Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalm 105-106

Psa 105.1-45 speaks of God’s blessing to his people Israel. Psa 105.1-15 is also found in 1 Chr 16.8-22 and it was recited on the day the Ark was brought from its temporary tent (ohel) that he had made in the home of Obed-Edom to the city of Jerusalem. There is no heading or author named.

Psa 105.1-3 is an exhortation to those who joined his procession to thank the Lord and to sing his praises. They were to give thanks to Yehovah and to call upon his name. They were also to proclaim his deeds (acts) among the nations. The purpose of the plagues in Egypt was to make known to the world that there is God in heaven who really does rule the entire earth, unlike their lifeless Egyptian deities. It was to show the difference between their false polytheistic system and the one, true God. The goal is for all to know the Lord (v 1). They were to sing to him, and sing praises (make music) to him, and to speak (discuss with each other) all his wonders and miracles (v 2). To glory in his name is to boast in his works and attributes and let the heart of those who seek Yehovah be glad (v 3).

Psa 105 4-7 tells us to seek Yehovah and remember his miracles. We should seek (search out) Yehovah and his strength, meaning we should direct our prayers to the resting place of the tablets of the Covenant contained in the Ark (Psa 78.61). We are to seek his face continually (v 4). Remember his wonders (miracles) which he has done (in Egypt and Canaan) and all his marvels, and the judgment uttered by his mouth (v 5). The author goes to say that the seed of Abraham, his servant, and the sons of Jacob, his chosen ones are the true seed, not Ishmael and Esau (v 6). They were to know that Yehovah is their God and his judgments are in all the earth. God supervises the whole earth, but he has a covenant with Israel only (v 7).

Psa 105.8-15 speaks about that covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has remembered his covenant and he will forever (olam), the word which he commanded (Gen 15.4-21) to a thousand generations (v 8), the covenant which he made to Abraham and his oath to Isaac (Gen 26.3). Isaac in Hebrew us usually spelled with a shin (s sound) “Yischak.” The numerical value of the letter shin is 300. The numerical value of the letter tzaddi (tz sound) is 90. The difference between the two is 210 and that alludes to the 210 years Israel was in Egypt (v 9). Yehovah confirmed (established) it to Jacob for a statute in Israel (Jacob’s other name-Gen 32.28) for an everlasting covenant (v 10) saying, “To you (the three patriarchs first) I will give the land of Canaan as the portion of your inheritance, meaning the entire nation (v 11). They were very few in number (Gen 34.30) and strangers in it (v 12) and they wandered about from nation to nation (the patriarchs did, they went from Mesopotamia to Canaan to Egypt, etc), from one kingdom to another (v 13). Yehovah permitted no man to oppress them (do them wrong) and he reproved kings (like Pharaoh, Abimelech, etc) for their sakes (v 14). He then says that nobody was to touch “my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.” All the patriarchs were anointed ones and prophets as seen in Gen 20.7 (v 15).

Psa 105 16-24 tells us about how God cared for the patriarchs in the time of Joseph and his brothers. He called for a famine upon the land (Gen 41.53-57) meaning it was no accident. One thing we need to come to grips with is there is nothing that happens on earth that God does not control. In sending this famine, he broke the staff of bread of the Egyptians, meaning he destroyed their food supply (v 16). He sent before them twenty years earlier the man who would save the nation, Joseph, who was a son of Jacob and sold as a slave (v 17) They afflicted his feet with fetters and his soul (himself) was laid in irons. He was a prisoner and his soul suffered as well as his body (v 18). Then it was time for God’s word to come to pass (what he showed Joseph in his dreams) and the word of God tested him, meaning it purged him and purified him (v 19). The king (Pharaoh) sent and released him when the timing of God came, and the ruler of peoples set him free (v 20). He made him lord of all his house and the internal operations of it, and ruler over all his possessions as described in Gen 41.40-41 (v 21). Joseph could imprison his princes at will and did not need Pharaoh’s permission, and teach his elders (counselors) wisdom (v 22). Israel (Jacob) came into Egypt because of the famine and because he knew Joseph was alive. As a result, Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham Egypt in the Bible is called Mizraim, one of Ham’s descendants listed in Gen 10.6 (v 23). Yehovah caused the people to be very fruitful (Exo 1.7-12) and made them stronger than their adversaries (v 24).

Psa 105.25-36 tells us about how Moses and Aaron were sent to Egypt to perform wonders. As we know, Mosses was raised in the house of Pharaoh and Josephus tells us that he was a successful general who won a great victory over the Ethiopians. Aaron was already in Egypt with his family. Yehovah turned the hearts of the Egyptians to hate Israel (Exo 1.12) and they dealt craftily with them. As a result, he sent Moses as a shaliach (sent one, an agent-Exo 3.10) and Aaron whom he has chosen (Exo 4.14-30). Yehovah does this to preserve the truth and to separate his people from the world (v 26). Moses and Aaron performed signs and wonders among the people in the land of Ham (v 27). He sent darkness and made it dark and Moses and Aaron did not rebel against the words God told them (v 28). He turned their waters into blood and caused their fish to die (v 29). Their land was swarmed with frogs that even made it into the very chambers of Pharaoh (v 30). God spoke and there came a swarm of flies and gnats in all “their territory” which means these plagues did not affect the surrounding nations (v 31). Yehovah gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire amidst the hail in their land (v 32). He struck down their vines also and their fig trees, and shattered the trees that were in their territory. This stripped them of their branches (v 33). He spoke and locusts came, and young locusts, without number (v 34) and they ate up all the vegetation in the land, and they ate up the fruit of their ground (v 35). He also struck down all first born in the land, the first fruits of their vigor. He did this because Egypt killed God’s first born Israel (Exo 1.16-22) and refused to let his first born (Exo 4.22) go for three days into the wilderness (v 36).

