Psalms 106


There is virtually universal agreement that this psalm is a sequel to Psalm 105, and was composed by the same author.  However, v. 47 below can be interpreted to indicate that the Babylonian captivity had not yet ended.  So I’m not convinced, despite the overwhelming majority in favor of the foregoing view.  I suspect it could have been written before or along with Psalm 105.  When you get to v. 47 you’ll find more of my remarks about this.  Then wait for additional remarks at the beginning of Psalm 107.

הַלְלוּיָהּ הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה כִּי־טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ׃   106:1

Psal. 106:1   Hallelujah!  Give thanks to the Lord,

                                for He is good,

                        for His mercy is forever.

מִי יְמַלֵּל גְּבוּרוֹת יְהוָה יַשְׁמִיעַ כָּל־תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃   106:2

Psal. 106:2   Who can describe the mighty deeds of the Lord,

                                 proclaim all His praises?

אַשְׁרֵי שֹׁמְרֵי מִשְׁפָּט עֹשֵׂה צְדָקָה בְכָל־עֵת׃   106:3

Psal. 106:3   Happy are the guardians of justice,

                                  the observer of righteousness, all the time.

זָכְרֵנִי יְהוָה בִּרְצוֹן עַמֶּךָ פָּקְדֵנִי בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ׃   106:4

Psal. 106:4   Remember me, Lord,

                                 when favoring Your people,

                        attend to me in Your salvation,

לִרְאוֹת בְּטוֹבַת בְּחִירֶיךָ לִשְׂמֹחַ בְּשִׂמְחַת גּוֹיֶךָ לְהִתְהַלֵּל עִם־נַחֲלָתֶךָ׃   106:5

Psal. 106:5   to look at the benefits of Your chosen,

                                  to rejoice in the joy of Your nation,

                        to glory with Your possession.

חָטָאנוּ עִם־אֲבוֹתֵינוּ הֶעֱוִינוּ הִרְשָׁעְנוּ׃   106:6

Psal. 106:6   We have sinned, along with our ancestors.

                                  we have been perverted,

                        we have acted wickedly.

אֲבוֹתֵינוּ בְמִצְרַיִם לֹא־הִשְׂכִּילוּ נִפְלְאוֹתֶיךָ לֹא זָכְרוּ אֶת־רֹב חֲסָדֶיךָ וַיַּמְרוּ עַל־יָם בְּיַם־סוּף׃   106:7

Psal. 106:7   Our ancestors in Egypt did not wisely comprehend Your marvels,

                                 not remembered the abundance of Your mercies,

                        and rebelled by the sea, at the Reed Sea.

וַיּוֹשִׁיעֵם לְמַעַן שְׁמוֹ לְהוֹדִיעַ אֶת־גְּבוּרָתוֹ׃   106:8

Psal. 106:8   Yet He saved them for the sake of His name,

                                 to make known His might.

וַיִּגְעַר בְּיַם־סוּף וַיֶּחֱרָב וַיּוֹלִיכֵם בַּתְּהֹמוֹת כַּמִּדְבָּר׃   106:9

Psal. 106:9   And He reprimanded at the Reed Sea,

                                 yet it dried up,

                        and He led them through the depths

                                 as if it were a wilderness.

וַיּוֹשִׁיעֵם מִיַּד שׂוֹנֵא וַיִּגְאָלֵם מִיַּד אוֹיֵב׃   106:10

Psal. 106:10   And He saved them from the hand of a hating one,

                                 and redeemed them from the hand of an enemy.

וַיְכַסּוּ־מַיִם צָרֵיהֶם אֶחָד מֵהֶם לֹא נוֹתָר׃   106:11

Psal. 106:11   Then the water engulfed their adversaries

                                 -- not one from them remained.

וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בִדְבָרָיו יָשִׁירוּ תְּהִלָּתוֹ׃   106:12

Psal. 106:12   Then they were faithful to His words;

                                 they would sing His praise.

מִהֲרוּ שָׁכְחוּ מַעֲשָׂיו לֹא־חִכּוּ לַעֲצָתוֹ׃   106:13

Psal. 106:13   They quickly forgot His works,

                                 they did not wait for His counsel.

וַיִּתְאַוּוּ תַאֲוָה בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיְנַסּוּ־אֵל בִּישִׁימוֹן׃   106:14

Psal. 106:14   And they lusted intensely in the wilderness,

                                 and tested God in the desert.

וַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם שֶׁאֱלָתָם וַיְשַׁלַּח רָזוֹן בְּנַפְשָׁם׃   106:15

Psal. 106:15   Still, He granted their request to them,

                                 but sent leanness into their soul.

וַיְקַנְאוּ לְמֹשֶׁה בַּמַּחֲנֶה לְאַהֲרֹן קְדוֹשׁ יְהוָה׃   106:16

Psal. 106:16   Then they became jealous regarding Moses in the camp,

                                 regarding Aaron, holy one of the Lord.

