Psalm 106


Psalm 106:1–48

Israel’s Sins Against God While in the Desert-Wilderness


Outline of Chapter 106:

 

       vv.    1–5        The Psalmist Praises God

       vv.    6–12      Israel of the Generation of the Psalmist, Sins Like Israel at the Sea of Reeds

       vv.   13–15      A Summary of the Failures of Gen X; the Sin of their Craving for Meat

       vv.   16–18      The Sin of Dathan and Abiram

       vv.   19–23      The Sin of the Golden Calf

       vv.   24–27      The Sin of Not Taking the Land of Promise

       vv.   28–31      The Sin of Israel’s Worship of Baal-Peor

       vv.   32–33      The Sin of Meribah

       vv.   34–39      The Sin of Heinous Idolatry

       vv.   40–46      God Gave Israel into the Hand of Their Enemies and Then He Delivered Them

       vv.   47–48      The Exiled Psalmist Calls for God’s Deliverance


Charts and Maps:

 

       Introduction    The Varied Purposes of the Historic Psalms

       Introduction    Barnes’ Outline

       v.      6           The Eight Failures of Israel as Recorded by the Psalmist

       v.      7           Which Aspects of God were Revealed by His Miracles?

       v.      7           Exodus 14:5–31 World English Bible

       v.      9           Examples of God’s Authority over the Natural Elements

       v.      9           Psalm 18:5–19 (WEB)

       v.     12           Exodus 15:1–19 (World English Bible)

       v.     13           Some Examples of Israel’s Reactions to Testing

       v.     15           Selection Portions of Numbers 11:1–35 (World English Bible Translation)

       v.     15           Psalm 78:26–33 (World English Bible)

       v.     17           Numbers 16:1–40 (World English Bible Translation)

       v.     19           Apis, the Egyptian God

       v.     19           Exodus 32:1–6 (World English Bible Text)

       v.     22           A Brief Look at the Four Sons of Ham

       v.     23           Exodus 32:9–14 (World English Bible Text)

       v.     26           Num. 14:1–38 (World English Bible Translation)

       v.     27           Leviticus 26:27, 32–34 (World English Bible Translation)

       v.     28           Numbers 25:1–9 (World English Bible)

       v.     32           Numbers 20:2–13 (World English Bible Version)

       v.     32           All of Israel’s Failures in the Desert-Wilderness; God’s Grace and/or Discipline

       v.     32           Why Did Moses Receive the Brunt of God’s Anger at the Waters of Meribah?

       v.     34           Judges 1:21–36 (World English Bible Translation)


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

Doctrine of Horeb

Textual Criticism in the Old Testament


I ntroduction: Psalm 106 is an overview of the failures of Israel, despite of God’s tremendous grace. Primarily, the psalmist concentrates on the record of Moses (Exodus through Deuteronomy). This particular psalm is often associated with Psalms 78, 81 and 105, which are also historic treatises. This is the final psalm of book 4 of the psalms. Each book of the five sections of psalms can only be grouped together by topic in the most general term; book 4 are the Psalms of Praise.


It may seem at first as though we simply have psalmists who really can’t think of much to write about, so they just go back to the time of Moses and write about a few historical incident. This is not really the case. Each of these historic psalms has a particular purpose.

The Varied Purposes of the Historic Psalms

Psalm

Purpose

Psalm 78

God guides His people, despite their unfaithfulness.

Psalm 81

God cries out to Israel indicating all that He would do for her if she would only turn to Him. This psalm is written in the first person.

Psalm 105

God’s faithfulness to Israel and His great power.

Psalm 106

The psalmist looks to God to deliver Israel as He has in the past. He acknowledges that Israel has failed, just as Israel failed in the past.

Psalm 107

God delivers all men who believe in Him and petition Him. Men’s troubles are a result of their own wickedness. Although many of the illustrations found within refer back to Israel, Israel is not named specifically as to the people of God; this is more universal.

The point, of course, is that, even though these psalms all deal with very similar subject matter, their individual messages are not identical.


Interestingly enough, it appears as though the author is from the dispersion (although it is not clear which one and during which time period). Footnote My guess is that this psalmist came from the southern kingdom and was a part of the second dispersion. He knows the many sins that Israel committed while in the desert-wilderness. His Old Testament knowledge suggests that this psalmist, even while in exile, had access to the Holy Scriptures (which is in keeping with what we know about the exiled southern kingdom). This is because it appears that he knows what he knows by study, and not by being taught a few Bible stories by his elders. Just like Psalm 105, it appeared as though the psalmist studied the books of Moses, and then was inspired to write this psalm.


Psalms 104–106 appear to form a trilogy; the first deals with God’s intelligent creation; the second with God’s provision for Israel; and the third, Israel’s failure and God’s grace. The latter two psalms appear to be the result of studying the writings of Moses. The first psalm, although an ode to God’s creation, is not nearly as dependent upon a knowledge of the book of Genesis. However, since Psalm 105 occurs in part in I Chron. 16, we would assume that it had been written around that time or prior to (since it is read during the time of David and Asaph). Psalm 106 appears to have been written a lot later, as has been discussed. Another possibility is that the writer of this psalm took the psalm found in I Chron. 16 and added to it, and then wrote this psalm as a companion psalm.


My feeling is that this psalmist is justifying the present condition of the Jews as an exiled people. In v. 6, he writes, We have sinned like our fathers... and then goes on to describe how the Jews of the exodus sinned against God in their faithlessness and their idolatry. At the end of the psalm, the writer pleads Deliver us, O Jehovah, our Elohim, and gather us from among the nations. I think that these two verses taken together pretty clearly indicate that this is a psalm written from the exile, with a tri-fold purpose: (1) to acknowledge the sin of Israel which brought them to the exile; (2) to give a history of Israel’s failures during the exodus, to indicate that this is a pattern of Israel; and (3) to plead with God to return them to the land. The overall key to this is that the psalmist knows that Israel has sinned; he knows that they are under discipline; and he knows that God is putting the screws to them as He has in the past. However, he also knows that God has delivered Israel in the past, and he is asking for God to do the same once again for his generation.


There are some topics which I spend time with which may not appear, at first, to have any bearing on the actual exegesis of a particular chapter or psalm. For instance, in this psalm and the previous psalm, I spent no little time discussing the authorship, and the time and circumstance of the author. What this does is add another dimension to this psalm; it gives a greater depth of understanding to what the author is saying and why he is expressing these things. Furthermore, when we see this man in chains, possibly separated from his family, taken out of his own home, removed from his homeland in chains, and taken to a inhospitable environment, then we develop a much greater appreciation for his composition. In other words, this is not some flaccid piety spouted by some Levite while sitting overlooking a vineyard on a cool, sunny day, but this comes from the heart of a man who is, for all intents and purposes, unjustly grouped with a rebellious Israel; a man who accepts their punishment which is also applied to him, despite the fact that he probably had nothing to do with the actions that brought Israel to this place of woe.


Barnes’ Outline

I.     Introduction vv. 1–5

II.    Israel’s failures and God’s graciousness vv. 6–43

       A.    Israel in Egypt vv. 6–12

       B.    Israel in the desert-wilderness vv. 13–33

       C.    Israel in the Land of Canaan vv. 34–43

III.   A prayer for God to interpose on Israel’s behalf as He has in the past. Vv. 44–48

Barnes breaks this psalm up into 3 parts: (1) An introduction wherein God is praised and His mercies are recognized (vv. 1–5). The bulk of the psalm is spent on the history of Israel and the exodus; Israel’s many failures and God’s overwhelming graciousness (vv. 6–43). Barnes further breaks down this portion of the psalm into three parts: Israel in Egypt (vv. 6–12); Israel in the desert-wilderness (vv. 13–33); and Israel in the land of Canaan (vv. 34–43). The psalm ends in a prayer, pointing out that God has interposed on behalf of Israel in the past and the psalmist is asking for God to do so once again (vv. 44–48). Footnote

The NIV Study Bible also breaks up part II into 4 sections, and ends the third section with v. 39. Vv. 40–43 refer to the stern measures of God while Israel was in the Land of Promise. Footnote


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart Index


The Psalmist Praises God


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

Praise Yah!

Give thanks to Yehowah for [He is] good;

to perpetuity His grace.

Psalm

106:1

Hallelujah!

Give thanks to Yehowah for [He is] good;

His grace [is] forever!

Hallelujah!

Give thanks to Jehovah, for He is good

and His grace continues forever!


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       We will celebrate and praise you, Lord!

You are good to us, and your love never fails.

God’s Word                         Hallelujah!

Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,

because his mercy endures forever.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Hallelujah.

Praise the Lord for He is good;

His steadfast love is eternal.

NASB                                    Praise the Lord! [or, Hallelujah!]

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

NLT                                Praise the Lord!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

His faithful love endures forever.

The Septuagint                                                         Alleluia!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy [is] forever.

Young's Literal Translation    Praise ye Jah, give thanks to Jehovah,

For good, for to the age, is His kindness.


What is the gist of this verse? Hallelujah appears to be a title; better yet, this phrase functions as bookends for this psalm, as it is found at the end as well. God is given thanks for His goodness and because His grace is forever.


Psalm 106:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlal (ל ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHL]

praise, sing, celebrate

2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperative

Strong’s #1984 BDB #237

Yâh (ָי) [pronounced yaw]

an abbreviated form of YHWH, the proper name for God in the Old Testament

proper masculine noun

Strong’s #3050 BDB #219


Translation: Hallelujah! Or, Praise God! As several translations have indicated, this is not really a line of poetry, but a title or half of a bookend. This would make this psalm one of the hallelujah psalms. This seems to be connected to the previous psalm, which ends with Hallelujah! Both psalms possess very similar themes.


Psalm 106:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâdâh (ה ָדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAWH]

give thanks

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperative

Strong’s #3034 BDB #392

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

ţôwbv (בט) [pronounced toebv]

pleasant, pleasing, agreeable, good, better

feminine singular adjective which acts like a substantive

Strong’s #2896 BDB #373


Translation: Give thanks to Yehowah for [He is] good;... Good is a masculine singular noun and has to refer back to someone or something. It is more logical for it to refer to God, which is from whence we have inserted He is.


The divisions found in Scripture are sometimes hard to fathom. This marks the end of book 4; however, the psalms on both sides of Psalm 106 begin with, Give thanks to Yehowah,... (Psalm 105:1a 107:1a). And, apart from the Hallelujah! found in this psalm, Psalm 106:1 and 107:1 are identical. The implication is that these three psalms are possibly associated in some way or another with each other (written by the same author during roughly the same time; or one psalm inspired the next psalm). We have a similar phrase found in Psalm 100:4b–5: Give thanks to Him; bless His name, for Jehovah is good; His graciousness is everlasting and His faithfulness [is] to all generations.


The psalmist describes what our feelings or response should be towards God. We should thank God because He is good. This seems to be a fairly elementary concept until one ponders the world and all of the suffering in the world. Everywhere that you look, there is pain and want, so to call God, the Creator of this World, good, is a theological jump. Add to this that the author had probably been taken from Jerusalem in the dispersion and that the Jews were now living outside their land under the control of another nation, and beginning a psalm as he does this one seems even more incongruous with his circumstances. However, the psalmist will back these words up with situation after situation where God’s grace and goodness was clearly revealed.


Psalm 106:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

when, that, for, because

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳ôwlâm (ם ָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM]

long duration, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity

masculine singular noun

(& #5865) BDB #761

׳ôwlâm together with the lâmed preposition mean forever

cheçed (ד ס ח) [pronounced KHEH-sed]

grace, benevolence, mercy, kindness

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2617 BDB #338


Translation: His grace [is] forever! One of the most important aspects of God’s character, insofar as we are concerned, is His grace. It is because of His grace that we survive and are blessed from day to day.


This particular verse is almost identical to I Chron. 16:34, which is a part of a psalm embedded in I Chronicles (which psalm is identical to the first part of Psalm 105). My thought is that the author of Psalm 106 studied both Exodus through Numbers and I Chron. 16, and was inspired to write this psalm, thus accounting for the similarities of the psalms. Whereas some of the themes and subject matter of the two psalms are similar, this second psalm seems to examine Israel’s failures in much greater detail, and then God’s grace is considered.


This particular phrase, like the previous one, appears religiously innocuous at first. God’s grace is forever! However, when the plight of the author is considered, this is a great expression of hope and faith. This author, having been taken from his home and from his country by an antagonistic enemy, looks back in this psalm at what God has done in the past on behalf of Israel—he looks back at Israel’s repeated failures and God’s tremendous grace and provision—and he declares, God’s grace is forever! As of the past few years, I have been under great pressure and have faced things which were exceedingly unfair. And, you know, the first thing on my mind was not God’s grace is forever! The first thing on my mind was, when are you going to strike these people dead, God? And yet the suffering and the disruption to my life was not even one-tenth the suffering and disruption that the psalmist faced. Yet he declares, God’s grace is forever! And this psalmist will not simply utter these words, seemingly in opposition to everything around him, but he will back up his faith and confidence with historical incidents which confirm his declaration.


One of the reasons I examine this psalm to determine who wrote it and when, is that such knowledge gives us greater appreciation for what the psalmist is saying. It’s one thing to live in great wealth and splendor and express appreciation for all that God has given you; it is quite another to lie in a hospital bed, your insides being alternately ravaged by cancer and chemotherapy, and to give thanks to God for His graciousness. Most people, placed in the circumstances of the psalmist, would be asking, “Where is God?” The psalmist not only knows that God is with Israel, but that God is good, deserving of praise, and that His grace is everlasting.


To continue your study of God’s grace, may I refer you to Psalm 136, which is a psalm all about God’s grace.


Who utters mighty deeds of Yehowah?

Causes to hear His every praise.

Psalm

106:2

Who speaks of the mighty deeds of Yehowah

[and who] causes His every praise to be heard?

Who speaks of the mighty deeds of Jehovah

making His every praise heard?


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       No one can praise you enough

For all of the mighty things you have done.

God’s Word                         Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done?

Who can announce all the things for which he is worth of praise?

JPS (Tanakh)                        Who can tell the mighty acts of the Lord,

Proclaim all His praises?

NASB                                    Who can speak of the mighty deeds of the Lord,

Or can show forth all His praise?

NKJV                                     Who can utter [or, express] the mighty acts of the Lord?

Who can declare all His praise?

NLT                                Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord?

Who can ever praise him half enough?

The Septuagint                      Who can tell the mighty acts of the Lord?

[Who] will cause all His praises to be heard?

Young's Updated LT              Who utters the mighty acts of Jehovah?

Sounding all His praise?


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist rhetorically asks who can speak of the powerful works of Jehovah; who can praise Him enough?


Psalm 106:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mîy (י ̣מ) [pronounced mee]

who; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

mâlal (ל ַל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAHL]

to utter, to speak, to express

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #4448 BDB #576

Mâlal has two, and possibly three, very different meanings; it means to utter, to speak (Gen. 21:7 Job 8:2 33:3 Psalm 106:2 Prov. 6:13); to scrape, to rub (as per BDB in Prov. 6:13); a third meaning seems to be to languish, to wither, to fade (as per BDB), but I believe that to cut off, to cut back seem to be better renderings (see Gen. 17:11 Job 14:2 18:16 24:24 Prov. 37:2). Although BDB lists these as the same word, Strong and the New Englishman’s concordance spell the latter word nâmal and its Strong’s number is #5243.

gebûwrâh (הָרב) [pronounced gevoo-RAW]

strength, might; mighty deeds (or acts) in the plural

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #1369 BDB #150

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: Who speaks of the mighty deeds of Yehowah... This is a rhetorical question. God’s works are almost innumerable; there is no way that one person could name them. Barnes writes: Human language must fall immeasurably short of adequately expressing the praises of Jehovah, or conveying the fulness of what he has wrought. Who has not felt this when he has endeavoured to praise God in a proper manner?  Footnote


But even Barnes misses the full impact of these few words. Let me again take you to where the psalmist is—he is in exile, living away from his homeland. The people around him—his fellow exiles—don’t speak of God’s mighty works. They express no praise to God; they do not thank God. And they certainly do not speak of his great acts done on behalf of Israel. When you envision the psalmist where he is, deported from the homeland that he loves, surrounded by fellow exiles, then these words—Who speaks of the mighty deeds of Jehovah?—become more powerful and meaningful.


Psalm 106:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to cause to hear, to let hear; to announce, to tell; to call, to summon

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

tehîllâh (ה- ̣ה ) [pronounced tehil-LAW]

praise, a song of praise

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8416 BDB #239


Translation: ...[and who] causes His every praise to be heard? Along with His innumerable works, the attendant praises would also be innumerable. The psalmist writes this in exile in Babylon, taken there in chains, every Jew around him having been deported from his home and homeland. No one is praising God for His greatness and His mercy. If anything, they are wondering if God still sees their plight; they wonder if God still hears them. And this psalmist writes, And who causes God’s every praise to be heard?


Blessings of observers of justice

a doer of righteousness in every time.

Psalm

106:3

Happiness to those observing justice

[and blessings to] him doing righteousness all the time.

Blessings and happiness towards those who guard that which is judicious

and to those who do that which is right all of the time.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       You bless those people who are honest and fair

In everything they do.

God’s Word                         Blessed are those who defend justice

And do what is right at all times.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Happy are those who act justly,

Who do right at all times.

NASB                                    How blessed are those who keep justice [or, judgment],

Who practice righteousness at all times!

NLT                                Happy are those who deal justly with others

And always do what is right.

The Septuagint                      Blessed are they who keep judgment,

and do righteousness at all times.

Young's Literal Translation    O the happiness of those keeping judgment,

Doing righteousness at all times.


What is the gist of this verse? The idea is that when a person does that which is right and just, he will be happy.


