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Psalms 105:1--106:48

Psalm 105 1 

105:1 Give thanks to the Lord!

Call on his name!

Make known his accomplishments among the nations!

105:2 Sing to him!

Make music to him!

Tell about all his miraculous deeds!

105:3 Boast about his holy name!

Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!

105:4 Seek the Lord and the strength he gives!

Seek his presence continually!

105:5 Recall the miraculous deeds he performed,

his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed, 2 

105:6 O children 3  of Abraham, 4  God’s 5  servant,

you descendants 6  of Jacob, God’s 7  chosen ones!

105:7 He is the Lord our God;

he carries out judgment throughout the earth. 8 

105:8 He always remembers his covenantal decree,

the promise he made 9  to a thousand generations –

105:9 the promise 10  he made to Abraham,

the promise he made by oath to Isaac!

105:10 He gave it to Jacob as a decree,

to Israel as a lasting promise, 11 

105:11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan

as the portion of your inheritance.”

105:12 When they were few in number,

just a very few, and resident aliens within it,

105:13 they wandered from nation to nation,

and from one kingdom to another. 12 

105:14 He let no one oppress them;

he disciplined kings for their sake,

105:15 saying, 13  “Don’t touch my chosen 14  ones!

Don’t harm my prophets!”

105:16 He called down a famine upon the earth;

he cut off all the food supply. 15 

105:17 He sent a man ahead of them 16 

Joseph was sold as a servant.

105:18 The shackles hurt his feet; 17 

his neck was placed in an iron collar, 18 

105:19 until the time when his prediction 19  came true.

The Lord’s word 20  proved him right. 21 

105:20 The king authorized his release; 22 

the ruler of nations set him free.

105:21 He put him in charge of his palace, 23 

and made him manager of all his property,

105:22 giving him authority to imprison his officials 24 

and to teach his advisers. 25 

105:23 Israel moved to 26  Egypt;

Jacob lived for a time 27  in the land of Ham.

105:24 The Lord 28  made his people very fruitful,

and made them 29  more numerous than their 30  enemies.

105:25 He caused them 31  to hate his people,

and to mistreat 32  his servants.

105:26 He sent his servant Moses,

and Aaron, whom he had chosen.

105:27 They executed his miraculous signs among them, 33 

and his amazing deeds in the land of Ham.

105:28 He made it dark; 34 

they did not disobey his orders. 35 

105:29 He turned their water into blood,

and killed their fish.

105:30 Their land was overrun by frogs,

which even got into the rooms of their kings.

105:31 He ordered flies to come; 36 

gnats invaded their whole territory.

105:32 He sent hail along with the rain; 37 

there was lightning in their land. 38 

105:33 He destroyed their vines and fig trees,

and broke the trees throughout their territory.

105:34 He ordered locusts to come, 39 

innumerable grasshoppers.

105:35 They ate all the vegetation in their land,

and devoured the crops of their fields. 40 

105:36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land,

the firstfruits of their reproductive power. 41 

105:37 He brought his people 42  out enriched 43  with silver and gold;

none of his tribes stumbled.

105:38 Egypt was happy when they left,

for they were afraid of them. 44 

105:39 He spread out a cloud for a cover, 45 

and provided a fire to light up the night.

105:40 They asked for food, 46  and he sent quails;

he satisfied them with food from the sky. 47 

105:41 He opened up a rock and water flowed out;

a river ran through dry regions.

105:42 Yes, 48  he remembered the sacred promise 49 

he made to Abraham his servant.

105:43 When he led his people out, they rejoiced;

his chosen ones shouted with joy. 50 

105:44 He handed the territory of nations over to them,

and they took possession of what other peoples had produced, 51 

105:45 so that they might keep his commands

and obey 52  his laws.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 106 53 

106:1 Praise the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,

and his loyal love endures! 54 

106:2 Who can adequately recount the Lord’s mighty acts,

or relate all his praiseworthy deeds? 55 

106:3 How blessed are those who promote justice,

and do what is right all the time!

106:4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people!

Pay attention to me, when you deliver,

106:5 so I may see the prosperity 56  of your chosen ones,

rejoice along with your nation, 57 

and boast along with the people who belong to you. 58 

106:6 We have sinned like 59  our ancestors; 60 

we have done wrong, we have done evil.

106:7 Our ancestors in Egypt failed to appreciate your miraculous deeds,

they failed to remember your many acts of loyal love,

and they rebelled at the sea, by the Red Sea. 61 

106:8 Yet he delivered them for the sake of his reputation, 62 

that he might reveal his power.

106:9 He shouted at 63  the Red Sea and it dried up;

he led them through the deep water as if it were a desert.

106:10 He delivered them from the power 64  of the one who hated them,

and rescued 65  them from the power 66  of the enemy.