תִּפְתַּח־אֶרֶץ וַתִּבְלַע דָּתָן וַתְּכַס עַל־עֲדַת אֲבִירָם׃   106:17

Psal. 106:17   The earth would open up and swallow Dathan

                                 and cover over the company of Abiram.

וַתִּבְעַר־אֵשׁ בַּעֲדָתָם לֶהָבָה תְּלַהֵט רְשָׁעִים׃   106:18

Psal. 106:18   And a fire would be kindled in their company

                                  -- a flame would burn up the wicked ones.

יַעֲשׂוּ־עֵגֶל בְּחֹרֵב וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לְמַסֵּכָה׃   106:19

Psal. 106:19   They would make a calf in Horeb,

                                 and bow down to a molten image.

וַיָּמִירוּ אֶת־כְּבוֹדָם בְּתַבְנִית שׁוֹר אֹכֵל עֵשֶׂב׃   106:20

Psal. 106:20   So they exchanged their Glorious One

                                 for the form of a bull, an eater of grass.

שָׁכְחוּ אֵל מוֹשִׁיעָם עֹשֶׂה גְדֹלוֹת בְּמִצְרָיִם׃   106:21

Psal. 106:21   They forgot God, their Savior,

                                 the Producer of great things in Egypt,

נִפְלָאוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ חָם נוֹרָאוֹת עַל־יַם־סוּף׃   106:22

Psal. 106:22   of wonders in the land of Ham,

                                 of awesome things by the Reed Sea.

וַיֹּאמֶר לְהַשְׁמִידָם לוּלֵי מֹשֶׁה בְחִירוֹ עָמַד בַּפֶּרֶץ לְפָנָיו לְהָשִׁיב חֲמָתוֹ מֵהַשְׁחִית׃   106:23

Psal. 106:23   So He “thought” to destroy them,

                                 except Moses, His chosen one, stood in the breach before Him

                           to deflect His destroying “rage.”

וַיִּמְאֲסוּ בְּאֶרֶץ חֶמְדָּה לֹא־הֶאֱמִינוּ לִדְבָרוֹ׃   106:24

Psal. 106:24   Then they objected at the desirable land

                                 -- they had no trust in His word.

וַיֵּרָגְנוּ בְאָהֳלֵיהֶם לֹא שָׁמְעוּ בְּקוֹל יְהוָה׃   106:25

Psal. 106:25   They also murmured in their tents,

                                 they did not listen to the voice of the Lord.

וַיִּשָּׂא יָדוֹ לָהֶם לְהַפִּיל אוֹתָם בַּמִּדְבָּר׃   106:26

Psal. 106:26   So He lifted His “hand” concerning them

                                  to overthrow them in the wilderness,

וּלְהַפִּיל זַרְעָם בַּגּוֹיִם וּלְזָרוֹתָם בָּאֲרָצוֹת׃   106:27

Psal. 106:27   and to cast out their seed among the nations,

                                 and to scatter them throughout the lands.

וַיִּצָּמְדוּ לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר וַיֹּאכְלוּ זִבְחֵי מֵתִים׃   106:28

Psal. 106:28   Then they joined themselves to Baal of Peor

                                 and ate sacrifices of the dead.

וַיַּכְעִיסוּ בְּמַעַלְלֵיהֶם וַתִּפְרָץ־בָּם מַגֵּפָה׃   106:29

Psal. 106:29   Thus they provoked with their practices,

                                 and a plague broke out among them.

וַיַּעֲמֹד פִּינְחָס וַיְפַלֵּל וַתֵּעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה׃   106:30

Psal. 106:30   And Phinehas stood up and interceded,

                                 and the plague was ended.

וַתֵּחָשֶׁב לוֹ לִצְדָקָה לְדֹר וָדֹר עַד־עוֹלָם׃   106:31

Psal. 106:31   And it was accounted to him for righteousness

                                 for all generations forever.

וַיַּקְצִיפוּ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה וַיֵּרַע לְמֹשֶׁה בַּעֲבוּרָם׃   106:32

Psal. 106:32   They also angered by the waters of Meribah,

                                 and He was “grieved” towards Moses because of them.

כִּי־הִמְרוּ אֶת־רוּחוֹ וַיְבַטֵּא בִּשְׂפָתָיו׃   106:33

Psal. 106:33   For they so vexed his spirit,

                                 that he spoke rashly with his lips.

לֹא־הִשְׁמִידוּ אֶת־הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר אָמַר יְהוָה לָהֶם׃   106:34

Psal. 106:34   They did not annihilate the peoples,

                                 which the Lord had said to them,

וַיִּתְעָרְבוּ בַגּוֹיִם וַיִּלְמְדוּ מַעֲשֵׂיהֶם׃   106:35

Psal. 106:35   but engaged with the nations

                                 and learned their works.

וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת־עֲצַבֵּיהֶם וַיִּהְיוּ לָהֶם לְמוֹקֵשׁ׃   106:36

Psal. 106:36   And they served their idols,

                                 and they became for a trap for them,

וַיִּזְבְּחוּ אֶת־בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶם לַשֵּׁדִים׃   106:37

Psal. 106:37   as they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons.

וַיִּשְׁפְּכוּ דָם נָקִי דַּם־בְּנֵיהֶם וּבְנוֹתֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר זִבְּחוּ לַעֲצַבֵּי כְנָעַן וַתֶּחֱנַף הָאָרֶץ בַּדָּמִים׃   106:38

Psal. 106:38   Yes, they spilled innocent blood,

                                  the blood of their sons and of their daughters,

                          whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,

                                  that the land was polluted with blood.

וַיִּטְמְאוּ בְמַעֲשֵׂיהֶם וַיִּזְנוּ בְּמַעַלְלֵיהֶם׃   106:39

Psal. 106:39   So they were defiled in their deeds

                                  and became harlots with their practices.

וַיִּחַר־אַף יְהוָה בְּעַמּוֹ וַיְתָעֵב אֶת־נַחֲלָתוֹ׃   106:40

Psal. 106:40   Then the “anger” of the Lord was kindled by His people,

                                 and He “abhorred” His possession.

וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּיַד־גּוֹיִם וַיִּמְשְׁלוּ בָהֶם שֹׂנְאֵיהֶם׃   106:41

Psal. 106:41   So He gave them into the hand of the nations,

                                 and their haters ruled among them.

וַיִּלְחָצוּם אוֹיְבֵיהֶם וַיִּכָּנְעוּ תַּחַת יָדָם׃   106:42

Psal. 106:42   And their enemies oppressed them,

                                 and they were subdued under their hand.

פְּעָמִים רַבּוֹת יַצִּילֵם וְהֵמָּה יַמְרוּ בַעֲצָתָם וַיָּמֹכּוּ בַּעֲוֺנָם׃   106:43

Psal. 106:43   He was to deliver them many times,

                                 but they would be rebellious in their counsel

                           that they sank low in their iniquity.

וַיַּרְא בַּצַּר לָהֶם בְּשָׁמְעוֹ אֶת־רִנָּתָם׃   106:44

Psal. 106:44   Still, He looked at their distress

                                 on His “hearing” their cry.

וַיִּזְכֹּר לָהֶם בְּרִיתֹו וַיִּנָּחֵם כְּרֹב (חַסְדֹּו) [חֲסָדָיו]׃   106:45

Psal. 106:45   And He remembered His covenant for them

                                 and repented according to the abundance of His mercy.

Well, here I go again.  The “error” in the parentheses is not an error as far as I am concerned.  The word in the parentheses is singular, His mercy, while the “correction” in the brackets is plural, His mercies.  I am convinced it’s correct either way, and no one knows what was intended here.

וַיִּתֵּן אֹותָם לְרַחֲמִים לִפְנֵי כָּל־שֹׁובֵיהֶם׃   106:46

Psal. 106:46   And He designated them for compassion before their captors.

הֹושִׁיעֵנוּ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וְקַבְּצֵנוּ מִן־הַגֹּויִם לְהֹדֹות לְשֵׁם קָדְשֶׁךָ לְהִשְׁתַּבֵּחַ בִּתְהִלָּתֶךָ׃   106:47

Psal. 106:47   Save us, O Lord, our God,

                                  and gather us from the nations

                           to give thanks to Your holy name,

                                  to be proud because of Your praise.

While this verse certainly seems to sound like the psalmist’s plea for the people’s deliverance, some might argue that the previous two verses (45 and 46) make it seem that the people had already been helped.  I acknowledge this possibility, but I also realize that prophets and scribes sometimes write about the future as if it were occurring in their time or had occurred before.  And they also write about seemingly past events that were to take place in the future.  Thus the two verses add little support for the majority agreement.  In the end I have to admit that the evidence for either of the two conclusions mentioned at the beginning of this psalm is subjective and circumstantial.  So you’re free to arrive at your own conclusion.  However, wait until you get to the next psalm.

בָּרוּךְ־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִן־הָעֹולָם וְעַד הָעֹולָם וְאָמַר כָּל־הָעָם אָמֵן הַלְלוּ־יָהּ׃  106:48

Psal. 106:48   Blessed is the Lord, God of Israel,

                                  from everlasting and to everlasting,

                          and let all the people say, “Amen.”



[Return to Psalms Chapters]   [Prev.:  Psal. 105]   [Next:  Psal. 107]