Psalm 106:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

asherêy (י̤ר ְש ַא) [pronounced ahshe-RAY]

blessedness, blessings, happinesses

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #835 BDB #80

asherêy is only found in the masculine plural construct. It is generally rendered happiness [to], blessed [is, are]. It means that either the subject is happy or they are in a desirable position and is reasonably rendered blessings [and happiness to].

shâmar (ר ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAR]

a keeper of, a guard of, a watcher of, a preserver of

Qal active participle, masculine singular construct

Strong's #8104 BDB #1036

mîshepâţ (ט ָ  ׃ש  ̣מ) [pronounced mishe-PAWT]

judgment, justice, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a judicial sentence, a verdict, the judgement of the court; the act of deciding a case, the place where a judgement is rendered

masculine singular noun

Strong's #4941 BDB #1048


Translation: Happiness to those observing justice... This is a general statement which, even though many of the precepts of Scripture are designed for believers, this is true of anyone. Barnes: The Hebrew is, "the keepers of judgment;" that is, they who observe the rules of justice in their conduct, or who are governed by the principles of integrity. Footnote When one is careful to do that which is just, the result in their life will be happiness and blessing. The Law of Moses carried many commands for Israel to exhibit justice: You will no injustice in judgment; you will not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly (Lev. 19:15). The prophets brought the same message to Israel: Therefore, return to your God. Observe loyalty and justice and wait for your God continually (Hosea 12:6).


Further, this line could also be taken as the flip side of the indictment of the generation which went into exile. God spoke through Ezekiel, a prophet during the exile, saying, "Yet your fellow citizens say, 'The way of Jehovah is not right' when it is their own way that is not right...O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways." (Ezek. 33:17, 20b). The generation taken into captivity was an unjust, wicked generation, deserving God's judgments. The psalmist will acknowledge this in v. 6.


Psalm 106:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

a doer of, a maker of, a constructor of, a fashion of, a preparer of

Qal active participle, masculine singular construct

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

Two early printed editions, the Aramaic paraphrase, the Septuagint, the Syriac and the Vulgate have this as a plural instead.

tsedâqâh (ה ָק ָד  ׃צ) [pronounced tsedaw-KAW]

righteousness, executed righteousness and justice, righteous vindication

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6666 BDB #842

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

׳êth (ת ֵע) [pronounced ģayth]

time, the right time, the proper time

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6256 BDB #773


Translation: ...[and blessings to] him doing righteousness all the time. We are faced daily with many decisions—sometimes hundreds of them—which are choices between right and wrong. For many of us, the actual choice is often between self-interest and doing that which is right. There are times when you must take the short end of the stick, because that is the right thing to do. However, when we choose to do that which is right, we tend to be much happier and we are generally blessed as well.


Partially paraphrasing from Barnes: This psalm is designed to illustrate this point by contrast. It shows that the disobedience of the Hebrew people resulted in great unhappiness, as God judged and punished them (this is true of both the generation described in this psalm as well as the generation of Israelites who were exiled from Judah, among whom was the psalmist). This verse implies what could have been, had Israel behaved as God mandated they behave. Footnote


Remember me, Yehowah, in a favor of Your people;

visit me in Your deliverance.

Psalm

106:4

Remember me, O Yehowah, [when You show] grace to Your people;

[and] visit me in Your deliverance [of them].

Remember me, O Jehovah, when You show grace to Your people

and include me when You deliver them.


It is with this verse that we get a better idea as to who this psalmist is.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Remember me, Lord, when you show kindness

by saving your people.

God’s Word                         Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people.

Come to help me with your salvation.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Be mindful of me, O Lord, when You favor Your people;

take note of me when You deliver them,...

NASB                                    Remember me, O Old Testament, in Thy favor toward Thy people;

Visit me with Thy salvation.

NLT                                Remember me, too, Lord, when you show favor to your people;

come to me with your salvation.

The Septuagint                      Remember us, O Lord, with the favor of Your people;

Visit us with Your salvation;...

Young's Updated LT              Remember me, O Jehovah,

With the favor of Your people,

Look after me in Your salvation.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist recognizes God’s grace to His own people. The psalmist calls upon God to remember him when He shows grace to His people. He asks God to include him when God delivers (or saves) His people.


Psalm 106:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

zâkar (ר ַכ ָז) [pronounced zaw-KAHR]

remember, recall, call to mind

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative, 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #2142 BDB #269

The Septuagint, Syriac and Vulgate have remember us instead of remember me.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

râtsôwn (ןצ ָר) [pronounced raw-TSOWN]

own will, free will, favour, grace, accepted, desire, pleasure, delight

masculine singular construct

Strong's #7522 BDB #953

What appears to be involved is free will, acceptance, and even pleasure on the part of the recipient. This is why some translations follow this word with to you, to indicate that the volition of the recipient is a part of this. The common thread is the concept of free will and this being a good or a favorable thing.

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people

masculine singular collective noun; with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: Remember me, O Yehowah, [when You show] grace to Your people;... The psalmist is not basing this upon his own inherent goodness. He simply asks for God to remember him when God shows grace or favor to His own people. A parallel passage is to be found in Psalm 25:6: Remember, O Jehovah, Your compassion and your graciousness; for they have existed since eternity past.


The psalmist writes at a time when few if any miracles have been observed. The great acts of God seem to be in the past. God's direct involvement with Israel's salvation seems to be found only in the pages of history. However, this psalmist recognizes that God is still there and that Israel still belongs to Him. Therefore, God will show graciousness to His people—this psalmist simply asks to be included.


Psalm 106:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pâqad (ד ַק ָ) [pronounced paw-KAHD]

to go to a person, to visit, to have personal contact with, to sort out, to visit a person, to commit, to charge to the care of, to fall upon, to attack, to number, to take a census

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative; with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #6485 BDB #823

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yeshûw׳âh (הָעשי) [pronounced yeshoo-ĢAW]

deliverance, salvation

feminine singular noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3444 BDB #447


Translation: ...[and] visit me in Your deliverance [of them]. This may also be rendered: ...have personal contact with me in Your salvation. God delivers His people in time and He saves His people in eternity. The psalmist is asking to be included in this deliverance. The obvious implication is that Israel needed deliverance at the time that this psalmist writes. He will become more specific later on in this psalm (specifically vv. 46–47); however, this is our first clue that the psalmist is not writing this from some ivory tower, so to speak, but that he, along with his fellow Israelites, are in distress.


He will continue with this thought in the next verse, which is unfortunately separated from this verse.


to see in a benefit of Your chosen ones;

to rejoice in a joy of Your nations;

to be praised with Your inheritance.

Psalm

106:5

to look upon Your chosen ones;

to rejoice in the joy of Your nations;

to be praised with Your inheritance.

to be among Your chosen ones;

to rejoice with Your chosen nations;

and to be praised as a part of Your inheritance.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Let me prosper with the rest of your chosen ones,

as they celebrate with pride because they belong to you.

God’s Word                         [Come to help me with your salvation]

so that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,

find joy in our people’s happiness,

and brag with the people who belong to you. [vv. 4b–5]

JPS (Tanakh)                        that I may enjoy the prosperity of Your chosen ones,

share the joy of Your nation,

glory in Your very own people.

NASB                                    That I may see the prosperity of Thy chosen ones,

That I may rejoice in the gladness of Thy nation,

That I may glory with Thine inheritance.

NLT                                Let me share in the prosperity of your chosen ones.

Let me rejoice in the joy of your people;

let me praise you with those who are your heritage.

The Septuagint                      that we may behold the good of Your elect,

that we may rejoice in the gladness of Your nations,

that we may glory with Your inheritance.

Young's Updated LT              To look on the good of Your chosen ones,

To rejoice in the joy of Your nation,

To boast myself with Your inheritance.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist wants to be included in God’s chosen ones. He says this in three different ways.


This verse is quite easy to break up into pieces as each line has the general format of a infinitive construct followed by plural noun affixed to a 2nd person masculine singular suffix. This plural noun is a synonym for God’s elect.


Psalm 106:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

rââh (ה ָא ָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

Qal infinitive construct

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

ţôwbvâh (הָבט) [pronounced TOWB-vaw]

welfare, benefit, good, good things

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #2896 BDB #375

bâchîyr (רי.חָ) [pronounced baw-KHEER],

chosen, chosen ones, elect [ones]

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #972 BDB #104


Translation: to look upon Your chosen ones;... The idea is, if one is looking upon God’s chosen ones, then one is a part of God’s chosen ones. As God’s Word™ implies, this is a continuation of the previous thought, which was ...[and] visit me in Your deliverance [of them]. Or, ...have personal contact with me in Your salvation. There is temporal deliverance when God gets us out of this jam or that; and there is eternal deliverance where God gets us out of the eternal jam of our sins and old sin nature. The psalmist does not really distinguish here but, the thrust appears to be the eternal deliverance.


Psalm 106:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

sâmach (ח ַמ ָ) [pronounced saw-MAHKH],

to rejoice, to be glad, to be joyful, to be merry

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #8055 BDB #970

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

simechâh (הָח מ ̣) [pronounced sime-KHAW],

joy, gladness, mirth

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #8057 BDB #970

gôwyîm (ם̣י) [pronounced goh-YEEM]

Gentiles, [Gentile] nation, people, nation

masculine plural noun with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156

I was hoping to easily confirm the plural noun here. First of all, in the Greek, it is unquestionably plural, having the typical plural –ous (–ους) ending. However, the Hebrew is a bit tougher to determine. We find a similar phrase in Ezek. 36:13–15, which Owen calls masculine singular nouns with 2nd person feminine singular suffixes. However, here he tells us that we have a masculine plural noun, with a 2nd person masculine singular suffix. The problem is the only difference between these references is a vowel point. Furthermore, in Ezek. 36:13–15, Rotherham gives us the alternate reading Your nations, suggesting that the Hebrew there should be seen as a plural.

You may wonder why I can’t simply look at the Hebrew—here’s the problem: when a suffix is added to a plural noun, the final mem is dropped; that leaves a yodh, which is how the singular noun goy ends anyway. Given Owen’s call here and the confirmation of the Greek, I would take this as a plural noun. Footnote


Translation: ...to rejoice in the joy of Your nations;... If the psalmist is rejoicing with the nations which God has delivered, then he is a part of this Godly deliverance. Note that nations is in the plural, which indicates that the psalmist is speaking of the various client nations Footnote to God, even though by his period of time, there had been one (Israel) or two (Israel and Judah) at the most. Now, being part of a client nation does not save you; however, being saved and living within a client nation is the key (the latter being unnecessary).


When examining Scripture, we need to keep two things in mind: these things were written by real men during specific times in history, and the writing will always bear the inherent marks of human authorship from a specific point in time. However, all Scripture is God-breathed, inspired by God the Holy Spirit, and there will be certain themes, although not always completely understood by the human author, which mark the divine nature of the Holy Spirit and reveal His foreknowledge. God had, since the time of Moses, worked through the nation Israel. However, as is clear for nearly 2000 years, even apart from divine revelation, God has not worked through Israel as a nation and not as a people. Paul will explore this more fully in the book of Romans; however, what we need to grasp at this time is this psalmist did not know what would happen to Israel in the future. It would be most reasonable for a man of faith to believe in the regathering of Israel and for that to occur in the near future, and for God to continue to work through His chosen nation. However, here we have a hint that God will be working through other nations. Wherever one sees the Word of God extolled and protected, from whatever nation sends out missionaries with the gospel, this is a nation through which God works; and, throughout the past 2000 years, God has worked through several nations. This one line assures us that this will happen.


Psalm 106:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

hâlal (ל ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHL

to be praised; to glory, to boast [about oneself]

Hithpael infinitive construct

Strong’s #1984 BDB #237

The Hithpael is the passive of the Piel (intensive) stem.

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

nachălâh (ה ָל ֲחַנ) [pronounced nah-khuh-LAW]

inheritance, possession, property, heritage

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5159 BDB #635


Translation: ...to be praised with Your inheritance. What is missed is the HIthpael stem of this verb; the Hithpael is the passive of the Piel (intensive) stem. The psalmist is receiving the action of the verb; the psalmist is receiving praise. Now this is not because the psalmist has led some great life, but because he is a part of the inheritance of God, and is praised by association (as we receive praise as believers, as we are in Christ Jesus, Who deserves praise).


What the psalmist asks for is in stark contrast to what comes in the next verse. The psalmist is not claiming to be this perfect, holier-than-thou sort of individual.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Israel of the Generation of the Psalmist, Sins like Israel at the Sea of Reeds


We have sinned with our fathers

we have acted perversely

we have acted unrighteously.

Psalm

106:6

We have sinned with our fathers;

we have acted perversely

and we have acted with unrighteousness.

Like our fathers, we have sinned:

we acted both perversely and unrighteously.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       We and our ancestors have sinned terribly.

God’s Word                         We have sinned and so did our ancestors.

We have done wrong.

We are guilty.

JPS (Tanakh)                        We have sinned like our forefathers;

we have gone astray, done evil.

NASB                                    We have sinned like our fathers,

We have committed iniquity,

we have done wickedly.

NLT                                Both we and our ancestors have sinned.

We have done wrong! We have acted wickedly!

The Septuagint                      We have sinned with or fathers, we have transgressed, we have done unrighteously.

Young's Updated LT              We have sinned with our fathers,

We have done perversely, we have done wickedly.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist looks back in history and sees that Israel of his time have sinned (acted in violation of God’s laws) just as their ancestors had. Then he elaborates—they have acted perversely and unrighteously. The perverseness does not necessarily refer to deviant behavior, but more to what Israel did with the law—they perverted it; they twisted and bent the Law.


Psalm 106:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

châţâ (א ָט ָח) [pronounced khaw-TAW]

to sin, to miss, to miss the mark, to violate the law, to err; to do wrong, to commit a transgression

1st person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2398 BDB #306

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

âbv (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: We have sinned with our fathers;... The history of Israel is a sad one, but it is one which gives us hope. Israel has an eternal purpose with God. God chose Israel and Israel will always be a part of God’s plan. And, more importantly, God chose Israel knowing that Israel would fail in a spectacular manner.


Here is what I want you to notice. This psalmist is probably a godly man, a man who is in fellowship most of the time. He is a man through whom God the Holy Spirit guided to write this Scripture. But note his demeanor: he is not holding the rest of Israel in derision; he is not placing the blame on everyone else. He is a part of Israel, and so he writes, We have sinned with our fathers... Now, don’t misunderstand—this is the editorial we. The psalmist has not necessarily been involved in the same degeneracy as the rest of Israel. However, he sees the failure of Israel as a national failure and he is a part of this nation which has failed. Although Israel is a nation of individuals, and although God sent specific individuals to Israel to function as prophets, kings and priests, still, it is a national entity whose fate is national.


Application: We tend not to have much of an historical grasp. Since we were born in a free nation, one which exhibited a reasonable amount of freedom and morality, we do not see our nation as becoming anything else. However, the period of time that the United States has been on this earth is relatively short. We may enjoy the privileges and blessings of being a client nation to God, but then we also bear the appropriate responsibility. If we shirk this responsibility, that which we take for granted can be removed overnight.


Application: Our lives are littered with failures; we make bad decisions, we behave badly, we choose to do wrong; God chose us from eternity past, knowing all of that, and that means that at any time that we choose to be in fellowship, God will fill us, bless us, guide us and function through us. We are a part of His eternal plan despite our failures and shortcomings.


I want you to get something else from this verse: it is possible that the psalmist here is relatively blameless. In fact, it is very likely that he was not a participant in the behavior which required God to step in a remove Israel from the Land of Promise. However, as a part of the nation Israel, he was also subject to Israel's discipline. We are a part of certain institutions and we are subject to the judgment laid upon these institutions. Whether it is our family, our nation, the organizations to which we belong—when you are a part of any institution, God does not necessarily remove you from that institution before leveling it with judgment. What is particularly admirable about this psalmist is that he is willing to take the judgment which has fallen upon Israel, without making excuses, and without setting himself up as the innocent bystander who was violated. Footnote


The exodus generation set a standard of low when it came to rebellion against God. References back to that time (and, arguably to the time of the judges) which call for Israel not to sin as their fathers did are found in II Chron. 30:7 Psalm 78:8, 57.


Psalm 106:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳âvâh (הָו ָע) [pronounced ģaw-VAW],

to bend, to distort, to twist; in the Hiphil: to make crooked, to pervert [that which is right], to pervert [one’s own way], to act perversely

1st person plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #5753 BDB #731

Although one early printed edition inserts and wâw conjunction here, it is likely that the text is correct as is.

râsha׳ (ע ַש ָר) [pronounced raw-SHAHĢ]

to declare guilty, to declare unrighteous, to condemn, to overcome [as the righteous over the wicked]; intransitive use: to act unrighteously, to act wickedly

1st person plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #7561 BDB #957


Translation: ...we have acted perversely and we have acted with unrighteousness. The root meaning of ׳âvâh is to bend, to curve, to twist, to distort. These words describe exactly what Israel had done to God’s Laws. Israel bent, distorted and twisted these laws. We have the intransitive use of the second verb (that is, there is no direct object or prepositional phrase which follows); since Israel distorted the Law, Israel therefore acted unrighteously and wickedly. If all that guides you is a distorted version of the Law, then you cannot help but act in violation of that Law.


Application: The same is true of God’s Word and His precepts today. If all you have is a distorted view of God’s Word, then you cannot help but act in violation of His commands. If the church that you attend does not teach God’s Word carefully, verse by verse, precept by precept, then it is very likely that His Word is being distorted and the result is that you cannot help but act unrighteously. Now, this does not mean that you will be our drinking heavily and sinning with every woman that you find; it simply means that you will act outside God’s plan. You might be very self-righteous and very religious; you might not ever curse, drink nor chase women. However, you can still be far outside of God’s plan because your reception of the truth is distorted. Four examples: the Catholic Church, the Jehovah Witnesses, the Mormons and the charismatics. These four very different groups all distort the truth greatly, the result being is that those in the congregation cannot help but to act unrighteously. Don’t misunderstand me at this point. I have known some Mormons who are fine people with great morals and values; and many of them are a hell of a lot nicer than most Christians that I know. However, they are working to get into the best of the heavens, which is a complete violation of God’s grace, and a complete misunderstanding of what happens after death. Given those distortions, one cannot help but act unrighteously.


