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Psalms 106 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

This Psalm, as has already been remarked, is a companion to the preceding one. It may well have been composed by the same poet: at any rate it belongs to the same period. It is in the main a confession of the faithlessness and ingratitude which had marked every step of Israel’s history, a confession which is the fitting preface to a prayer for the restoration of the nation. It breathes the spirit of Solomon’s prayer at the Dedication of the Temple (1 Kings 8). A similar confession is found in Nehemiah 9: Daniel 9 and Baruch 2 should also be compared. Psa 106:1 ; Psa 106:47-48 form the conclusion of the anthem in 1Ch 16:34-36.

The Psalmist begins with an invitation to praise Jehovah for His infinite mercy and goodness, for these attributes are the ground of his confidence in appealing to Him once more to save His people; and he adds a personal prayer that he may be permitted himself to rejoice in the sight of the renewed prosperity of Jehovah’s people (Psa 106:1-5).

But Israel and Israel of the present is one with Israel of the past has sinned grievously (Psa 106:6). The national history is one long record of failure to understand God’s purpose and of resistance to His Will. The Psalmist recites typical instances of their sins from the Exodus to the Entry into Canaan (Psa 106:7-33); and referring in general terms to their subsequent history (Psa 106:34-46) concludes with a prayer for restoration (Psa 106:47) to which the long confession of sin is clearly intended to lead up.

Thus the historical retrospect is set in a liturgical framework. The introductory call to praise is not inappropriate, for without the acknowledgement of God’s invincible goodness the recollection of Israel’s sins would be hopelessly crushing. But the confession of those sins is the necessary condition of the removal of their punishment; and the prayer for restoration, short as it is, is obviously the goal towards which the whole Psalm is directed.

Note the author’s familiarity with Isaiah 63 and Ezekiel 20.

Consult other comments:

Psalms 106:0 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Psalms 106:0 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Psalms 106:0 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Psalms 106:0 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Psalms 106:0 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Psalms 106:0 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 106:0 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Psalms 106:0 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Psalms 106:0 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges