. (and served their carved idols; and that became their falling, or their trap.)
37 And they offered their sons, and their daughters, to fiends. (And they sacrificed their sons and their daughters, to demons and to devils.)
38 And they shedded out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and of their daughters; which they sacrificed to the graven images of Canaan. And the earth was slain in bloods, (And so they shed innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters; whom they sacrificed to the carved idols of Canaan. And the earth was polluted with their children's blood,)
39 and was defouled in the works of them; and they did fornication in their findings. (and they were defiled by their works; and they wantonly abandoned God with their deeds.)
40 And the Lord was wroth by strong vengeance against his people; and he had abomination of his heritage. (And the Lord grew more and more angry in his fury against his people; and he had abomination for his own inheritance.)
41 And he betook them into the hands of heathen men; and they that hated them, were lords of them. (And he delivered them into the hands of the heathen; and so they who hated them, were their lords.)
42 And their enemies did tribulation to them, and they were meeked under the hands of enemies; (And their enemies troubled them/oppressed them, and they were humbled at the hands of their enemies;)
43 oft he delivered them. But they wrathed him in their counsel; and they were made low in their wickednesses. (and often he rescued them. But then they stirred him to anger again with their deeds/But still they chose to rebel against him; and so they were brought down low for their wickednesses.)
44 And he saw, when they were set in tribulation; and he heard the prayer of them (and he heard their prayers).
45 And he was mindful of his testament; and it repented him by the multitude of his mercy. (And he remembered his covenant with them; and he relented because of his great love.)
46 And he gave them into mercies; in the sight of all men, that had taken them. (And he made the people, who had taken them captive, to have compassion for them.)
47 Our Lord God, make thou us safe; and gather together us from nations. That we acknowledge to thine holy name; and have glory in thy praising. (Lord our God, save thou us; and gather us back from among the nations. So that we may give thanks to thy holy name; and receive glory in thy praising.)
48 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from the world and till into the world (Blessed be the Lord God of Israel forever and ever); and all the people shall say, Be it done, be it done.

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