The Catholics distort just enough truth as to render them ineffective for the most part. Their impact for the Catholic Church might be great; but their personal impact for the True God is not. They have completely misunderstood, mishandled, and misapplied the word grace. For that reason, there are millions upon millions of Catholics who have never been saved and who will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.


The Jehovah Witnesses might be moral and they might gain converts (primarily from the guilty and unlearned of the Christians); but they also distort God’s grace into a system of works. Their members are either unsaved, or those who were saved first and then entered the witnesses and were rendered ineffective.


The charismatics comprise a special group. They may be former Baptists, former Catholics, former Presbyterians. They may even continue to attend their original churches and it is possible that their original church has become infected and has gone over into the charismatic movement. I have friends in the charismatic movement and they, like many of the Mormons that I know, are wonderful and sincere people. However, their distortion of the Holy Spirit renders them spiritually ineffective. They might be very religious, but if they function outside of the Spirit of God, all that they do will be burned along with all of man’s works and human good.

 

Barnes comments on their failure as a generation: It was not that God was not disposed to bestow that happiness; it was not that true religion failed to confer happiness; but it was that the nation had provoked God to displeasure, and that in fact the sins of the people had averted the blessings which would otherwise have come upon them. The psalmist, therefore, in emphatic language,—repeating the confession in three forms, “we have sinned, —we have committed iniquity, —we have done wickedly,” —acknowledges that the failure was in them, not in God. Footnote


What follows over the next 30+ verses is a list of Israel’s eight failures. This is not a comprehensive list; this is just what comes to the mind of the psalmist, after having studied the Law of Moses (we will get to the Comprehensive List of Israel’s Failures later on).

The Eight Failures of Israel as Recorded by the Psalmist

Scriptural Reference

Psalm 106

Incident

Exodus 14:5–31

vv. 7–12

Israel rebelled against God when the Sea of Reeds was in front of them and pharaoh’s troops were pursuing them. They did not recall His great works on their behalf and panicked instead.

Numbers 11:1–35

vv. 13–15

This Israelites craved meat while in the desert; God granted their request, but sent them a wasting disease as well. It was not their craving meat that was the problem; the problem was their attitude and behavior.

Numbers 16:1–40

vv. 16–18

The Israelites rebelled under Korah, Dathan and Abiram. Their problem was with Moses and his spiritual authority. God caused an earthquake to occur and to engulf the recalcitrants and their followers.

Exodus 32:1–6

vv. 19–23

Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the Law directly from God (and this was not as per his word, but the people heard the voice of God and demanded that Moses function as an intermediary). After he had been gone for awhile, the people coaxed Aaron into melting down some gold and forming a golden calf, which they worshipped and then started getting jiggy.

Numbers 14:1–38

vv. 24–27

When Israel heard that the people in the land of Canaan were giants (actually, only a small portion of them were), their desire to enter into the Land of Promise turned to dread, and they spent the night crying in their tents, fearing for their lives. God almost destroyed them; only Moses stood between God and these Israelites as their advocate. God’s promise to scatter Israel throughout the Gentile nations is not found here, but in Lev. 26:33.

Numbers 25:1–9

vv. 28–31

Although the several military attacks against Israel were unsuccessful as they approach the Land of Promise, what did corrupt them was the worship of foreign gods, which was brought about by their involvement with foreign women.

Numbers 20:2–13

vv. 32–33

One of the saddest incidents in the Law of Moses was the recording of Moses’ failure. When Israel demanded that he find them water in the midst of the desert, he lost his temper and did not follow God’s directions. This was the second Meribah incident. Because he struck the rock twice to produce water instead of speaking to it, Moses was not allowed to enter into the Land of Promise.

Judges 1:21–36 (and I Sam. 15)

vv. 34–43

Israel was supposed to destroy all of the degenerate people in the land. However, they did not, and the people of the land caused Israel trouble in a myriad of ways for centuries thereafter.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


The entire verse reads: We have sinned with our fathers; we have acted perversely and we have acted with unrighteousness. Note how similar this is to Dan. 9:5–6: “We have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. Furthermore, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and all the people of the land.” It is not unreasonable to suppose that one passage inspired the other Footnote (they were obviously inspired by the same Holy Spirit).


Our fathers in Egypt were not prudent Your incredible works;

they did not recall a multitude of Your grace;

and so they rebel upon a sea

in a Sea of Reed.

Psalm

106:7

Our fathers in Egypt did not behave wisely [with regards to] Your wonderful works.

They did not call to mind the abundance of Your grace

and rebelled at the sea,

at the Sea of Reeds.

Our fathers in Egypt did not consider Your amazing works

nor did they call to mind Your abundant grace.

Instead, they rebelled against You by the sea, the Sea of Reeds.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       When they were in Egypt, they paid not attention to your marvelous deeds or your wonderful love.

And they turned against you at the Red Sea.

God’s Word                         When our ancestors were in Egypt,

they gave no thought to your miracles.

They did not remember your numerous acts of mercy,

so they rebelled at the sea, the Red Sea.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Our forefathers in Egypt did not perceive Your wonders;

they did not remember Your abundant love,

but rebelled at the sea, at the Sea of Reeds.

NASB                                    Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders;

They did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses,

But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea [or, Sea of Reeds].

NLT                                Our ancestors in Egypt

were not impressed by the Lord’s miracles.

They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them.

Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea.

The Septuagint                      Our fathers in Egypt understood not Your wonders,

and did not remember the multitude of Your mercy;

but provoked [Him] as they went up by the Red Sea.

Young's Updated LT              Our fathers in Egypt, have not considered wisely Your wonders,

They have not remembered the abundance of Your kind acts,

And provoke by the sea, at the sea of Suph. [I’ve changed the line breaks as well as some minor words]


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist has mentioned their ancestors; now, in this verse, he gives some specific examples. At the Sea of Reeds, God’s miracles did not make enough of an impression on the Israelites. The study of much of the four books of Moses is God giving Israel His grace and Israel turning against Him again and again.


Psalm 106:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

âbv (ב ָא,) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household or clan

masculine singular noun with a 1st person plural suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

mitzerayim (ם̣י-רצ̣מ) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

generally negates the word immediately following; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

sâkal (ל-כָ) [pronounced saw-KAHL]

to look at, to attend to, to turn the mind to; to be or become understanding, to be prudent; to be successful, to act prosperously; to make prudent, to teach

3rd person plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #7919 BDB #968

pâlâ (א ָלָ) [pronounced paw-LAW]

things done wonderfully; therefore, incredible works, miracles, extraordinary acts

feminine plural, Niphal participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6381 BDB #810


Translation: Our fathers in Egypt did not behave wisely [with regards to] Your wonderful works. God did amazing things on behalf of Israel while they were slaves in Egypt. Although many Bibles refer to what God did in order to get the pharaoh to release the Jews as miracles; they were likely the result of a great plan, which reveals an even greater intelligence. To the person there, the things which occurred would appear to be a miracle. However, most of the things which occurred (if not all) had a rational explanation. This in no way downplays God’s power; it actually celebrates His incredible foreknowledge and intelligence. If the works in Egypt that occurred were the result of God’s setting the world into motion thousands of years previous, then they are greater feats than we can imagine. Let’s say that you put something into motion today that would result in that which would appear to be a miracle 50 years from now; apart from a magician’s trick, it would be incredibly amazing. God set forces into motion in eternity past which would result in the incredible works which occurred when Moses called for them to occur.


On the other hand, this does not mean that everything in the book of Exodus is a natural phenomena. The staff of Moses turning into a snake or his hand becoming leprous and then turning back again (Ex. 4:1–7)—these were probably miracles. However, the great things which occurred, although they could have been miracles, were more likely the result of God setting those things into motion thousands or millions of years previous.


In any case, to the casual observer, the many things which God did—the plagues which He brought upon Egypt—appeared to be great miracles (even though the power of their occurrence was greater than a simple miracle). However, even though the men of Israel observed these great acts first hand, they continued to doubt God and His power to deliver them.


Psalm 106:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

zâkar (ר ַכ ָז) [pronounced zaw-KAHR]

remember, recall, call to mind

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #2142 BDB #269

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bv (בֹר) [pronounced rohbv]

multitude, abundance, greatness

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #7230 BDB #913

cheçed (ד ס ח) [pronounced KHEH-sed]

grace, benevolence, mercy, kindness

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2617 BDB #338


Translation: They did not call to mind the abundance of Your grace... Even greater and far more important than God’s great miracles is His grace, although few believers grasp that. These great plagues came upon the Egyptians but did not touch the Israelites. This was God’s grace. The exodus generation observed tremendous works and received a tremendous amount of grace from God; however, each time they faced a problem head on, they completely forgot everything that God had done for them up to that point in time. Instead of recognizing that God had a plan for their lives and was leading them through things for which He had already made provision; they panicked at each and every crisis, turning against Moses and the God Who delivered them.


It is this portion of v. 7 which gives us a key to the Christian life—the failure of the exodus generation is that they did not call to mind, they did not remember, they did not recall God’s abundance grace. They key is what does or does not occur in your mind. They failed because they did not call to mind God’s plentiful grace. What goes on in your soul is the key to your success or failure in the Christian life.


Application: There are times in your life when you have prayed for God’s guidance, His blessing or for Him to run interference in your life, and God answered your prayer in the affirmative. Does this mean that, the next time you are in a jam, you will look back on that answered prayer for your confidence? More than likely, you have forgotten most of your desperate prayers to God and the fact that He answered those prayers. The key is God’s Word. You have to embed God’s Word in your soul. You have to know Who God is; you have to have a fundamental grasp of His character. Then, the next time you are in a jam, the next time that your prayer to God is more frantic than usual, you take a hold of God’s character—that will provide you with the confidence to get you through the situation.


What happened to Israel? Israel did not have the Word of God. We do not know where or what the book of Genesis was (although I personally believe that it had been recorded already and was with the Jewish people). However, the average believer did not necessarily have access to this (if it existed at that time). What were they to hold onto? Here is the key: God revealed His character, foreknowledge and power in the works that He had already performed on behalf of Israel—Israel was to know God through His marvelous works, and they were to hold onto the essence of God as revealed in His works. Let me be more specific: God revealed His love, His concern, His foreknowledge, His power, and (most of all) His graciousness in the miracles and works which He performed.


Because God revealed Himself through His miracles to the general population of Israel, we then need to know...

Which Aspects of God were Revealed by His Miracles?

God’s Essence/Character

Miracle/Work which Revealed this Aspect of His Character

God’s Power and Ability

The things which God did were clearly miraculous—if not actually miraculous, things which appeared to be miraculous (again, bear in mind that just because God did something via setting things in motion a million years ago, and letting a natural phenomena occur, this does not in any way take from His power). Therefore, Israel should have been able to recognize God’s power. The first ten plagues against Egypt made it clear that God was much greater than the gods of Egypt.

God’s Foreknowledge

This may have been tougher for the Israelites to grasp, but God knew that Israel would be thirsty and hungry, and He provided for these needs in eternity past. For those who understood some of God’s miracles to be actually works which He set into motion in the past, then they understood His foreknowledge.


What is even more of a sign of God’s foreknowledge is His calling of Moses to lead Israel. Our of 200,000 Israelites (or, 2,000,000, there was only one man who would have been able to lead them, and that was Moses).

God’s Graciousness

Israel, from the very beginning, acted faithless and pissy. Over and over again, God came to the rescue of Israel—it began at the Sea of Reeds where the people of Israel began to whine and complain; and still, God provided a passage of escape for them across the Sea of Reeds. Furthermore, so that they recognized that this was a powerful phenomena subject to God’s will, God closed the sea over pharaoh’s soldiers, killing them all.

God’s Faithfulness

See above.

God’s love

Israel, time after time, rebelled against God and against Moses. God, time after time, performed miracles and works on their behalf, despite their attitude and behavior. This reveals God’s love, faithfulness and graciousness.

So, it is likely that Israel did not have access to what existed as the Word of God up until that point in time. However, they were able to see God’s character via the miracles and works that He performed on their behalf. That is what they were to call to mind every time they faced a crisis.

Anytime that you think God needs to prove Himself to you—to do some cool miracle so that you will know that He exists and functions on your behalf, remember this generation of Jews, who saw some of the greatest miracles ever performed, failed again and again and again. Think back on the generation of Jesus, and how many miracles which he performed—He was still apprehended and crucified by those who witnessed those miracles or the results of those miracles. The key is not what you have seen, but what you are able to call to mind.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index

 

Barnes comments: The great number of the Divine interpositions in their behalf. They [the Israelites] did not allow them to influence their conduct as they should have done. The aggravation of their offence in the case here referred to was particularly in the multitude of the mercies. It would have been sinful to have forgotten even one act of the Divine favour; it was a great aggravation of their guilt that so many acts were forgotten, or that they failed to make an impression on them. Footnote Israel’s failure to remember God was not confined to the exodus generation—we find this mentioned several times in Scripture (Judges 3:7 Psalm 78:12, 42).


Psalm 106:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mârâh (ה ָר ָמ) [pronounced maw-RAWH]

to resist, to oppose, to rebel, to rebel against, to be contentious

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #4784 BDB #598

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

yâm (ם ָי) [pronounced yawm]

sea, lake, river, seaward, west, westward

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3220 BDB #410

Ginsberg thinks that this should be But they rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea instead. Although this is unsupported by manuscript evidence, it is suggested either by context and sense. Footnote

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâm (ם ָי) [pronounced yawm]

sea, lake, river, seaward, west, westward

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3220 BDB #410

çûwph (ףס) [pronounced soof],

reed, rush, sea weed

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5488 BDB #693


Translation: ...and rebelled at the sea, at the Sea of Reeds. All that the psalmist brings to focus is the first failure of Israel—God had brought many plagues upon the Egyptians, plagues to which the Israelites were immune; and at the first sign of possible danger (Pharaoh and his army pursued Israel to the Sea of Reeds), Israel’s lack of faith becomes apparent.


Therefore, it would be worth our while to take a quick glance back to what occurred at the Sea of Reeds:

Exodus 14:5–31 World English Bible

14:5 It was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed towards the people, and they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" 14:6 He made ready his chariot, and took his army with him; 14:7 and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over all of them. 14:8 Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand. 14:9 The Egyptians pursued after them: all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen, and his army; and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baal Zephon.


14:10 When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid. The children of Israel cried out to Yahweh. 14:11 They said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way, to bring us forth out of Egypt? 14:12 Isn't this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness."


14:13 Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them again. 14:14 Yahweh will fight for you, and you shall be still."


14:15 Yahweh said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward. 14:16 Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground. 14:17 I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them: and I will get myself honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies, over his chariots, and over his horsemen. 14:18 The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have gotten myself honor over Pharaoh, over his chariots, and over his horsemen." 14:19 The angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them. 14:20 It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light by night: and the one didn't come near the other all the night.


14:21 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and Yahweh caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 14:22 The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left. 14:23 The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea: all of Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 14:24 It happened in the morning watch, that Yahweh looked out on the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and confused the Egyptian army. 14:25 He took off their chariot wheels, and they drove them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, "Let's flee from the face of Israel, for Yahweh fights for them against the Egyptians!"


14:26 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen." 14:27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it. Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 14:28 The waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even all Pharaoh's army that went in after them into the sea. There remained not so much as one of them. 14:29 But the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left. 14:30 Thus Yahweh saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 14:31 Israel saw the great work which Yahweh did to the Egyptians, and the people feared Yahweh; and they believed in Yahweh, and in his servant Moses.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Here is what the psalmist is saying about the exodus generation. Moses went before pharaoh, calling for pharaoh to let his people go; and when pharaoh did not, Moses brought great plagues and wonders upon Egypt. Israel observed this first-hand and also realized that God did not bring the same terrors upon Israel. This was not simply a one-time occurrence, but there were 10 plagues that Moses brought upon Egypt in a fairly short period of time (say, within a month). When Israel came to the first obstacle, the Sea of Reeds, with the Egyptians hot on their tails, all they had to do is realize that God on ten occasions took steps to free Israel; therefore, God had the motivation and the ability to deliver them again. What should have interested Israel more was, what is God going to do this time on our behalf? Doubts that they would be delivered should have never crossed their minds. Curiosity as to what God would do—that would have been legitimate thinking. Speculation as to what God would do—that would have been legitimate discussion. Unfortunately, their fear, panic and absolute lack of faith in God, despite so much evidence to the contrary, merely foreshadowed years and years of failures to come.


And so He delivers them for the sake of His name

to make known His power.

Psalm

106:8

Therefore, He delivered them for His name’s sake

to make His power known.

Therefore, God delivered them for His name’s sake—to make His power known.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       But you were true to your name,

and you rescued them to prove how mighty you are.

God’s Word                         He saved them because of his reputation

so that he could make his mighty power known.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Yet He saved them, as befits His name,

to make know His might.

NASB                                    Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name

That He might make His power known.

NLT                                Even so, he saved them—

to defend the honor of his name

and to demonstrate his mighty power.

The Septuagint                      Yet He saved [or, delivered] them for His name's sake, that He might cause His mighty power to be known.

Young's Updated LT              And He saves them for His name's sake,

to make known His might,...


What is the gist of this verse? God acts on the basis of His character, not ours. The grace that He showed Israel also demonstrated to all surrounding nations His great power.


Psalm 106:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâsha׳ (ע ַש ָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

lema׳an (ן ַע ַמ  ׃ל) [pronounced le-MAH-ģahn]

for the sake of, on account of, to the intent of, to the intent that, to the purpose that, in order that, in view of, to the end that

compound preposition and substantive which acts like a preposition

Strong’s #4616 BDB #775

This is the substantive ma׳an (ן ַע ַמ) [pronounced MAH-ģahn], which means purpose, intent, combined with the lâmed preposition (which is the only way that it is found in Scripture).

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027


Translation: Therefore, He delivered them for His name’s sake... What God does is based upon His own character (His name). If God did not act on the basis of our character, then it would have been reasonable to destroy the entire world and all human population save a couple of men. But God clearly told the Israelites that He did not place them in the land because they were good and righteous, but because of the great evil of those who occupied the land (Deut. 9:4). God acts according to His own character, which makes Him One we can depend upon. If I depended upon God’s blessings based upon my own life, I would never receive any. I make too many mistakes and I fail too often. However, God’s blessings come to me based upon His character, which means that I can expect to continue to receive them.


Psalm 106:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâda׳ (ע ַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to cause to know, to make one know, to instruct, to teach

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

gebûwrâh (הָרב) [pronounced gevoo-RAW]

strength, might

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1369 BDB #150


Translation: ...to make His power known. One of the purposes of God was to make His power and reality known to all of the heathen groups of the civilized world (see Ex. 9:16 Isa. 63:11–12 Ezek. 20:9). Therefore, God did many wonders on behalf of Israel. If you study the four books of Moses, it will be clear that Israel was completely and totally undeserving, and that God would have been justified to consume them all and start from scratch. However, God acted so that His character remained in tact and so that His power was clearly understood by all those who observed it and heard about it.


In the next few verses, the psalmist expands on this theme—how God makes his power and mercy know—and he gives a few specific examples.


And so He rebukes in a sea of reed

and so he dries and so He leads them in the depths as the wilderness.

Psalm

106:9

Then He rebuked the Sea of Reeds and it became dry;

then He led them across the depths as [through] the wilderness.

Then He rebuked the Sea of Reeds, causing it to dry up;

then He led them across its depths as though they were walking on land.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       You said to the Red Sea, “Dry up!”

Then you led your people across

on land as dry as a desert.

God’s Word                         He angrily commanded the Red Sea, and it dried up.

He led them through deep water as though it were a desert.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He sent His blast against the Sea of Reeds;

it became dry;

He led them through the deep as through a wilderness.

NASB                                    Thus He rebuked the Red Sea and it dried up;

And He led them through the deeps, as through the wilderness.

NLT                                He commanded the Red Sea to divide, and a dry path appeared.

He led Israel across the sea bottom that was as dry as a desert.

The Septuagint                      And He rebuked the Red Sea and it was dried up; so He led them through the deep as through the wilderness.

Young's Updated LT              And rebukes the sea of Suph, and it is dried up,

And causes them to go

Through the depths as a wilderness.


What is the gist of this verse? God causes the Sea of Reeds to dry up, and then He leads his people across as though it were desert wildernss.


Psalm 106:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

gâ׳ar (ר -עָ) [pronounced gaw-ĢAHR]

to rebuke, to rebuff, to castigate

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1605 BDB #172

According to Barnes, gâ׳ar means to chide,—as when one is angry with another for having done wrong. Here it is evidently a poetic term, meaning that he spake as if he were angry; or as if the Red Sea did wrong in presenting an obstacle or obstruction to the passage of his people. Footnote

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yâm (ם ָי) [pronounced yawm]

sea, lake, river, seaward, west, westward

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3220 BDB #410

çûwph (ףס) [pronounced soof],

reed, rush, sea weed

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5488 BDB #693

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

chârêbv (ב̤רָח) [pronounced khaw-RAWBV]

to be dry, to be dried up; to waste, to lay waste, to be desolate

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2717 BDB #351


Translation: Then He rebuked the Sea of Reeds and it became dry;... God rebukes, castigates or yells at the Sea of Reeds, and it dries up. This is the first example of how God makes His power known.


Throughout Scripture, God shows Himself to be the One Who rules over nature itself.

Examples of God’s Authority over the Natural Elements

Scripture

Example

Gen. 7

One of the most spectacular miracles ever recorded was that of the flood which covered the earth (the specifics of this flood was examined in detail in Gen. 7). The end result was that all of the earth’s population was destroyed by this flood.

Gen. 41

Joseph interprets a dream of pharaoh’s indicating that God would bring seven years of plenty to Egypt and then 7 years of drought (the resultant famine was what caused Joseph to be reunited with his family).

Ex. 7:14–21

God, by the hand of Moses, turned the water of the Nile into blood, a sign of judgment against the Egyptians.

Ex. 14:19–20

Prior to Israel crossing over the Sea of Reeds, they had to camp out when night came. The Egyptians were quite close and also camped out. However, God placed a thick, dark fog so that the Egyptians could not see the Israeli camp. I have been to the Pacific Ocean coast at night where the fog and darkness are so thick that there is no way that you could guide yourself with a flashlight; without a good sense of direction, you could walk into the sea just as easily as walk back to your campsite.

Ex. 14:27–29

God held back the Sea of Reeds, allowing the Israelites to make their way across; then he closed the sea upon the Egyptian army, killing them all.

Num. 9:15–17

In order to guide Israel, there was a cloud which remained over the newly constructed Tent of God; when the cloud was lifted, Israel would set out.

Num. 11:1–3

It appears as though God struck some souls dead with lightning when they continued to complain about Him.

Num. 16:23–35

When Korah, Dathan and Abiram spearheaded a rebellion against Moses, God caused a very specific earthquake which swallowed them and their followers. It also appears to be the case that God struck some of their followers dead with lightning.

Joshua 3:15–17

God stopped the flow of the River Jordan so that Israel could cross it to go into the Land of Promise.

Joshua 10:11–14

God caused it to hail upon the coalition of kings who opposed Joshua, killing many with hail stones. Then, God allowed the day to run long, so that there was enough time for Israel to destroy all of her enemies (I spent seven pages discussing this miracle in the book of Joshua).

Judges 6:37–40

The miracle of the dew and the fleece: Gideon, to make certain that it was God Who was visiting him, asked that on one morning for the fleece to be wet, and everything around it dry; and for it to be dry while everything else was wet on the next morning.

I Kings 18:20–39

Elijah called for God to send fire from the sky to consume his offering (which had been soaked with water). It is unclear whether this was lightning or something more supernatural.

Isa. 38:7–8

God caused the sundial to go backwards, to indicate that Hezekiah would be given more time on this earth.

This is obviously not a complete listing of all the incidents which reveal God’s power over the natural elements, but it is enough to illustrate the point.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Psalm 106:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to lead, to cause to go, to cause to depart, to cause to come; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

tehôwm (םה ׃) [pronounced te-HOHM]

ocean depths, depths, a surging mass of water, bursts of water, deep waters

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #8415 BDB #1062

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately; combined with an infinitive, it can also take on the meaning as, often, when, as soon as

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

midebâr (ר ָ  ׃ד  ̣מ) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184


Translation: ...then He led them across the depths as [through] the wilderness. By Moses, God leads Israel across the sea floor just as He would lead them through the desert wilderness. This had to be amazing that God could lead Israel across the Sea of Reeds dry-shod, as it were. You would think that this would have made a profound impact upon every single Israelite.


There is a psalm which speaks to God’s great control over nature:

Psalm 18:5–19 (WEB)

18:6 In my distress I called on Yahweh, and cried to my God.

He heard my voice out of his temple.

My cry before him came into his ears.

18:7 Then the earth shook and trembled.

The foundations also of the mountains quaked and were shaken,

because he was angry.

18:8 Smoke went out of his nostrils.

Consuming fire came out of his mouth.

Coals were kindled by it.

18:9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down.

Thick darkness was under his feet.

18:10 He rode on a cherub, and flew.

Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind.

18:11 He made darkness his hiding place, his pavilion around him,

darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.

18:12 At the brightness before him his thick clouds passed,

hailstones and coals of fire.

18:13 Yahweh also thundered in the sky.

The Most High uttered his voice:

hailstones and coals of fire.

18:14 He sent out his arrows, and scattered them;

Yes, great lightning bolts, and routed them.

18:15 Then the channels of waters appeared.

The foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, Yahweh,

at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

18:16 He sent from on high.

He took me.

He drew me out of many waters.

18:17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,

from those who hated me; for they were too mighty for me.

18:18 They came on me in the day of my calamity,

but Yahweh was my support.

18:19 He brought me forth also into a large place.

He delivered me, because he delighted in me.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


And so he saves them from a hand of a hating

and so He redeems them from a hand of an enemy.

Psalm

106:10

He saves [or, delivers] them from the hand of the hating [ones]

and redeems them from the hand of enemies.

He delivers them from the hand of those who hate them

and He keeps them from the hand of their enemies.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       You saved all of them

and drowned every one of their enemies.

God’s Word                         He rescued them from the power of the one who hated them.

He rescued them from the enemy.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He delivered them from the foe,

redeemed them from the enemy.

NASB                                    So He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them,

And redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.

NLT                                So he rescued them from their enemies

and redeemed them from their foes.

The Septuagint                      And He saved them out of the hand of them that hated and redeemed them out of the hand of the enemy.

Young's Updated LT              And He saves them from the hand

Of him who is hating,

And redeems them from the hand of the enemy.


What is the gist of this verse? God can be depended upon to deliver Israel from those who hate her and He has purchased or redeemed them from the hand of their enemies. Even though the concept of redemption of Israel is a theme that goes way back to the exodus, it is not clear to us until the New Testament just what the actual payment is.


Psalm 106:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

yâsha׳ (ע ַש ָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular construct

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

sânê (אֵנ ָ) [pronounced saw-NAY

to hate; in the participle, it is the ones hating

Qal active participle

Strong’s #8130 BDB #971


Translation: He saves [or, delivers] them from the hand of the hating [ones]... What is well known to us today is how much hatred there is in the Middle East. There are some Arabic factions who would love to see all Israelites destroyed completely. Just as Osama ben Laden expressed joy at the murder of 3000 men and women in the twin towers, there are factions of Arabs who would be overjoyed at the deaths of millions of Israelis. They believe that their hatred is justified, but they have no idea how much Satan plays a part. The Egyptians then, the various Canaanite groups over the next several centuries, and the Arabs of today—they are all pawns in the game that Satan plays. The Jews are God’s people, and, as such, are going to naturally be the object of intense hatred. Even in those days, before Israel as a nation had a chance to conduct national relations, before one could manufacture a reason, there were those who absolutely hated them. Satan is a master at fostering hate against this group or that. God delivers Israel from those who hate them. This is why Israel is still a people today.


Psalm 106:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

gâal (ל ַאָ) [pronounced gaw-AHL]

to redeem, to purchase

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #1350 BDB #145

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

hand

feminine singular construct

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

âyabv (בַי ָא) [pronounced aw-YABV]

to be at enmity, to be hostile; as a participle, it means enemy, the one being at enmity with you

Qal active participle

Strong’s #340 BDB #33


Translation: ...and redeems them from the hand of enemies. In this particular case, God redeems Israel from her enemies, the Egyptian army, as led by pharaoh. The Egyptians had learned to hate the Jews and therefore oppressed them; the Jews were once a part of the royal family, and after a generation or two, were caused to be made slaves by those who hated them.


Early on in the time of Israel, the concept of God purchasing or redeeming them was a consistent theme (see Ex. 6:6 Psalm 78:42 107:2 Hosea 13:14). It is never clear what God uses in order to purchase Israel; the coin of the realm is always obscure—that is, until the death of our Lord—then it is clear what God used to purchase Israel (as well as purchase us). The blood of His Son is the coin of the realm. God paid with the ultimate sacrifice for us. Know this, that you were not redeemed with ephemeral things, such as silver or gold from your empty manner of life acquired from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless (II Peter 1:18–19).


And so cover waters their adversaries—

one from them was not left.

Psalm

106:11

The waters covered their adversaries—

not one of them remained [alive].

the waters covered their adversaries, the Egyptians; not one of them remained alive.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       [You saved all of them] and drowned every one of their enemies. [I included v. 10b for context]

God’s Word                         Water covered their adversaries.

Not one Egyptian survived.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Water covered their adversaries;

not one of them was left.

NASB                                    And the waters covered their adversaries;

Not one of them was left.

NLT                                Then the water returned and covered their enemies;

not one of them survived.

The Septuagint                      The water covered those that oppressed them; there was not one of them left.

Young's Updated LT              And waters cover their adversaries,

One of them has not been left.


What is the gist of this verse? As the passage from Exodus indicates, once the Israelites got completely across and the Egyptians were right behind them, on the dry land, in the midst of the Sea of Reeds, the waters suddenly came and drowned every one of them.


Psalm 106:11

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kâçâh (ה ָסָ) [pronounced kaw-SAWH

to cover, to clothe, to conceal; to spread over, to engulf; to overwhelm

3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #3680 BDB #491

mayim (ם̣י ַמ) [pronounced MAH-yim]

water, waters

masculine plural noun

Strong's #4325 BDB #565

tsar (ר ַצ) [pronounced tsar]

an adversary, an enemy, distress, affliction, intense distress [caused by an adversary]

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6862 BDB #865

echâd (ד ָח א) [pronounced eh-KHAWD]

one, first, certain, only; but it can also mean a composite unity

numeral

Strong's #259 BDB #25

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâthar (ר ַתָי) [pronounced yaw-THAHR]

to be left over, to be left behind, to remain

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal perfect, pausal form

Strong’s #3498 BDB #451


Translation: The waters covered their adversaries—not one of them remained [alive]. The escaping Israelites got to the other side of the Sea of Reeds, walking across the bottom of that sea dry shod. Once they were safe on the other side, and Pharaoh and his men were in hot pursuit, also traversing the Sea of Reeds behind the Israelites, the sea closed up over them, the waters covering them. All of them perished in the water. These Egyptians were an object lesson to all other Jewish antagonists. They may prevail for a short time, but God will protect His own. This is why today we have a world wherein there are many identifiable Jews, but no Philistines, Midianites, Moabites, Edomites, etc.


And so they believe in His words;

they sing His praise.

Psalm

106:12

Therefore, they believed His words

and sang His praise.

Therefore, they believed His words

and they sang His praises.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Then your people trusted you and sang your praises.

God’s Word                         Then our ancestors believed what he said.

They sang his praise.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Then they believed His promise,

and sang His praises.

NASB                                    Then they believed His words;

They sang His praise.

NLT                                Then at last his people believed his promises.

Then they finally sang his praise.

The Septuagint                      Then they believed His words, and celebrated His praise.

Young's Literal Translation    And they believe in His words, they sing His praise.


What is the gist of this verse? After the Israelites see the entire Egyptian army covered by the Sea of Reeds, they believe in the God of Moses, their God, and then sing His praises.


Psalm 106:12

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âman (ן ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHN]

 to stand firm, to believe, to trust, caused to believe

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #539 BDB #52

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

shîyr (רי ̣ש) [pronounced sheer]

to sing

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7891 BDB #1010

tehîllâh (ה- ̣ה ) [pronounced tehil-LAW]

praise, a song of praise

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #8416 BDB #239


Translation: Therefore, they believed His words and sang His praise. Israel had been under 400 years of slavery and, just as a dog is trained to fear and respect his master (a good dog), they had this fear and respect for the Egyptians. It was not until they witnessed the entire Egyptian army covered with water that they realized that God really had delivered them and that they were really safe from the Egyptians—forever. Then they sang God’s praises.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


The bulk of Ex. 15 is devoted to a song which Israel sang after the defeat of the Egyptians.

Exodus 15:1–19 (World English Bible)

15:1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to Yahweh, and said,

"I will sing to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously.

The horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.

15:2 Yah is my strength and song.

He has become my salvation.

This is my God, and I will praise him;

my father's God, and I will exalt him.

15:3 Yahweh is a man of war.

Yahweh is his name.

15:4 He has cast Pharaoh's chariots and his army into the sea.

His chosen captains are sunk in the Red Sea.

15:5 The deeps cover them.

They went down into the depths like a stone.

15:6 Your right hand, Yahweh, is glorious in power.

Your right hand, Yahweh, dashes the enemy in pieces.

15:7 In the greatness of your excellency, you overthrow those who rise up against you.

You send forth your wrath. It consumes them as stubble.

15:8 With the blast of your nostrils, the waters were piled up.

The floods stood upright as a heap.

The deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea.

15:9 The enemy said, 'I will pursue. I will overtake. I will divide the spoil.

My desire shall be satisfied on them.

I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.'

15:10 You blew with your wind.

The sea covered them.

They sank like lead in the mighty waters.

15:11 Who is like you, Yahweh, among the gods?

Who is like you, glorious in holiness,

fearful in praises, doing wonders?

15:12 You stretched out your right hand.

The earth swallowed them.

15:13 "You, in your loving kindness, have led the people that you have redeemed.

You have guided them in your strength to your holy habitation.

15:14 The peoples have heard.

They tremble.

Pangs have taken hold on the inhabitants of Philistia.

15:15 Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed.

Trembling takes hold of the mighty men of Moab.

All the inhabitants of Canaan are melted away.

15:16 Terror and dread falls on them.

By the greatness of your arm they are as still as a stone--

until your people pass over, Yahweh,

until the people pass over who you have purchased.

15:17 You shall bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of your inheritance,

the place, Yahweh, which you have made for yourself to dwell in;

the sanctuary, Lord, which your hands have established.

15:18 Yahweh shall reign forever and ever."

15:19 For the horses of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and Yahweh brought back the waters of the sea on them; but the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea.


But even more important than this song are the last few words of Ex. 14: And when Israel saw the great power which Jehovah had demonstrated against the Egyptians, the people feared and respected Jehovah, and they believe in Jehovah and in His servant Moses (Ex. 14:31). Israel believed in Jehovah God, their Savior.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


A Summary of the Failures of Gen X; the Sin of their Craving for Meat

Numbers 11:1–35 Psalm 78:26–33


They hastened; they forgot His works;

they did not wait for His counsel.

Psalm

106:13

They quickly forgot His works;

they did not wait for His counsel.

They quickly forgot His works and did not wait for His counsel.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       But they soon forgot what you had done

and rejected your advice.

God’s Word                         They quickly forgot what he did.

They did not wait for his advice.

NASB                                    They quickly forgot His works;

They did not wait for His counsel,...

NLT                                Yet how quickly they forgot what he had done!

They wouldn’t wait for his counsel!

The Septuagint                      They made haste, they forgot His works; they waited not for His counsel.

Young's Updated LT              They have hastened—forgotten His works,

They have not waited for His counsel.


What is the gist of this verse? Israel viewed many great works of God; from the turning of the waters into blood, to the killing of the first born of Egypt; to the great Sea of Reeds being held back for them, and then let loose upon the Egyptians. However, despite these observations, they quickly forgot what God had done, and each time Israel faced a new trial, they would balk and complain and whine. They would not wait for God’s counsel to help them through the trial.


Psalm 106:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâhar (ר ַח ָמ) [pronounced maw-HAHR]

to hasten, to hurry, to make haste; its transitive use is to prepare quickly, to bring quickly, to do quickly

3rd person plural, Piel perfect

Strong’s #4116 BDB #554

shâkach (ח ַכ ָש) [pronounced shaw-KAHKH]

to forget; to forget and leave

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7911 BDB #1013

ma׳ăseh (ה  ֲע ַמ) [pronounced mah-ğa-SEH

deeds, works, production, that which is done

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4639 BDB #795


Translation: They quickly forgot His works;... There are many of us who believe that the key to the Christian life is miracles, and lots of them. The Israelites saw in a group tremendous things which God did. It was not a matter of viewing something individually and then doubting what one saw years later; they saw these things as a group; they were able to confirm with one another what it was that they observed; and they quickly forgot God’s great works. Not even two months after Israel had been delivered from Egypt, after seeing a host of tremendous miracles, Israel was complaining against God and Moses (Ex. 16:1–2). The idea is, no matter how tremendous God’s miracles were, it took very little time for Israel to forget and to begin behaving badly again.


Psalm 106:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

châkâh (הָכ ָח) [pronounced khaw-KAWH]

to wait, to wait with anticipation, to long for

3rd person plural, Piel perfect

Strong’s #2442 BDB #314

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳êtsâh (ה ָצ ֵע) [pronounced ģay-TZAW]

counsel, advice, wisdom, purpose

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #6098 BDB #420


Translation: ...they did not wait for His counsel. Typical of the Israelites—they would come to a test or trial, and, rather than wait for God to guide them through it, generally using Moses, they would bitch and complain. They would not wait for God. The key was attitude; when faced with a difficult situation, they did not turn to God and ask Him for guidance or deliverance; they turned to Moses and whined, complained, bitched and moaned.


It might be worthwhile to look at a few of these verses:

Some Examples of Israel’s Reaction to Testing

Scripture

Israel Whining and Complaining

Ex. 15:23–24

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore, it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What will we drink?”

Ex. 16:2

When Israel began to run short of food: And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

Ex. 17:2a

When Israel had no more water: Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.”

Num. 11:4

And the rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat?”

Num. 14:1–4

When Israel found out that some of the men in the land of Canaan were giants, they reacted: Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the entire congregation said to them, “We would rather have died in the land of Egypt! Or we would rather have died in this desert wilderness! Why is Jehovah bringing us into this land—to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt.”


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


What follows is the second example of Israel’s failure in the desert:


And so they crave a craving in the wilderness

and so they test God in a wasteland.

Psalm

106:14

They had an intensive lust [for meat] in the desert-wilderness

and tested God in [that] wasteland.

Their desire for meat for intense while in that desert wilderness;

they tested God in that wasteland.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       They became greedy for food

and tested you there in the desert.

God’s Word                         They had an unreasonable desire └for food┘ in the wilderness,

In the desert, they tested God.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They were seized with craving in the wilderness,

and put God to the test in the wasteland.

NASB                                    But craved intensely in the wilderness,

And tempted God in the desert.

NLT                                In the wilderness, their desires ran wild,

testing God’s patience in that dry land.

The Septuagint                      And they lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the dry [land].

Young's Literal Translation    And they lust greatly in a wilderness,

And try God in a desert.


What is the gist of this verse? Israel had gone a long time without meat, to a point where some of them craved it. They complained loudly and vociferously in the desert, testing God’s patience.


Psalm 106:14a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âvâh (ה ָו ָא) [pronounced aw-WAWH

to desire, to crave, to lust

3rd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #183 BDB #16

This verb is only found in the Piel (intensive) stem and in the Hithpael, which is the reflexive intensive stem. Here they certainly craved and desired, but the idea is that they worked themselves up over it. That is, they intensified their own desires and lusts.

taăvâh (הָו ֲא -) [pronounced tah-uh-VAW]

desire, lust

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8378 BDB #16

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

midebâr (ר ָ  ׃ד  ̣מ) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184


Translation: They had an intensive lust [for meat] in the desert-wilderness... God provided Israel with the perfect food of the desert, which was manna. It was God’s daily provision, which they grew tired of, lusting for meat. This verse tells us that this was not simply an unquenchable, uncontrollable lust; the verb is in the Hithpael, which is the intensive reflexive stem. They worked themselves up over this lack of meat. Let’s say that you are a child of the Depression and for many months you have mostly soup. You may desire to have meat and several other items of food, but you don’t demand this of your parents. You don’t get worked up over it, saying, “Mom, we never eat filet mignon! I am soo pissed about that!” The exodus generation got themselves worked up over this lack of meat (I will quote from this incident soon; we have a similar look back in Psalm 78:18–20). Paul later tells us These things happened as examples for us, that we should not crave the evil things as they also craved (I Cor. 10:6).


Psalm 106:14b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâçâh (ה ָסָנ) [pronounced naw-SAWH]

to test, to try, to attempt, to try to do a thing; to practice doing a thing

3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #5254 BDB #650

êl (ל ֵא) [pronounced ALE]

God, God, mighty one, strong, hero

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #410 BDB #42

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yeshîymôwn (ןמי ̣ש ׃י) [pronounced ye-shee-MOAN]

desert, wasteland, waste-place

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3452 BDB #445


Translation: ...and tested God in [that] wasteland. I was a teacher for about 30 years. It was customary for me to test my students; it was improper for them to test me. That is the concept of this word, as well as the thrust of this line. God did test Israel in the wilderness; this was His prerogative; however, Israel tested God’s patience with their lack of faith, their whining and their continued return to pagan worship. In the past several years in teaching, students have turned whining into a well-developed art form (and, of course, they will then pout or misbehave when they don’t get their way). I hear that they have begun to do this regularly on the college level. Many times I want to pick them up and slap them back down; so when God listened to 2 million (or however many) whiners day in and day out, it was understandable why He proposed to Moses that He simply trash that generation and begin anew with Moses. Moses, when he stood in the gap and pleaded on behalf of Israel, he became a shadow of our Lord to come, a wonderful picture of One Who would deliver an undeserving lot of reprobates (that’s us).


Now, you may think, well, if I went without meat for 40 years, I might get pissy too! It wasn’t 40 years. This incident took place during their second year in the desert—in fact, it had only been 14 months (Num. 10:11), and they were in a desert (meaning, they are going to face some hardships and no matter what it is that they miss about Egypt, whining is not the answer). The key here was the fact that they failed again and again. The main reason that Israel remained so long in the desert was their continued failure to believe in God and trust in His graciousness. Soon after this incident, another failure will cause them to remain in this desert another 38+ years. Had they trusted God, the Jews would have been in the Land of Promise inside of 18 months.


And so He gives to them their request

and so He sends a leanness in their souls.

Psalm

106:15

So he gave to them their request

and sent a [wasting] disease into their souls.

So God honored their request, but He also sent them a wasting disease.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       So you gave them what they wanted,

but later you destroyed them with a horrible disease.

God’s Word                         He gave them what they asked for,

He └also┘ gave them a degenerative disease.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He gave them what they asked for,

then made them waste away.

NASB                                    So He gave them their request,

But sent a wasting disease among them.

NLT                                So he gave them what they asked for,

but he sent a plague along with it.

The Septuagint                      And He gave them their request, and sent fulness into their souls.

Young's Updated LT              And He gives to them their request,

And sends leanness into their soul.


What is the gist of this verse? Because of Israel’s impertinence, God granted their desire for meat, but He also sent a wasting disease as well.


Psalm 106:15a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâthan (ןַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

sheêlâh (הָל̤א ש) [pronounced shay-LAW]

a petition, a request, a thing asked for

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #7596 BDB #982


Translation: So he gave to them their request... God, in His grace, sent to them the meat they desired. He provided them with a huge amount of quail. Please recognize that God was not under any sort of moral or ethical obligation to satisfy Israel’s desire for meat. He granted their request out of grace.


Like many of the miracles which occurred in Egypt, I believe this to be another one which is based upon foreknowledge rather than something which occurred that defied natural laws. The unusual overabundance of insects and frogs resulted in an unusual overabundance of quail.


Psalm 106:15b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send off, to send away, to dismiss, to give over, to cast out, to let go, to set free, to shoot forth [branches], to shoot [an arrow]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

râzôwn (ןזָר) [pronounced raw-ZOHN]

leanness, wasting, wasting disease, scantness

masculine singular noun

Strong's #7332 BDB #931

The verbal cognate means to make thin, to cause to waste away, to destroy; the idea is that it wastes away and causes great weight loss in the body through disease.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

nephesh (שפ נ) [pronounced NEH-fesh]

soul, life, living being, desire

feminine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5315 BDB #659


Translation: ...and sent a [wasting] disease into their souls. It is not completely clear whether the quails were diseased or whether God sent a separate disease to the Israelites. It is possible that, after having had a vegetarian diet for so many years in the desert that the bodies of the Israelites reacted negatively to eating a huge amount of meat all of a sudden (although that does not seem to be the reading here, unless we interpret God sending this to them indirectly as a natural result of their actions).


It is actually fairly easy to understand the mechanics of this disease. Certain Israelites raised a big stink over not having eaten any meat. We saw from the Hebrew that they worked themselves up over this, becoming inordinately desirous of meat (or, at least, they made it sound that way). To specific individuals, God sent a wasting disease to their souls. The idea is a sort of poetic justice—they worked themselves up into a lather about possessing this tremendous desire for meat, and once they had consumed too much meat, their souls lost the desire to eat. They could no longer get themselves worked up about eating anything, and their bodies wasted away. Although we do not know about any additional accompanying physical ailments, but we do know that their desire for food was diminished to a point where they simply starved themselves. It is not too unlike the plot line for an EC story.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


On two occasions, the Israelites complained about God’s provision. God had given them the perfect food for the desert; however, their desired meat. It was not simply a matter of their desire for meat; it was their attitude and impertinence which was irritating. The key, again, is what went on in their souls.

Selection Portions of Numbers 11:1–35 (World English Bible Translation)

11:1 The people were as murmurers, speaking evil in the ears of Yahweh: and when Yahweh heard it, his anger was kindled; and the fire of Yahweh burnt among them, and devoured in the uttermost part of the camp. 11:2 The people cried to Moses; and Moses prayed to Yahweh, and the fire abated. 11:3 The name of that place was called Taberah, because the fire of Yahweh burnt among them. 11:4 The mixed multitude that was among them lusted exceedingly: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 11:5 We remember the fish, which we ate in Egypt for nothing; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: 11:6 but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all save this manna to look on. 11:7 The manna was like coriander seed, and the appearance of it as the appearance of bdellium. 11:8 The people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and boiled it in pots, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. 11:9 When the dew fell on the camp in the night, the manna fell on it. 11:10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, every man at the door of his tent: and the anger of Yahweh was kindled greatly; and Moses was displeased. 11:11 Moses said to Yahweh, Why have you dealt ill with your servant? and why haven't I found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 11:12 Have I conceived all this people? Have I brought them forth, that you should tell me, Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which you swore to their fathers? 11:13 Where should I get meat to give to all this people? for they weep to me, saying, Give us meat, that we may eat. 11:14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 11:15 If you deal thus with me, please kill me out of hand, if I have found favor in your sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. 11:16 Yahweh said to Moses, Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you. 11:17 I will come down and talk with you there: and I will take of the Spirit which is on you, and will put it on them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you not bear it yourself alone. 11:18 Say you to the people, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow, and you shall eat flesh; for you have wept in the ears of Yahweh, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore Yahweh will give you flesh, and you shall eat. 11:19 You shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days, 11:20 but a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome to you; because that you have rejected Yahweh who is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt? 11:21 Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and you have said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. 11:22 Shall flocks and herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them? 11:23 Yahweh said to Moses, Has Yahweh's hand grown short? now shall you see whether my word shall happen to you or not. 11:24 Moses went out, and told the people the words of Yahweh: and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the Tent. 11:25 Yahweh came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put it on the seventy elders: and it happened that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. 11:26 But there remained two men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested on them; and they were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. 11:27 There ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 11:28 Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered, My lord Moses, forbid them. 11:29 Moses said to him, Are you jealous for my sake? would that all Yahweh's people were prophets, that Yahweh would put his Spirit on them! 11:30 Moses got him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel. 11:31 There went forth a wind from Yahweh, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, about a day's journey on this side, and a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the earth. 11:32 The people rose up all that day, and all the night, and all the next day, and gathered the quails: he who gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp. 11:33 While the flesh was yet between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of Yahweh was kindled against the people, and Yahweh struck the people with a very great plague. 11:34 The name of that place was called Kibrothhattaavah, because there they buried the people who lusted. 11:35 From Kibrothhattaavah the people traveled to Hazeroth; and they abode at Hazeroth.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index

In Psalm 78, we get the abbreviated version of these events:

Psalm 78:26–33 (World English Bible)

78:26 He caused the east wind to blow in the sky.

By his power he guided the south wind.

78:27 He rained also flesh on them as the dust;

winged birds as the sand of the seas.

78:28 He let them fall in the midst of their camp,

around their habitations.

78:29 So they ate, and were well filled.

He gave them their own desire.

78:30 They didn't turn from their cravings.

Their food was yet in their mouths,

78:31 when the anger of God went up against them,

killed some of the fattest of them,

and struck down the young men of Israel.

78:32 For all this they still sinned,

and didn't believe in his wondrous works.

78:33 Therefore he consumed their days in vanity,

and their years in terror.



What is likely the actual turn of events is that some of the quail carried a disease. Eating too much meat resulted in that disease manifesting itself in that individual. The greed and lust of the Israelites resulted in physical illness. We may rest assured that God surgically removed those who were in opposition to Him. Just as a cancer might return again and again to a person’s body, and be removed on several occasions, so it was with Israel. God would remove those whose sin and rebellion was greatest, and, a month later, the cancer of rebellion would return.

 

Barnes has a comment on this verse, a portion of which is particularly important: It means here that the effect of all this on their souls was similar to the effect on the body when it wastes away by disease for want of food. This effect often occurs: In the gratification of their desires, in great temporal success and prosperity, individuals, churches, and nations often forget their dependence upon God; they lose their sense of the value of spiritual privileges and blessings; they become satisfied with their condition; they become self-confident and proud, and, as a result, forfeit the favour of God. If we pray for temporal prosperity, we should also pray that we may at the same time have grace commensurate with it, that it may be a blessing and not a curse; if we are visited with prosperity when it has not been a direct object of our prayer,—if we inherit riches, or if our plans are successful beyond our expectation—or, in the language of the world, if “fortune smiles upon us,” there should be special prayer on our part that it may not be a curse rather than a blessing;—that it may be so received and used as not to alienate our minds from God. Few are the Christian men who can bear continued success in life; few are those who are not injured by it; rare is it that growth in grace keeps pace with uninterrupted worldly prosperity; rare is it that the blessings of earth are so received and employed that they are seen to be a means of grace, and not a hindrance to growth in piety. A man does not know what is best for him when his heart is set on worldly prosperity; and God is more benevolent to men than they are to themselves, in withholding what is so often the object of their intense desire. “What is asked in passion, is often given in wrath.”—Henry. Footnote The problem of the Israelites here is that they had no capacity for a relationship with God to begin with. However, the point that Barnes makes—pray for the capacity for blessing when you pray for blessing—is an important one which should not be missed.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


The Sin of Dathan and Abiram

Numbers 16:1–40 Deuteronomy 11:6


 And so they are jealous to Moses in the camp;

to Aaron, a holy one of Yehowah.

Psalm

106:16

They were jealous of Moses in the camp; and of Aaron, the holy one of Yehowah.

Those in the camp were jealous of Moses, and of Aaron, Jehovah’s holy one.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Everyone in camp was jealous of Moses

and of Aaron, your chosen priest.

God’s Word                         In the camp certain men became envious of Moses.

They also became envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy one.

JPS (Tanakh)                        There was envy of Moses in the camp,

and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.

NASB                                    When they became envious of Moses in the camp,

And of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord,....

NLT                                The people in the camp were jealous of Moses

and envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy priest.

The Septuagint                      They provoke Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the holy one of the Lord.

Young's Literal Translation    And they are envious of Moses in the camp,

Of Aaron, Jehovah’s holy one.


What is the gist of this verse? The exodus generation was a totally unpleasant generation. They were jealous of Moses and jealous of Aaron. In particular, we have Dathan and Abiram, who are not named in this verse but in the next. Korah, the leader of this rebellion, is not mentioned by name in this passage.


Psalm 106:16

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qânâ (אָנ ָק) [pronounced kaw-NAW]

to be jealous, to be envious, to become intensely red or black from dye

3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #7065 BDB #888

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Mosheh (ה∵שֹמ) [pronounced moh-SHEH],

to draw out [of the water] and is transliterated Moses

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #4872 BDB #602

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

machăneh (ה נ ֲח ַמ) [pronounced mah-khuh-NEH]

camp, encampment; the courts [of Jehovah]; the heavenly host

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #4264 BDB #334

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ahărôn (ןֹרֲה-א) [pronounced ah-huh-ROHN],

transliterated Aaron

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #175 BDB #14

qâdôwsh (שד ָק) [pronounced kaw-DOWSH]

sacred, holy, set apart, sacrosanct

masculine singular adjective construct

Strong's #6918 BDB #872

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: They were jealous of Moses in the camp; and of Aaron, the holy one of Yehowah. Let’s cover the last phrase first—Aaron is called the holy one or saint of God, not because of his actions and behavior, but because of his office as a priest to God. He and his sons were specifically set apart in service to God, which is the key factor in being holy.