106:11 The water covered their enemies;

not even one of them survived. 67 

106:12 They believed his promises; 68 

they sang praises to him.

106:13 They quickly forgot what he had done; 69 

they did not wait for his instructions. 70 

106:14 In the wilderness they had an insatiable craving 71  for meat; 72 

they challenged God 73  in the desert.

106:15 He granted their request,

then struck them with a disease. 74 

106:16 In the camp they resented 75  Moses,

and Aaron, the Lord’s holy priest. 76 

106:17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;

it engulfed 77  the group led by Abiram. 78 

106:18 Fire burned their group;

the flames scorched the wicked. 79 

106:19 They made an image of a calf at Horeb,

and worshiped a metal idol.

106:20 They traded their majestic God 80 

for the image of an ox that eats grass.

106:21 They rejected 81  the God who delivered them,

the one who performed great deeds in Egypt,

106:22 amazing feats in the land of Ham,

mighty 82  acts by the Red Sea.

106:23 He threatened 83  to destroy them,

but 84  Moses, his chosen one, interceded with him 85 

and turned back his destructive anger. 86 

106:24 They rejected the fruitful land; 87 

they did not believe his promise. 88 

106:25 They grumbled in their tents; 89 

they did not obey 90  the Lord.

106:26 So he made a solemn vow 91 

that he would make them die 92  in the desert,

106:27 make their descendants 93  die 94  among the nations,

and scatter them among foreign lands. 95 

106:28 They worshiped 96  Baal of Peor,

and ate sacrifices offered to the dead. 97 

106:29 They made the Lord angry 98  by their actions,

and a plague broke out among them.

106:30 Phinehas took a stand and intervened, 99 

and the plague subsided.

106:31 This brought him a reward,

an eternal gift. 100 

106:32 They made him angry by the waters of Meribah,

and Moses suffered 101  because of them,

106:33 for they aroused 102  his temper, 103 

and he spoke rashly. 104 

106:34 They did not destroy the nations, 105 

as the Lord had commanded them to do.

106:35 They mixed in with the nations

and learned their ways. 106 

106:36 They worshiped 107  their idols,

which became a snare to them. 108 

106:37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons. 109 

106:38 They shed innocent blood –

the blood of their sons and daughters,

whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.

The land was polluted by bloodshed. 110 

106:39 They were defiled by their deeds,

and unfaithful in their actions. 111 

106:40 So the Lord was angry with his people 112 

and despised the people who belong to him. 113 

106:41 He handed them over to 114  the nations,

and those who hated them ruled over them.

106:42 Their enemies oppressed them;

they were subject to their authority. 115 

106:43 Many times he delivered 116  them,

but they had a rebellious attitude, 117 

and degraded themselves 118  by their sin.

106:44 Yet he took notice of their distress,

when he heard their cry for help.

106:45 He remembered his covenant with them,

and relented 119  because of his great loyal love.

106:46 He caused all their conquerors 120 

to have pity on them.

106:47 Deliver us, O Lord, our God!

Gather us from among the nations!

Then we will give thanks 121  to your holy name,

and boast about your praiseworthy deeds. 122 

106:48 The Lord God of Israel deserves praise, 123 

in the future and forevermore. 124 

Let all the people say, “We agree! 125  Praise the Lord!” 126 

1 sn Psalm 105. The psalmist summons Israel to praise God because he delivered his people from Egypt in fulfillment of his covenantal promises to Abraham. A parallel version of vv. 1-15 appears in 1 Chr 16:8-22.

2 tn Heb “and the judgments of his mouth.”

3 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”

4 tc Some mss have “Israel,” which appears in the parallel version of this psalm in 1 Chr 16:13.

5 tn Heb “his”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “sons.”

7 tn Heb “his”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn Heb “in all the earth [are] his judgments.”

9 tn Heb “[the] word he commanded.” The text refers here to God’s unconditional covenantal promise to Abraham and the patriarchs, as vv. 10-12 make clear.

10 tn Heb “which.”

11 tn Or “eternal covenant.”

12 tn Heb “and from a kingdom to another nation.”

13 tn The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

14 tn Heb “anointed.”

15 tn Heb “and every staff of food he broke.” The psalmist refers to the famine that occurred in Joseph’s time (see v. 17 and Gen 41:53-57).

16 tn After the reference to the famine in v. 16, v. 17 flashes back to events that preceded the famine (see Gen 37).

17 tn Heb “they afflicted his feet with shackles.”

18 tn Heb “his neck came [into] iron.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with the suffix could mean simply “he” or “his life.” But the nuance “neck” makes good sense here (note the reference to his “feet” in the preceding line). See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 38.

19 tn Heb “word,” probably referring to Joseph’s prediction about the fate of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (see Gen 41:9-14).