Moses acted selflessly and Aaron tried to please everyone (recall the golden calf incident where he went along with the people). The people were jealous of their power and position. Moses intervened on behalf of the people, and still, their thinking toward him was mental attitude sins. Aaron, who probably picked up on this jealousy, tried to appease the people. “This is the approach one should take with this people,” is possibly what he thought. Didn’t matter. They displayed mental attitude sins towards him as well.


It is important to recognize that the revolt against Moses and Aaron was not based upon their doing a poor job; it was not that the conspirators sincerely thought that they could do a better job. The basis for this revolt was envy. Moses and Aaron had power; Korah, Dathan and Abiram wanted to have that power themselves. People are often so gullible that it is hard to believe. Some leaders espouse this or that political philosophy with great intensity and feeling; and the rabble are caught up in it. However, it is not this political philosophy about which the leaders are passionate—it is power that stirs their passion and rebellion. The political philosophy that they espouse is simply a means to an end—it is a means by which they stir up the hoi polloi into a fervent political movement. Our case in point: Korah, Dathan and Abiram had nothing to offer the people which was superior to what Moses and Aaron gave them; but they wanted the authority which Moses and Aaron had, so they stirred up their followers with passionate speeches and a carefully worded political agenda—however, all they wanted was the power and authority which rested with Moses and Aaron. That was their motivation.


Application: One of the subjects which I studied in college was political ideologies. There would be a point of view, a philosophy, a particular approach which is touted by certain political parties, by socialists, by communists, by fascists—whether the leaders of these movements actually bought into their own philosophies is up for debate. However, the primary purpose of their philosophical and political stance was their desire to gain power. We may feel as though we should back this revolutionary or that; that we should replace this Communist dictator with a free enterprise dictator, or vice versa, but if their desire is power and position, and the things which may be gained by those things, then it does not matter what their politics are, they will be lousy leaders and their government will be corrupt and opportunistic.


Application: I have made this application several times in the past, but it bears repeating, as it is what we are more likely to be involved in. Desiring power and authority without the added desire to work for those who are under you means that you will be a lousy leader. The concern of any leader, great or small, should be for those under him.


Opens earth and so swallows Dathan and so covers over a company of Abiram.

Psalm

106:17

The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan and covered over the followers [lit., congregation] of Abiram.

The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, along with the followers of Abiram.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Dathan and Abiram rebelled;

and the earth opened up and swallowed them.

God’s Word                         The ground split open and swallowed Dathan.

It buried Abiram’s followers.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan,

closed over the party of Abiram.

NASB                                    The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,

And engulfed the company of Abiram.

NLT                                Because of this, the earth opened up;

it swallowed Dathan

and buried Abiram and the other rebels.

The Septuagint                      The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and closed upon the congregation of Abiron.

Young's Updated LT              Earth opens, and swallows up Dathan,

And covers over the company of Abiram.


What is the gist of this verse? God used natural disaster in the form of an earthquake to quell the Dathan and Abiram rebellion.


Psalm 106:17

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pâthach (ח ַתָ) [pronounced paw-THAHKH]

to open, to open up; to let loose [as in, to draw (a sword]; to begin, to lead in

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6605 BDB #834

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular noun

Strong's #776 BDB #75

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâla׳ (עַלָ) [pronounced baw-LAHĢ]

to engulf, to swallow up, to swallow down; to devour, to consume, to destroy

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1104 BDB #118

Dâthân (ן ָת ָ) [pronounced daw-THAWN],

transliterated Dathan

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #1885 BDB #206

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kâçâh (ה ָסָ) [pronounced kaw-SAWH

to cover, to clothe, to conceal; to spread over, to engulf; to overwhelm

3rd person feminine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #3680 BDB #491

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

׳êdâh (ה ָד ֵע) [pronounced ģā-DAWH]

company, congregation, assembly, meeting

feminine singular construct

Strong's #5712 BDB #417

ăbîyrâm (ם ָרי.ב ֲא) [pronounced upb-vee-RAWM],

[the] Exalted One is my father and is transliterated Abiram

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #48 BDB #4


Translation: The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan and covered over the followers [lit., congregation] of Abiram. Throughout much of the trek from Egypt to the Land of Promise, God used natural disasters to discipline the children of Israel. We covered several of these back in v. 9.


Interestingly enough, the psalmist does not mention Korah, as this incident is known to most of us as Korah’s rebellion. Their behavior was a matter of great jealousy. They felt as though Moses and Aaron were held in too much deference because of their relationship to God, and they asserted that they were equally spiritual. The text of this chapter follows.

Numbers 16:1–40 (World English Bible Translation)

16:1 Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 16:2 and they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred fifty princes of the congregation, called to the assembly, men of renown; 16:3 and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said to them, You take too much on you, seeing all the congregation are holy, everyone of them, and Yahweh is among them: why then lift yourselves up above the assembly of Yahweh? 16:4 When Moses heard it, he fell on his face: 16:5 and he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, In the morning Yahweh will show who are his, and who is holy, and will cause him to come near to him: even him whom he shall choose he will cause to come near to him. 16:6 This do: take you censers, Korah, and all his company; 16:7 and put fire in them, and put incense on them before Yahweh tomorrow: and it shall be that the man whom Yahweh does choose, he shall be holy: you take too much on you, you sons of Levi. 16:8 Moses said to Korah, Hear now, you sons of Levi: 16:9 seems it but a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do the service of the tent of Yahweh, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; 16:10 and that he has brought you near, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? and seek you the priesthood also? 16:11 Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against Yahweh: and Aaron, what is he who you murmur against him? 16:12 Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab; and they said, We won't come up: 16:13 is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, but you must needs make yourself also a prince over us? 16:14 Moreover you haven't brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards: will you put out the eyes of these men? we won't come up. 16:15 Moses was very angry, and said to Yahweh, "Don't respect their offering: I have not taken one donkey from them, neither have I hurt one of them." 16:16 Moses said to Korah, You and all your company go before Yahweh, you, and they, and Aaron, tomorrow: 16:17 and take every man his censer, and put incense on them, and bring you before Yahweh every man his censer, two hundred fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer. 16:18 They took every man his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood at the door of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron. 16:19 Korah assembled all the congregation against them to the door of the tent of meeting: and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the congregation. 16:20 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 16:21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. 16:22 They fell on their faces, and said, God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation? 16:23 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 16:24 Speak to the congregation, saying, Get away from around the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. 16:25 Moses rose up and went to Dathan and Abiram; and the elders of Israel followed him. 16:26 He spoke to the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed in all their sins. 16:27 So they got them up from the tent of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood at the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little ones. 16:28 Moses said, Hereby you shall know that Yahweh has sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of my own mind. 16:29 If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then Yahweh hasn't sent me. 16:30 But if Yahweh make a new thing, and the ground open its mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain to them, and they go down alive into Sheol; then you shall understand that these men have despised Yahweh. 16:31 It happened, as he made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground split apart that was under them; 16:32 and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who appertained to Korah, and all their goods. 16:33 So they, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into Sheol: and the earth closed on them, and they perished from among the assembly. 16:34 All Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them; for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up. 16:35 Fire came forth from Yahweh, and devoured the two hundred fifty men who offered the incense. 16:36 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 16:37 Speak to Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning, and scatter you the fire yonder; for they are holy, 16:38 even the censers of these sinners against their own lives; and let them be made beaten plates for a covering of the altar: for they offered them before Yahweh; therefore they are holy; and they shall be a sign to the children of Israel. 16:39 Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were burnt had offered; and they beat them out for a covering of the altar, 16:40 to be a memorial to the children of Israel, to the end that no stranger, who isn't of the seed of Aaron, comes near to burn incense before Yahweh; that he not be as Korah, and as his company: as Yahweh spoke to him by Moses.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


And so burns a fire in their company;

a flame sets on fire lawless ones.

Psalm

106:18

A fire consumed their congregation;

a flame burned the malevolent ones.

A fire consumed their congregation;

a flame destroyed their congregation.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Then fire broke out and destroyed all of their followers.

God’s Word                         A fire broke out among their followers.

Flames burned up wicked people.

JPS (Tanakh)                        A fire blazed among their party,

a flame that consumed the wicked.

NASB                                    And a fire blazed up in their company;

The flame consumed the wicked.

NLT                                Fire fell upon their followers;

a flame consumed the wicked.

The Septuagint                      And a fire was kindled in their congregation, and a flame burnt up the sinners.

Young's Updated LT              And fire burns among their company,

A flame sets on fire the wicked.


What is the gist of this verse? We are still dealing with Korah’s rebellion. There were quite a number who allied themselves with Korah, Dathan and Abiram. The final judgment was a fire that broke out and killed all of their followers.


Psalm 106:18a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâ׳ar (ר ַע ָ) [pronounced baw-ĢAHR]

to burn, to begin to burn, to kindle; to be burning; to consume

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1197 BDB #128

esh (ש ֵא) [pronounced aysh]

fire, lightening, supernatural fire; presence of Yehowah, the attendance of a theophany

feminine singular noun

Strong's #784 BDB #77

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

׳êdâh (ה ָד ֵע) [pronounced ģā-DAWH]

company, congregation, assembly, meeting

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #5712 BDB #417


Translation: A fire consumed their congregation;... God brought a fire upon these rebellious types, which completely destroyed their movement against Moses and Aaron. Their rebellion was so heinous, that God burned them alive. However, note that God did not direct Moses or Aaron to set these people on fire.


Psalm 106:18b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lehâbvâh (ה ָבָה∵ל) [pronounced leh-haw-VAW]

flame; lightning; point or head of spear, blade

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #3852 BDB #529

lâhaţ (ט -הָל) [pronounced law-HAHT]

to set ablaze, to set on fire, to burn

3rd person feminine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #3857 BDB #529

râshâ׳ (ע ָש ָר) [pronounced raw-SHAWĢ]

malevolent ones, lawless ones, criminals, the corrupt; wicked, wicked ones

masculine plural adjective (here, it acts like a noun)

Strong’s #7563 BDB #957


Translation: ...a flame burned the malevolent ones. Although the psalmist does not tell us, the text of Num. 16 tells us that this fire came from Jehovah God. All those who rebelled against Moses and Aaron (or, at least the main leaders) were destroyed by fire.


My most reasonable guess is that the first came from the sky in the form of lightning. There have been incidents where lightning striking a tree or a house set them on fire. Usually this does not occur, as lightning is often a part of a storm system, and wet things do not burn easily. However, I have lived in Texas long enough to observe lightning and thunder long before seeing any rain.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


The Sin of the Golden Calf

Exodus 32:1–14


And so they make a calf in Horeb

and so they bow down to a metal image.

Psalm

106:19

They manufactured a calf [out of gold] in Horeb

and bowed down to [this] metal image.

After manufacturing a calf in Horeb, they bowed down to this crafted metal idol.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       At Horeb your people made and worshiped the

statue of a bull, instead of you, their glorious God.

God’s Word                         At Mount Horeb they made └a statue of┘ a calf.

They worshiped an idol made of metal.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They made a calf at Horeb

and bowed down to a molten image. .

NASB                                    They made a calf in Horeb,

And worshiped a molten image.

NLT                                The people made a calf at Mount Sinai;

they bowed before an image made of gold.

The Septuagint                      And they made a calf in Choreb, and worshiped the graven image;...

Young's Updated LT              They make a calf in Horeb,

And bow themselves to a molten image,...


Immediately, we notice in most of the translations, the people did this at Horeb; however, the NLT places them at Mount Sinai. This is why we exegete the text.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist now goes back to one of the very early rebellions against God. While Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the Law, the Israelites pressured Aaron into fashioning a golden calf for them to worship.


Psalm 106:19a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

׳êgel (ל∵ג̤ע) [pronounced ĢAY-gel]

calf

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5695 BDB #722

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

chôrêbv (ב̤רֹח) [pronounced khoh-REBV]

waste, desert and is transliterated Horeb

proper noun

Strong’s #2722 BDB #352


Translation: They manufactured a calf [out of gold] in Horeb... Most of us are aware of the calf incident. Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the Word of God, and while he was gone, the people became impatient and pressured Aaron into manufacturing a golden calf that they could worship. What likely happened was they requested that Aaron oversee the making of this golden calf; the people of Israel probably did all of the actual labor. What they really needed was his approval. Because he oversaw the project, Aaron is said to have manufactured the calf in Ex. 32:1–5. However, as you probably realize, the builder of your home probably did not pick up the hammer and drive even one nail. What Aaron actually built himself was possibly the altar which was placed before the calf image.


Obviously, the correct rendering of this portion of v. 19 is Horeb. We studied the Doctrine of Horeb back in Deut. 1:3 and found that it was identical to Mount Sinai. Here, the incident referred to took place in front of Mount Sinai (Ex. 31:18–32:1). However, our passage, as well as Deut. 9:8, make it clear that Horeb is equivalent to Mount Sinai, as we are speaking of the same incident. In fact, in the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, under Horeb we are given no information except to look under Sinai, Mount. Footnote


Apis, the Egyptian God

Barnes suggests that the golden calf was fashioned to look like the Egyptian god Apis. It is said to be the manifestation of the god Ptah.


Image from http://www.livius.org/ap-ark/apis/apis.html


Also from that website: The Apis is the calf of a cow which is never afterwards able to have another. The Egyptian belief is that a flash of light descends upon the cow from heaven, and this causes her to conceive Apis. The Apis-calf has distinctive marks: it is black, with a white square on its forehead, the image of an eagle on its back, the hair on its tail double, and a scarab under its tongue. [Herodotus, Histories 3.28; tr. Aubrey de Sélincourt]

apis_ncg_s.jpg  

bullofegypt2.gif            bullofegypt.gif            bullofegypt3.gif

These three images came from http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/bull.htm


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Psalm 106:19b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâchah (הָחָש) [pronounced shaw-KHAW]

to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to do obeisance to; to honor [with prayers]; to do homage to, to submit to

3rd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #7812 BDB #1005

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

maççêkâh (הָכ ̤ -מ) [pronounced mahs-say-KAW]

molten metal, metal image, molten image, libation

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4541 BDB #651

The homonym for this word means a weaving, that which has been woven, some woven [thing]. However, the verb for this noun means to pour, to pour out and therefore to cast. The idea is that the gold was melted down and either poured into a mold or heated to a point where it fused and could be shaped.


Translation: ...and bowed down to [this] metal image. We do not know the exact manufacturing mechanics. The gold was gathered, melted together, and then possibly poured into a mold (which seems to be the case). It is possible that it was melted down, and then cooled to a point where it could be shaped into the image of a calf. As mentioned, Aaron was called in for his authority and his ability to give the green light to this project. He was not necessarily a craftsman; however, he certainly oversaw the process, and is therefore referred to as the one who manufactured the golden calf (Ex. 32:1, 4).


I should mention that it is unlikely that these people looked upon this golden calf as actually being a deity image, and not as deity. That is, it is unlikely that they saw this image as actually being God or being a god. It was made to represent God and they worshiped it, as they had no other thing to look upon as deified. There is very little difference between this and the Christian or Catholic who holds onto his cross in a crisis; or the person who has pictures or images of Jesus around the house. It is exactly the same as a person who has a shrine of some sort in their house with religious artifacts, whether they be beads, crosses, statues or pictures.


The golden calf incident is familiar to most of us. It is found in...

Exodus 32:1–6 (World English Bible Text)

32:1 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him."


32:2 Aaron said to them, "Take off the golden rings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them to me."


32:3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 32:4 He received what they handed him, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt."


32:5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to Yahweh."


32:6 They rose up early on the next day, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The final verb is the Piel infinitive construct of tsâchaq (ק ַח ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-KHAK], which, in the Qal stem, means to laugh (as in Gen. 18:12–13 and 15 when Sarah laughed within herself about having a child). However, in the Piel, with the possible exception of Gen. 26:8, this verb means to mock (Gen. 19:14 21:9 39:14, 17 Judges 16:25). At time appointed by God, under the proper circumstances, feast days and celebrations are apropos; however, when the participants are simply bored, and are bullying their weak spiritual leaders, the basis of their celebration is often idolatry. Thieme has translated this word as intercourse with demons; the basis of their celebration is an idol made by hands and behind all idols are demons ready to receive glory and adoration. When one worships a demon (as well as the work of his own hands), he simultaneously mocks God and has intercourse with the demon. The sexual connotation comes from Gen. 26:8 (this is where the Philistine king looks out his window and sees Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah—that’s the PG version of the word).


The Egyptians commonly had various animals whose idols they worshipped. Freeman points out that associated with Egyptians worship was lascivious dancing and other obscene practices. Since the Jews had spent this time with the Egyptians, it is likely that they copied their form of worship. Centuries later, when writing to the degenerate Corinthians, Paul quotes this verse, warming them not to become idolaters (I Cor. 10:7).


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Stephen, when trying to make a point about Israel’s continual return to idolatry, makes reference to this golden calf incident. “And our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him [Moses], but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.’ And at that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands.” (Acts 7:39–41 Ex. 32:1, 23).


And so they changed My [MT, their] glory into an image of an ox eating herbage.

Psalm

106:20

Therefore, they exchanged His [MT, their] glory for the image of an ox eating herbage.

Therefore, they exchanged His glory for the image of a grass-eating ox.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       [At Horeb your people made and worshiped the statue] of a bull, instead of you, their glorious God. [v. 19 was included for context]

God’s Word                         They traded their glorious God

for the statue of a bull that eats grass.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They exchanged their glory

for the image of a bull that feeds on grass.

NASB                                    Thus they exchanged their glory

For the image of an ox that eats grass.

NLT                                They traded their glorious God

for a statue of a grass-eating ox.

NRSV                                    They exchanged the glory of God

for the image of an ox that eats grass. [Footnote of NRSV: Compare Gk. Mss; Heb exchanged their glory] Footnote

REB                                       they exchanged their God

for the image of a bull that feeds on grass. [Footnote: their God: Heb. their glory.]

The Septuagint                      ...and they changed their glory into the similitude of a calf that feeds on grass.

Young's Updated LT              And changed their Honor

Into the form of an ox eating herbs.


What is the gist of this verse? The Israelites, when they built this golden calf and worshiped it, exchanged the glory of their Living God (i.e., their glory) for that of a grass-eating ox.


Psalm 106:20

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mûwr (רמ) [pronounced moor]

to exchange; to change

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #4171 BDB #558

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

bvôwd (דב ָ) [pronounced kawb-VODE]

glory, abundance, honor

masculine singular adjective that acts like a noun; with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #3519 BDB #458

This was an alteration made by the Sopherim, who determined that the original text (They exchanged My glory for the similitude of an ox) to be blasphemous. I will expand on this below.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

tabnîyth (תי  ̣מ  ׃ב ַ) [pronounced tabve-NEETH]

model, resemblance, pattern, figure

feminine singular construct

Strong's #8403 BDB #125

shôwr (רש) [pronounced shohr]

an ox, a bull, a head of cattle

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7794 BDB #1004

âkal (ל ַכ ָא) [pronounced aw-KAHL]

to eat; to devour, to consume, to destroy

Qal active participle

Strong’s #398 BDB #37

׳eseb (ב  ע) [pronounced EH-seb]

herbs, herbage; grass, produce

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6212 BDB #793


Translation: Therefore, they exchanged My [MT, their] glory for the image of an ox eating herbage. The first thing that we need to deal with is the problem with the original text. The Sopherim were the first custodians of God’s Word. Their name comes from the verb to count, whereas, you may have suspected it meant to write. They made copies of God’s word and kept track of the numbers of letters and words in various places, which helped them to check their work for accuracy after completing various sections of Scripture. They made roughly 18 changes to Scripture, to 18 verses which just seemed to be too blasphemous to read aloud (see the Doctrine of Textual Criticism in the Old Testament, covered in I Sam. 14:18). In the original text, it seems to say that God’s visible shekinah glory is changed into the image of an ox, which is blasphemous (which falls under the principle of duh! as what the Jews did in the desert was blasphemous). However, even in the original text, God’s glory was not changed into the image of an ox, but was exchanged for the image of an ox. Footnote This introduces a problem, however—why would it read My glory, as this psalm refers to God in the 3rd person (and occasionally, in the 2nd person singular) throughout? Why would it not read His glory? The 3rd person masculine plural suffix means that a mem (ם) is simply added to the end of the word. To add the 1st person singular suffix, one would add a yodh (י); and the 3rd person masculine singular suffix requires the addition of a wâw (ו). As you can see, a wâw could easily look like a yodh, particularly in a margin note (which is how we know about these emendations of the sopherim). So my educated guess is that this original actually read: Therefore, they exchanged His glory for the image of an ox eating herbage. Footnote Now, even given the problems with the original text, the intent of this verse is clear: Israel exchanged the glory of God (whether or not this is their glory, His glory or My glory) for the image of an ox, which they chose to worship instead.

 

The final statement, eating grass, is aptly explained by Barnes: [This phrase] shows the absurdity of the act. Instead of worshiping God—an Independent Being, who does not need to be supported, but who himself sustains all things, and provides for all—they worshipped an animal that had need of constant sustenance, and would itself soon die if deprived of its proper nourishment. Footnote


The Israelites had come through the desert and had observed several great miracles by God, both in Egypt and up to the point of Mount Sinai. However, once Moses was out of sight for a month or so, they began to get restless and they built the image of a calf or an ox out of gold, and they worshiped at that image. Again, they very likely did not mistake this image for God, but made something which was nice and shiny, and would be approved by God and was a physical representation for God (or, an homage to God); and they worshiped below it. It is very likely that this worship included illicit sexual behavior. The parallel New Testament verse which refers to idolatry is Rom. 1:23: They exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and quadrupeds and crawling creatures. As mentioned before, our worship should never be directed toward any religious symbol or icon, be it a cross, a picture of Jesus or a statue of Mary. Our prayers and our worship should be directed directly to God; nothing that is inanimate properly belongs as a go-between or a focus.


They forgot God, their Savior, doing great things in Egypt.

Psalm

106:21

They forgot God, their Savior, doing astonishing things in Egypt.

They forgot God, their Savior, Who had done astonishing things in Egypt.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       You worked powerful miracles to save them from Egypt,

but they forgot about you...

God’s Word                         They forgot God their savior,

the one who did spectacular things in Egypt.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They forgot God who saved them,

who performed great deeds in Egypt,...

NASB                                    They forgot God their Savior,

Who had done great things in Egypt,...

The Septuagint                      They forgot God that saved them, Who had wrought great deeds in Egypt;...

Young's Updated LT              They have forgotten God their Savior,

The Doer of great things in Egypt.


What is the gist of this verse? The Israelites acted as if they had completely forgot about what God did for them in Egypt. This thought is carried through to the next verse.


Psalm 106:21

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâkach (ח ַכ ָש) [pronounced shaw-KAHKH]

to forget; to forget and leave

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #7911 BDB #1013

êl (ל ֵא) [pronounced ALE]

God, God, mighty one, strong, hero

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #410 BDB #42

yâsha׳ (ע ַש ָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save; in this form, deliverer, savior, the one saving; delivering, saving

Hiphil participle with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

doing, making, constructing, fashioning, forming, preparing

Qal active participle

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

gedôlôwth (תלֹד) [pronounced ge-doh-LOHTH]

great things, mighty things, immutable things, significant things, astonishing things; proud things, impious things

feminine plural adjective (it functions as a substantive here)

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

mitzerayim (ם̣י-רצ̣מ) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun, pausal form

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595


Translation: They forgot God, their Savior, doing astonishing things in Egypt. There are times that we feel, particularly when under great pressure, that we would simply like to see some significant miracle from God to help us along in our unbelief. The Israelites saw several miracles from God while in Egypt and as they left. This still gave them no stability or faithfulness toward God. As has been pointed out, often the space between a miracle of God and a severe failure on the part of Israel was only a few weeks.


Application: It is what is in your soul, not what is on the outside, which determines your faithfulness to God. Miracles and great works are not enough to bolster our faith.


...incredible works in a land of Ham;

fearful things over a Sea of Reed.

Psalm

106:22

...extraordinary things in the land of Ham

and awesome [or, fearful] things at the Sea of Reeds.

...extraordinary things in the land of Ham and fearful things at the Sea of Reeds.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       ...[but they forgot about you]

and the fearsome things you did at the Red Sea. [v. 21b included for context]

God’s Word                         ...miracles in the land of Ham,

and terrifying things at the Red Sea.

JPS (Tanakh)                        ...wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,

awesome deeds at the Sea of Reeds.

NASB                                    Wonders in the land of Ham,

And awesome things by the Red Sea.

NLT                                ...Such wonderful things in that land;

such awesome deeds at the Red Sea.

The Septuagint                      ...wondrous things in the eland of Cham, and terrible things at the Red Sea.

Young's Literal Translation    Of wonderful things in the land of Ham,

Of fearful things by the sea of Suph.


What is the gist of this verse? V. 22 is a continuation of v. 21 and should not be separated. The psalmist continues to list great things which God has done which the Israelites have forgotten.


Psalm 106:22

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pâlâ (א ָלָ) [pronounced paw-LAW]

things done wonderfully; therefore, incredible works, miracles, extraordinary acts

feminine plural, Niphal participle

Strong's #6381 BDB #810

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

hâm (ם ָה) [pronounced hawm]

transliterated Ham; originally of a son of Noah and his ancestors; and later applied to Egypt

proper noun, masculine

Strong’s #2526 BDB #325

yârê (א ֵר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAY

fearful, terrible, dreadful [things]; awesome; venerable, August [things]; stupendous, admirable [things]

feminine plural Niphal participle

Strong’s #3372 BDB #431.

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

yâm (ם ָי) [pronounced yawm]

sea, lake, river, seaward, west, westward

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3220 BDB #410

çûwph (ףס) [pronounced soof],

reed, rush, sea weed

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5488 BDB #693


Translation: ...extraordinary things in the land of Ham; and awesome [or, fearful] things at the Sea of Reeds.


Now, here is an interesting phrase: the land of Ham. It is not one which we have come across too often. Therefore, we ought to take...

A Brief Look at the Four Sons of Ham

Son

Scripture

Notes

Cush

Gen. 10:6–10

Ham’s first son was Cush, who had a son named Nimrod is closely associated with the Tower of Babel.

Mizraim

Gen. 10:6 Psalm 106:7

The second son of Ham is Mizraim, whose name is found in Scripture, several hundred times. Now you may have read the Bible through several times and you are thinking that you have only seen this name a handful of times. That’s because this word is both transliterated (as we find in Gen. 10:6) and translated, as we find in our Psalm, v. 7. The Hebrew is mitzerayim (ם̣י-רצ̣מ) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim], which is either transliterated Mizraim or translated Egypt or Egyptian. Strong’s #4714 BDB #595.

Put

Gen. 10:6 Isa. 66:19 Jer. 46:9

Put’s descendants are never listed; however, the nation of Put is mentioned several times in Scripture and is often associated with modern day Libya.

Canaan

Gen. 10:6, 15–17 Psalm 106:38

Canaan is listed as Ham’s fourth son, who is obviously associated with the Land of Canaan. Canaan is the ancestor of the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, the Arkite and the Sinite (among others), many of whom occupied the Land of Canaan when Israel took it.

The idea here is that, in this context, the land of Ham refers to both Egypt and Canaan, wherein God performed some of His most spectacular works.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


Israel has observed a number of extraordinary works and possibly miracles at the hand of God in the land of Egypt; and yet forgot these things at the first major problem that they faced in the desert. Sometimes, only a few weeks would pass between an observed work of God and a supreme failure on the part of the Israelites. The example here given is that the Israelites thought that they were trapped with the army of Pharaoh behind them and the Sea of Reeds in front of them. God gave them a night of protection, and then parted the Sea of Reeds through Moses, allowing them to walk through. Then they watched as God destroyed all of Pharaoh’s army with this sea, allowing it to close in around them. Six weeks later, the Israelites are grumbling against Moses and Aaron because they are hungry (Ex. 16:1–3). Psalm 78:11–13 provides us with a parallel verse: Then they forgot His doings and they forgot His wonders which He had shown them In the sight of their fathers. He had performed wonders in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea, then caused them to pass through it and He caused waters to stand like a heap.


And so He says to annihilate them

except that Moses, his chosen one, took a stand in the breach to His faces to [be caused to] turn back His rage from causing ruin.

Psalm

106:23

Then He said to annihilate them

except that Moses, His chosen one, stood in the gap before Him, to cause to turn back His rage from causing ruin.

He had planned to annihilate all of Israel, but Moses, His chosen one, stood between God and Israel, turning back God’s rage, and thus preventing certain disaster from coming upon that generation.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       You were angry and started to destroy them,

but Moses, your chosen leader, begged you not to do it.

God’s Word                         But God said he was going to destroy them,

but Moses, his chosen one, stood in his way

to prevent him from exterminating them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He wold have destroyed them

had not Moses His chosen one

confronted Him in the breach

to avert His destructive wrath.

NASB                                    Therefore He said He would destroy them,

Had not Moses His chosen one stood in the breach before Him.

NLT                                So he declared he would destroy them

But Moses, his chosen one, stepped between the Lord and the people.

He begged him to turn from his anger and not destroy them.

The Septuagint                      So He said that He would have destroyed them had not Moses, His chosen, stood before Him in the breach, to turn [Him] away from the fierceness of His anger, so that He should not destroy them.

Young's Updated LT              And He says to destroy them,

Unless Moses, His chosen one,

Had stood in the breach before Him,

To turn back His wrath from destroying.


What is the gist of this verse? Because of the behavior of the exodus generation, and because they rejected Him, God expressed His will to destroy them all and begin again with Moses. Moses stood up on behalf of Israel, without sugar-coating their failures, and pleaded with God to allow them to live. This act of Moses caused God to turn back His wrath.


Psalm 106:23a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâmad (ד ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHD


to lay waste, to annihilate, to exterminate

Hiphil infinitive construct, 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #8045 BDB #1029

lûlêy (י ֵלל) [pronounced loo-LAY]

otherwise, except that, if not, unless

preposition

Strong’s #3884 BDB #530

Mosheh (ה∵שֹמ) [pronounced moh-SHEH],

to draw out [of the water] and is transliterated Moses

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #4872 BDB #602

bâchîyr (רי.חָ) [pronounced baw-KHEER],

chosen, chosen one, elect [one]

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #972 BDB #104

׳âmad (ד ַמ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-MAHD]

to take a stand, to stand, to remain, to endure, to withstand

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #5975 BDB #763

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

perets (ץ∵ר∵) [pronounced PEH-rets]

a bursting forth, a breach, a break, a rupture [in a wall], gap; an outburst

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #6556 BDB #829

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

pânîym (םי̣נ ָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM

face, faces

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular) with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, they mean upon the face of, before, before the face of, in the presence of, in the sight of, in front of. When used with God, it can take on the more figurative meaning in the judgment of.


Translation: Then He said to annihilate them except that Moses, His chosen one, stood in the gap before Him,... God expressed a desire to destroy all of Israel, because that exodus generation rejected Him. They were short-sighted, they abandoned and reject the Lord Who delivered them; they continually whined and complained without waiting upon God, or, in the alternative, petitioning Him for provision. What Moses did was stand between God and Israel; he stood in the gap between God’s judgment and wrath and the deserved recipient of His wrath and judgment. Although Moses certainly did not realize it, he became a shadow of our Lord, the One Who would turn back God’s wrath against us for our continued rejection of Him, for our continued unfaithfulness and for our whining over our little problems. We deserve God’s judgment; we deserve to be destroyed; we deserve to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. Jesus Christ stood in the gap between God and us.


Psalm 106:23b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shûwbv (בש) [pronounced shoobv]

to cause to return, to bring, to be caused to turn back mentally, reminisce, to return something, to restore, to bring back, to regain, to recover, to make restitution, reconsider, think again, or to be caused to return

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

chêmâh (ה ָמ ֵח) [pronounced khay-MAW]

fury, rage, heated anger

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2534 BDB #404

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than, greater than

preposition of separation with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

shâchath (ת ַח ָש) [pronounced shaw-KHAHTH]

to cause one to go to ruin, to spoil, to ruin, to corrupt, to destroy

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #7843 BDB #1007


Translation: ...to cause to turn back His rage from causing ruin. As I have mentioned, we deserve God’s judgment and God’s rage—there is no one alive who is not at odds with God. We all have sinned personally; we all carry within us the old sin nature, our predilection for sin; and we all carry within us Adam’s imputed sin (that is, because Adam sinned as the federal head of all humanity, we bear that sin as well as its consequences). It is as though we sinned that first time against God, from a place of grace. Had not Jesus stood in the gap—had He not taken upon Himself our sins—we would all find ourselves rejected of God, thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is such an incredible picture of our Lord to come! And do not disregard the fact that Moses here is called God’s chosen one. It is no accident that this parallels our Lord to come; and it is not a coincidence that the psalmist points this out. The writers of Scripture were guided by God the Holy Spirit and, even though they did not always have a full grasp of what they wrote and why they wrote it, God the Holy Spirit still guided their hand (I am speaking metaphorically here).


It is important that we see the passage to which this refers:

Exodus 32:9–14 (World English Bible text)

32:9 Yahweh said to Moses, "I have seen these people, and behold, they are a stiff-necked people. 32:10 Now therefore leave me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them, and that I may consume them; and I will make of you a great nation."


32:11 Moses begged Yahweh his God, and said, "Yahweh, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, that you have brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 32:12 Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, 'He brought them forth for evil, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the surface of the earth?' Turn from your fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against your people. 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and all this land that I have spoken of I will give to your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.'"


32:14 Yahweh repented of the evil which he said he would do to his people.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


The Sin of Not Taking the Land of Promise

Leviticus 26:31–33 Numbers 14:1–38


And so they reject in a land of desire—

they have not believed to His word.

Psalm

106:24

So they rejected the land of [their] desire—

they did not believe in His Word.

So they rejected the Land of Promise because they would not trust in His promises.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       They would not trust you, Lord,

and they did not like the promised land.

God’s Word                         They refused └to enter┘ the pleasant land.

They did not believe what he said.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They rejected the desirable land,

and put no faith in His promise.

NASB                                    Then they despised the pleasant land;

They did not believe in His word,...

NLT                                The people refused to enter the pleasant land,

for they wouldn’t believe his promise to care for them.

The Septuagint                      Moreover, they set at nought the desirable land and believed not His Word.

Young's Updated LT              And they kick against the desirable land,

They have not given credence to His word.


What is the gist of this verse? The psalmist looks back to the first time that Israel was poised to enter into the Land of Promise. Spies had been sent throughout the land to scope it out, to affirm its beauty and abundance, and to determine the best approach of attack. However, the spies (except for two) were intimidated by the stature of the people of the land, and they expressed this fear in their report to Moses and the people. In fact, they actively campaigned in the camp against attacking those in the land. That is the back story. What the psalmist tells us is that they rejected this land and they did not believe God’s promise to deliver them in war.


Psalm 106:24a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mâaç (ס ַא ָמ) [pronounced maw-AHS]

reject, despise, lightly esteem, refuse

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3988 BDB #549

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

chemedâh (הָ מ∵ח) [pronounced kheme-DAW]

desire, longing, yearning, delight

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #2532 BDB #326


Translation: So they rejected the land of [their] desire— Again and again, the psalmist chronicles the failures of the exodus generation. If you are unfamiliar with Israel’s history, it sounds as though Israel came up to the Land of Promise, looked at it, and said, “No, we would like something a little nicer than this.” But this was not what occurred. Spies were sent into the land and they came back with reports of great abundance and beauty. However, they did not enter the land because of what follows...