20 tn This line may refer to Joseph’s prediction of the famine in response to Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph emphasized to Pharaoh that the interpretation of the dream came from God (see Gen 41:16, 25, 28, 32, 39).

21 tn Heb “refined him.”

22 tn Heb “[the] king sent and set him free.”

23 tn Heb “he made him master of his house.”

24 tn Heb “to bind his officials by his will.”

25 tn Heb “and his elders he taught wisdom.”

26 tn Heb “entered.”

27 tn Heb “lived as a resident alien.”

28 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

29 tn Heb “him,” referring to “his people.”

30 tn Heb “his,” referring to “his people.”

31 tn Heb “their heart.”

32 tn Or “to deal deceptively.” The Hitpael of נָכַל (nakhal) occurs only here and in Gen 37:18, where it is used of Joseph’s brothers “plotting” to kill him.

33 tn Apparently the pronoun refers to “his servants” (i.e., the Israelites, see v. 25).

34 tn Heb “he sent darkness and made it dark.”

sn He made it dark. The psalmist begins with the ninth plague (see Exod 10:21-29).

35 tn Heb “they did not rebel against his words.” Apparently this refers to Moses and Aaron, who obediently carried out God’s orders.

36 tn Heb “he spoke and flies came.”

37 tn Heb “he gave their rains hail.”

38 tn Heb “fire of flames [was] in their land.”

39 tn Heb “he spoke and locusts came.”

40 tn Heb “the fruit of their ground.”

41 tn Heb “the beginning of all their strength,” that is, reproductive power (see Ps 78:51).

sn Verses 28-36 recall the plagues in a different order than the one presented in Exodus: v. 28 (plague 9), v. 29 (plague 1), v. 30 (plague 2), v. 31a (plague 4), v. 31b (plague 3), vv. 32-33 (plague 7), vv. 34-35 (plague 8), v. 36 (plague 10). No reference is made in Ps 105 to plagues 5 and 6.

42 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the Lord’s people) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

43 tn The word “enriched” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

44 tn Heb “for fear of them had fallen upon them.”

45 tn Or “curtain.”

46 tn Heb “he [i.e., his people] asked.” The singular form should probably be emended to a plural שָׁאֲלוּ (shaalu, “they asked”), the vav (ו) having fallen off by haplography (note the vav at the beginning of the following form).

47 tn Or “bread of heaven.” The reference is to manna (see Exod 16:4, 13-15).

48 tn Or “for.”

49 tn Heb “his holy word.”

50 tn Heb “and he led his people out with joy, with a ringing cry, his chosen ones.”

51 tn Heb “and the [product of the] work of peoples they possessed.”

52 tn Heb “guard.”

53 sn Psalm 106. The psalmist recalls Israel’s long history of rebellion against God, despite his mighty saving deeds on their behalf.

54 tn Heb “for forever [is] his loyal love.”

55 tn Heb “[or] cause to be heard all his praise.”

56 tn Heb “good.”

57 tn Heb “in order that [I may] rejoice with the rejoicing of your nation.”

58 tn Heb “with your inheritance.”

59 tn Heb “with.”

60 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 7).

61 tn Heb “Reed Sea” (also in vv. 9, 22). “Reed Sea” (or “Sea of Reeds”) is a more accurate rendering of the Hebrew expression יָם סוּף (yam suf), traditionally translated “Red Sea.” See the note on the term “Red Sea” in Exod 13:18.

sn They rebelled. The psalmist recalls the people’s complaint recorded in Exod 14:12.

62 tn Heb “his name,” which here stands metonymically for God’s reputation.

63 tn Or “rebuked.”

64 tn Heb “hand.”

65 tn Or “redeemed.”

66 tn Heb “hand.”

67 tn Heb “remained.”

68 tn Heb “his words.”

69 tn Heb “his works.”

70 tn Heb “his counsel.”

71 sn They had an insatiable craving. This is described in Num 11:4-35.

72 tn Heb “they craved [with] a craving.”

73 tn Heb “they tested God.”

74 tn Heb “and he sent leanness into their being.”

sn Disease. See Num 11:33-34, where this plague is described.

75 tn Or “envied.”

76 tn Heb “the holy one of the Lord.”

77 tn Or “covered.”

78 tn Or “the assembly of Abiram.”

79 sn Verses 16-18 describe the events of Num 16:1-40.

80 tn Heb “their glory.” According to an ancient Hebrew scribal tradition, the text originally read “his glory” or “my glory.” In Jer 2:11 the Lord states that his people (Israel) exchanged “their glory” (a reference to the Lord) for worthless idols.

81 tn Heb “forgot.”

82 tn Or “awe-inspiring.”

83 tn Heb “and he said.”

84 tn Heb “if not,” that is, “[and would have] if [Moses] had not.”