Psalm 106:24b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

âman (ן ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHN]

 to stand firm, to believe, to trust, caused to believe

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong's #539 BDB #52

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bvâr (ר ָב ָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

word, saying, doctrine, thing, matter

masculine plural noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1697 BDB #182


Translation: ...they did not believe in His Word. God had promised to give Israel this Land of Promise. All they had to do was to go into the land and claim it. However, the spies not only reported that the land was as marvelous as God had promised, but that the people of the land were giants and that the Israelis were as insects before them. They chose not to believe God’s Word, but to whine over the situation that they were in.


And so they murmured in their tents;

they had not listened in a voice of Yehowah.

Psalm

106:25

So they murmured in their tents

and they did not listen to the voice of Yehowah.

Instead, they murmured against God’s plan in their tents

because they chose not to listen to His voice.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       They would not obey you,

and they grumbled in their tents.

God’s Word                         They complained in their tents.

They did not obey the Lord.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They grumbled in their tents

and disobeyed the Lord.

NASB                                    But grumbled in their tents;

They did not listen to the voice of the Lord.

NLT                                Instead, they grumbled in their tents

and refused to obey the Lord.

The Septuagint                      And they murmured in their tents; they did not listen to the voice of the Lord.

Young's Updated LT              And they murmur in their tents,

They have not hearkened [i.e., listened] to the voice of Jehovah.


What is the gist of this verse? The Israelites discussed this situation—the fact that the people of the land were massive and imposing; and they whined and cried about it, rejecting the voice of God.


Psalm 106:25a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râgan (ן-גָר) [pronounced raw-GAHN]

to murmur, to whisper, to backbite, to slander

3rd person masculine plural, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #7279 BDB #920

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

ohel (ל הֹא) [pronounced OH-hel]

tent, tabernacle, house, temporary dwelling

masculine plural noun with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #168 BDB #13


Translation: So they murmured in their tents... When Israel chose not to enter into the land, it was decided in a rather unhanded way. Ten of the twelve spies did not believe that Israel had the military strength to enter the land. They expressed this opinion to Moses, and then they went throughout the congregation and argued against going into the land, causing a rebellion against Moses. That night, the entire congregation lifted up their voices to God in dismay. This is after receiving sign after sign of God’s faithfulness.


Psalm 106:25b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen, to hear, to listen intently, to listen and obey, to listen and act upon, to listen and give heed to, to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and take note of, to listen and be cognizant of

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and they did not listen to the voice of Yehowah. God had spoken to the Israelites through Moses and they refused to listen to him. This generation had seen more miracles and more wonders than any other generation in history (apart from those alive during the time of our Lord), and they still rejected God and His Word.


And so He raises His hand to them to cause to fall them in the wilderness...

Psalm

106:26

Then He raised His hand in regards to them to cause them to fall in the wilderness...

Therefore, He raised His hand against them to bring them down in the wilderness...


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       So you threatened them by saying,

“I’ll kill you out here in the desert!

God’s Word                         Raising his hand, he swore

that he would kill them in the wilderness,...

JPS (Tanakh)                        So He raised His hand in oath

to make them fall in the wilderness,...

NASB                                    Therefore He swore to them,

That He would cast them down in the wilderness,...

NLT                                Therefore, he swore

that he would kill them in the wilderness,...

The Septuagint                      So He lifted up His again against them, to cast them down in the wilderness;...

Young's Updated LT              And He lifts up His hand to them,

To cause them to fall in a wilderness,...


What is the gist of this verse? God raised up his hand against Israel, which means that He brought the power which He had previously used on their behalf against them. Then we have three results, one of which is in this verse: he caused many of them to die in the desert wilderness.


Psalm 106:26

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâ (א ָ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with a masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâphal (ל ַפ ָנ) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to cast lots, to cause to fall, to be brought down

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object

affixed to the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

midebâr (ר ָ  ׃ד  ̣מ) [pronounced mide-BAWR]

wilderness, unpopulated wilderness, desert wilderness

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4057 BDB #184


Translation: Then He raised His hand in regards to them to cause them to fall in the wilderness... Although Moses was successful in keeping God from destroying all of Israel, God still took out many Israelites whose heart was not right.


Israel’s refusal to enter into and take the land of Canaan is recorded in Num. 14.

Num. 14:1–38 (World English Bible Translation)

14:1 All the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 14:2 All the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said to them, Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would that we had died in this wilderness! 14:3 Why does Yahweh bring us to this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will be a prey: wouldn't it be better for us to return into Egypt? 14:4 They said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. 14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 14:6 Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were of those who spied out the land, tore their clothes: 14:7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceeding good land. 14:8 If Yahweh delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it to us; a land which flows with milk and honey. 14:9 Only don't rebel against Yahweh, neither fear the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is removed from over them, and Yahweh is with us: don't fear them. 14:10 But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. The glory of Yahweh appeared in the tent of meeting to all the children of Israel. 14:11 Yahweh said to Moses, How long will this people despise me? and how long will they not believe in me, for all the signs which I have worked among them? 14:12 I will strike them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they. 14:13 Moses said to Yahweh, Then the Egyptians will hear it; for you brought up this people in your might from among them; 14:14 and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that you Yahweh are in the midst of this people; for you Yahweh are seen face to face, and your cloud stands over them, and you go before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. 14:15 Now if you shall kill this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of you will speak, saying, 14:16 Because Yahweh was not able to bring this people into the land which he swore to them, therefore he has slain them in the wilderness. 14:17 Now please let the power of the Lord be great, according as you have spoken, saying, 14:18 Yahweh is slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, forgiving iniquity and disobedience; and that will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation. 14:19 Pardon, Please, the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your loving kindness, and according as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now. 14:20 Yahweh said, I have pardoned according to your word: 14:21 but in very deed, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Yahweh; 14:22 because all those men who have seen my glory, and my signs, which I worked in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have tempted me these ten times, and have not listened to my voice; 14:23 surely they shall not see the land which I swore to their fathers, neither shall any of those who despised me see it: 14:24 but my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land into which he went; and his seed shall possess it. 14:25 Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley: tomorrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea. 14:26 Yahweh spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 14:27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, that murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 14:28 Tell them, As I live, says Yahweh, surely as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you: 14:29 your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness; and all who were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, who have murmured against me, 14:30 surely you shall not come into the land, concerning which I swore that I would make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. 14:31 But your little ones, that you said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which you have rejected. 14:32 But as for you, your dead bodies shall fall in this wilderness. 14:33 Your children shall be wanderers in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your prostitution, until your dead bodies be consumed in the wilderness. 14:34 After the number of the days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, for every day a year, shall you bear your iniquities, even forty years, and you shall know my alienation. 14:35 I, Yahweh, have spoken, surely this will I do to all this evil congregation, who are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die. 14:36 The men, whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up an evil report against the land, 14:37 even those men who did bring up an evil report of the land, died by the plague before Yahweh. 14:38 But Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, remained alive of those men who went to spy out the land.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


...and to cause to fall their seed in the nations

and to scatter them in the lands.

Psalm

106:27

...and He caused their seed to fall among the nations

and He scattered them throughout the lands.

...and He caused their seed to be planted in the other nations

and He scattered them throughout the Gentile lands.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       I’ll scatter your children everywhere in the world.”

The Emphasized Bible           And would disperse their seed among the nations,

And would scatter them throughout the lands.

God’s Word                         ...kill their descendants among the nations,

and scatter them throughout various lands.

JPS (Tanakh)                        ...to disperse their offspring among the nations

and scatter them through the lands.

NASB                                    And that He would cast their seed among the nations,

And scatter them in the lands.

NLT                                ...that he would scatter their descendants among the nations,

exiling them to distant lands.

NRSV                                    and would disperse their descendants among the nations,

scattering them over the lands.

The Septuagint                      ...and to cast down their seed among the nations, and to scatter them in the countries.

Young's Updated LT              And to cause their seed to fall among nations,

And to scatter them through lands.


What is the gist of this verse? God will scatter the Israelites throughout the Gentile nations.


Psalm 106:27a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nâphal (ל ַפ ָנ) [pronounced naw-FAHL]

to cast lots, to cause to fall, to be brought down

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #5307 BDB #656

There are two ways that this verse might be taken: (1) that God caused the seed of Israel to fall (as in death) in other nations or that (2) God caused Israel’s seed to fall as though it were sown in these other nations. We find the word nâphal used several times for death (Psalm 73:18 Ezek. 6:4 Dan. 11:12), but I could not find this word used in an agricultural sense. Therefore, God is causing the sons of Israel to die in Gentile nations.

This examination of nâphal means that Rotherham’s take on this word (that it means to disperse) is incorrect, Ezek. 20:23 (quoted after the exegesis of v. 27b) notwithstanding.

zera׳ (ע -ר∵ז) [pronounced ZEH-rahģ]

a seed, a sowing, an offspring

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #2233 BDB #282

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

gôwyîm (ם̣י) [pronounced goh-YEEM]

Gentiles, [Gentile] nation, people, nation

masculine plural noun with a definite article

Strong’s #1471 BDB #156


Translation: ...and He caused their seed to fall among the nations... As mentioned in the exegetical table, there are two different ways for us to interpret this portion of the verse. We can (1) look at this as though God is causing Israel’s sons to die in other nations or (2) we can see God as planting Israel’s seed in other nations. God has essentially done both; however, because we never find nâphal associated with sowing seed, but several times with men dying (Psalm 73:18 Ezek. 6:4 Dan. 11:12), we can assume that what God is doing is causing Israelites to die in other nations. This is an insult; it is one thing to die in the land of Israel for God and country; however, it is an entirely different thing to be caused to die in another country, which was somewhat of an insult. You will recall Joseph’s bones and how a big deal was made of them being brought from Egypt and buried in the Land of Promise? It is because when Joseph received his resurrection body, he wanted to be standing in the land which God had promised his father, grandfather and great grandfather. Therefore, he asked that his bones not be buried until then. Don’t misunderstand what I am saying here—the Israelites first have to be scattered to other nations to be able to die in other nations. This is actually a much stronger statement than simply saying that the Israelites would be scattered among the nations. The indication here is that, this is not a short-term, temporary situation. The Israelites are not exiled and then brought back into the land 20 years later. They are exiled and they live in the land of their exile until they die.


Psalm 106:27b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

zârâh (הָר ָז) [pronounced zaw-RAW]

to scatter, to winnow

Piel infinitive construct with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #2219 BDB #279

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: ...and He scattered them throughout the lands. God did three things to Israel because they would not listen to Him. He swore to them in advance what He was going to do, and then (1) He killed some of them in the desert wilderness (v. 26b); (2) He caused their seed to fall in the Gentile nations (v. 27a); and (3) He scattered some of Israel throughout the lands of the Gentiles (v. 27b). Ezekiel similarly summarized God’s ancient promises when he was a prophet during the exile: “Also I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them among the lands.” (Ezek. 20:23).


This promise of God was not given in Num. 14, but was an earlier promise of God’s from Lev. 26, one of the most amazing chapters in Scripture.

Leviticus 26:27, 32–34 (World English Bible Translation)

26:27 "'If you in spite of this won't listen to me, but walk contrary to me;... 26:32 I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein will be astonished at it. 26:33 I will scatter you among the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you: and your land will be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste. 26:34 Then the land will enjoy its sabbaths as long as it lies desolate and you are in your enemies' land. Even then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


The Sin of Israel’s Worship of Baal-Peor

Numbers 25:1–9


And so they join to Baal of Peor

and so they eat slaughterings of dead ones.

Psalm

106:28

They joined [themselves] to Baal Peor

and ate [animal] sacrifices of the dead.

They joined themselves to Baal of Peor and ate that which was sacrificed to the dead.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       Your people became followers of a god named Baal Peor,

and they ate sacrifices offered to the dead.”

The Emphasized Bible           Yet they let themselves be bound to Baal-peor,—

And did eat sacrifices to the dead: [or, to dead things (lifeless gods)].

God’s Word                         They joined in worshiping the god Baal while they were at Peor,

and they ate what was sacrificed to the dead.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They attached themselves to Baal Peor,

ate sacrifices offered to the dead.

NASB                                    They joined themselves also to Baal-peor,

And ate sacrifices offered to the dead.

NLT                                Then our ancestors joined in the worship of Baal at Peor;

they even ate sacrifices offered to the dead!

The Septuagint                      They were joined also to Beelphegor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.

Young's Literal Translation    And they are coupled to Baal-Peor,

And eat the sacrifices of the dead,...


What is the gist of this verse? The Midianites somehow tempted Israel to join in with their heathen worship. They worshiped Baal Peor and they ate sacrifices which were made on behalf of the dead (and, it is possible that these were actual people who were sacrificed).


Psalm 106:28a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

tsâmad (ד -מָצ) [pronounced tzaw-MAHD],

to bind, to join, to fasten

3rd person masculine plural, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #6775 BDB #855

Even though the Niphal is the passive of the Qal stem, it can also refer to an action in a state of progress or development; therefore we sometimes add in the word being. It can express adjectival ideas and it can, in plural forms, stress the individual effect upon each member of the group. What I want to get across here is that the Niphal (passive) verb does not absolve Israel of her guilt here. They did not accidentally become attached to Baal, apart from their own volition; they chose to bind themselves to Baal.

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ba׳al (ל ַע ַ) [pronounced BAH-ģahl]

owner, lord, husband; transliterated Baal when referencing the heathen god

masculine singular construct

Strong's #1167 BDB #127

Ba׳al Pe׳ôwr (רע ל-ע-) [pronounced BAH-ģahl pe-ĢOHR]

 lord of the open mouth, lord of appetite, lord of voracious greed; and is transliterated Baal Peor

proper noun

Strong’s #1187 BDB #128

We do not have a separate listing for the proper noun Peor in Scripture, although the verb peor means to open wide [the mouth or other chasm]; figuratively, to have voracious greed, to have an eager desire. Strong’s #6473 BDB #822. It is unclear whether Baal Peor is simply a place where Baal is worshiped; or whether this is a title for this particular god, or whether this is a reference to Baal [worshiped at] Peor.


Translation: They joined [themselves] to Baal Peor... In Num. 25:1–4, we find that the people of Israel have joined themselves to Baal of Peor. There were sacrificial offerings which the people of Israel made, and they ate of these offerings and bowed themselves down before the gods of Moab.


Psalm 106:28b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âkal (ל ַכ ָא) [pronounced aw-KAHL]

to eat; to devour, to consume, to destroy

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #398 BDB #37

zebvach (ח ַב ז) [pronounced ZEHB-vakh]

slaughtered animal [used in a sacrificial offering], slaughter, slaughterings, sacrificial animal

masculine plural construct

Strong's #2077 BDB #257

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to die

masculine plural, Qal active participle

Strong's #4191 BDB #559


Translation: ...and ate [animal] sacrifices of the dead. I have inserted the word animal, as zebvach generally refers to animals that are slaughtered. However, that does not mean that is what we have here. We could be referring to human sacrifices. To me, this just seems too far out for Israelites to become involved in; however, we will find out later in this chapter that they did participate in human sacrifice. The other interpretation is that we are dealing with sacrifices made on behalf of those who have died. Throughout Scripture, it is clear that our future is based upon the decisions which we make while alive and on this earth. A third interpretation is that their sacrifices are associated with that which is dead; or things which are dead and lifeless, e.g., idols (this is what Rotherham seems to hold to in his translation).


In any case, what was clearly involved was religion being associated with sexual function, as one Israelite was caught bringing a Midianite woman right outside in full view of the Tent of Meeting for the purposes of having sexual relations with her.

Numbers 25:1–9 (World English Bible)

25:1 Israel abode in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab: 25:2 for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods; and the people ate, and bowed down to their gods. 25:3 Israel joined himself to Baal Peor: and the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel. 25:4 Yahweh said to Moses, Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up to Yahweh before the sun, that the fierce anger of Yahweh may turn away from Israel. 25:5 Moses said to the judges of Israel, Kill you everyone his men who have joined themselves to Baal Peor.


25:6 Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 25:7 When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; 25:8 and he went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 25:9 Those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart and Map Index


And so they provoke [Him] in their deeds

and so breaks out in them a plague.

Psalm

106:29

And they provoked [God] by their actions

and a plague broke out among them.

By their degenerate actions, the provoked God

causing a plague to break out among them.


Here is how others have handled this verse:

 

CEV                                       They did such terrible things

that you punished them with a deadly disease.

God’s Word                         They infuriated God by what they did,

and a plague broke out among them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        They provoked anger by their deeds,

and a plague broke out among them.

NASB                                    Thus they provoked Him to anger with their deeds;

And the plague broke out among them.

NLT                                They angered the Lord with all these things,

so a plague broke out among them.

The Septuagint                      And they provoked him with their devices; and destruction was multiplied among them. [Brenton breaks up vv. 28–29 differently, which could be a typo; in any case, I broke up the verses to match the Hebrew]

Young's Updated LT              And they provoke to anger by their actions,

And a plague breaks forth upon them.


What is the gist of this verse? Israel’s actions—their worship of a false god—provoked God, and they were struck with a plague.


Psalm 106:29a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kâ׳aç (ס-עָ) [pronounced kaw-ĢAHS]

to vex, to grieve; to irritate, to provoke

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3707 BDB #494

The Septuagint, Syriac and Vulgate insert Him at this juncture, which does help to smooth out this verse. It is unclear whether this is how the original read. Footnote

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, in the presence of, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

ma׳ălîyl (לי ̣לֱע ַמ) [pronounced mah-ģa-LEEL]

acts, deeds, practices

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #4611 BDB #760


Translation: And they provoked [God] by their actions... Israel was not able to follow God consistently. Their worship of a pagan god proved the True God of Israel.


Psalm 106:29b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa or va (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

pârats (ץ ַר ָ) [pronounced paw-RATS]

to break, to break down, to destroy; to break apart, to scatter [disperse, separate, spread abroad]; to break forth upon, to produce by breaking through; to act violently; to break through [negative volition, a bad attitude, or whatever]

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6555 BDB #829

be (׃) [pronounced beh]