85 tn Heb “stood in the gap before him.”

86 tn Heb “to turn back his anger from destroying.”

sn Verses 19-23 describe the events of Exod 32:1-35.

87 tn Heb “a land of delight” (see also Jer 3:19; Zech 7:14).

88 tn Heb “his word.”

89 sn They grumbled in their tents. See Deut 1:27.

90 tn Heb “did not listen to the voice of.”

91 tn Heb “and he lifted his hand to [or “concerning”] them.” The idiom “to lift a hand” here refers to swearing an oath. One would sometimes solemnly lift one’s hand when making such a vow (see Ezek 20:5-6, 15).

92 tn Heb “to cause them to fall.”

93 tn Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”

94 tn Heb “and to cause their offspring to fall.” Some emend the verb to “scatter” to form tighter parallelism with the following line (cf. NRSV “disperse”).

95 tn Heb “among the lands.” The word “foreign” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

96 tn Heb “joined themselves to.”

sn They worshiped Baal of Peor. See Num 25:3, 5. Baal of Peor was a local manifestation of the Canaanite deity Baal located at Peor.

97 tn Here “the dead” may refer to deceased ancestors (see Deut 26:14). Another option is to understand the term as a derogatory reference to the various deities which the Israelites worshiped at Peor along with Baal (see Num 25:2 and L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 49).

98 tn Heb “They made angry [him].” The pronominal suffix is omitted here, but does appear in a few medieval Hebrew mss. Perhaps it was accidentally left off, an original וַיַּכְעִיסוּהוּ (vayyakhisuhu) being misread as וַיַּכְעִיסוּ (vayyakhisu). In the translation the referent of the pronominal suffix (the Lord) has been specified for clarity to avoid confusion with Baal of Peor (mentioned in the previous verse).

99 sn The intervention of Phinehas is recounted in Num 25:7-8.

100 tn Heb “and it was reckoned to him for righteousness, to a generation and a generation forever.” The verb חָשַׁב (khashav, “to reckon”) is collocated with צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah, “righteousness”) only in Ps 106:31 and Gen 15:6, where God rewards Abram’s faith with a land grant.

sn Brought him a reward. See Num 25:12-13.

101 tn Heb “there was harm to Moses.”

102 tn The Hebrew text vocalizes the form as הִמְרוּ (himru), a Hiphil from מָרָה (marah, “to behave rebelliously”), but the verb fits better with the object (“his spirit”) if it is revocalized as הֵמֵרוּ (hemeru), a Hiphil from מָרַר (marar, “to be bitter”). The Israelites “embittered” Moses’ “spirit” in the sense that they aroused his temper with their complaints.

103 tn Heb “his spirit.”

104 tn The Hebrew text adds “with his lips,” but this has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

sn Verses 32-33 allude to the events of Num 20:1-13.

105 tn That is, the nations of Canaan.

106 tn Heb “their deeds.”

107 tn Or “served.”

108 sn Became a snare. See Exod 23:33; Judg 2:3.

109 tn The Hebrew term שֵׁדִים (shedim, “demons”) occurs only here and in Deut 32:17. Some type of lesser deity is probably in view.

110 sn Num 35:33-34 explains that bloodshed defiles a land.

111 tn Heb “and they committed adultery in their actions.” This means that they were unfaithful to the Lord (see Ps 73:27).

112 tn Heb “the anger of the Lord burned against his people.”

113 tn Heb “his inheritance.”

114 tn Heb “gave them into the hand of.”

115 tn Heb “they were subdued under their hand.”

116 tn The prefixed verbal form is either preterite or imperfect, in which case it is customary, describing repeated action in past time (“he would deliver”).

117 tn Heb “but they rebelled in their counsel.” The prefixed verbal form is either preterite or imperfect, in which case it is customary, describing repeated action in past time (“they would have a rebellious attitude”).

118 tn Heb “they sank down.” The Hebrew verb מָכַךְ (makhakh, “to lower; to sink”) occurs only here in the Qal.

119 tn The Niphal of נָחַם (nakham) refers here to God relenting from a punishment already underway.

120 tn Or “captors.”

121 tn Heb “to give thanks.” The infinitive construct indicates result after the imperative.

122 tn Heb “to boast in your praise.”

123 tn Heb “[be] blessed.” See Pss 18:46; 28:6; 31:21.

124 tn Heb “from everlasting to everlasting.”

125 tn Heb “surely” (אָמֵן, ’amen), traditionally transliterated “amen.”

126 sn The final verse (v. 48) is a conclusion to this fourth “book” (or major editorial division) of the Psalter. Similar statements appear at or near the end of each of the first, second and third “books” of the Psalter (see Pss 41:13; 72:18-19; 89:52, respectively).

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