Psa 105.37-45 tells us how God brought them out of Egypt into the wilderness, and eventually into Canaan. He brought them out with silver and gold, given to them by the Egyptians in Exo 12.35-36), and among God’s tribes there was not one person who was sick or feeble for the three day march through the wilderness (v 37). Egypt, known as Mizraim, was glad when they departed because of the plagues, for the dread of them by Yehovah had fallen upon them (v 38). Now, remember, Pharaoh only let them go into the wilderness for three days, but he later changed his mind when he was told that they were leaving for good. He pursued them to the Red Sea where Pharaoh and his army were killed, leaving Israel now free to go on to Mount Sinai and Canaan. He spread a covering like a protective umbrella over them during the day, and a fire with no heat at night to illuminate the night (v 39). They were fed quail and manna from heaven. Yeshua refers to these terms in John 6.31 (v 40). He opened the rock and water flowed out and it ran in the dry places like a river (v 41). God remembered his word to Abraham his servant by preserving his children (v 42). He brought forth his people with joy and his chosen ones with ajoyful shout and singing (v 42). He gave the lands of the nations (Canaan) that they might take possession of the fruit of the peoples (v 44). He did this so that they might safeguard his statutes (chukim) and observe his laws (the Torah laws). The psalm ends with “Hallel (praise) Yah”, which is a shortened form of Yehovah (v 45).

Psa 106. 1-48 is the last psalm in Book 4 of the Psalms and it contains the themes from the previous psalm and how God preserved Israel through the wilderness, into Canaan to conquer the nations there. However, they failed to accomplish the destruction of the even nations (Deut 7.2) and mingled with them (assimilation), corrupting the truth found in the Torah. Again, there is no heading or author named.

Psa 106.1-5 talks about prayer and praise for God’s mighty deeds. It starts out with “HalleluYah” and the people were to give thanks to Yehovah because he is good and how his lovingkindness (mercy) is everlasting which means it is not limited to time (v 1). Who can speak fully about the mighty deeds God has done, or can show forth and comprehend all his praise (v 2). How blessed (empowered to succeed) are those who keep judgment (right justice) and who practice (does) righteousness (as defined by the Torah) at all times (v 3). The author wants Yehovah to remember him personally when he shows favor to Israel and to include him (visit) with his salvation (v 4). He wants to take part (see) the prosperity (blessings) of the children of Israel his chosen ones so he can rejoice (the result) in the gladness of the nation and glory with “thine inheritance” Israel (v 5).

Psa 106.6-12 is in the form of a confession that Solomon and Daniel followed. He begins by saying that all have sinned (the current generation) just like their fathers did, and they have committed iniquity and behaved wickedly, meaning mass corruption (v 6). Their fathers in Egypt did not understand or realize God’s purposes and wonders (miracles). They did not remember his abundant kindness and mercy, but rebelled and provoked the Lord by the Red Sea (v 7). But God saved them anyway is spite of their unbelief for his name’s sake (his honor so that none can say he can’t save his people and he can make his power known to overcome any obstacle (v 8). He rebuked the sea and it dried up (an obstacle) and he led them through the depths as through a wilderness (v 9). He saved them from the hand of the one who hated them (Pharaoh is a type of Ha Satan and the False Messiah here) and redeemed them from the hand of their enemy (v 10). The waters returned and covered their adversaries (tormentors) and not one of them escaped, including Pharaoh as seen in Psa 74.12-13 and 136.15 (v 11). Then the people of Israel believed God’s words and they sang his praise (v 12).

Psa 106.13-15 tells us they forgot his mercy in three days (Exo 15.22-26). They forgot his works and they did not wait for his counsel to play out and to unfold (v 13). They craved (demanded) in the wilderness and tested Yehovah in the desert (v 14) so he gave them their request (quail, manna, water (Exo 15.22-24, Exo 16, 17.2; Num 11) but also sent a wasting disease (Num 11.33-35) among them (v 15).

Psa 106.16-18 tells us about the mutiny of Korah. When the rebels became envious of Moses in the camp (Num 16.1) and of Aaron as High Priest they conspired against them. The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan, Korah’s underling, and engulfed the company of Abarim (v 17). A fire blazed up (was kindled) in their company in Num 16.35 and consumed them (v 18).

Psa 106.19-27 tells us that God set himself against Israel because of their sin. They made a calf at Horeb and worshiped a molten image that they called Yehovah, in defiance of the second commandment (v 19). Thus they exchanged their glory (Yehovah) for the image of an ox that eats grass and regurgitates (v 20). They forgot God their savior (deliverer) who had done so many great things for them in Egypt (v 21), wonders in the land of Ham (Egypt) and awesome things by the Red Sea (v 22). Therefore, Yehovah said that he would destroy them (Exo 32.10; Num 14.12) had not Moses his chosen one (chosen for a purpose) stood in the breach before the Lord, to turn away his wrath (Num 16.44-50 for example) from destroying them (v 23). Then they despised the pleasant land (Canaan) and did not believe his word that they could take the land, even after all they had seen (v 24). They grumbled in their tents and they would not listen to the voice of Yehovah (v 25). Therefore he swore to them that he would cast them down in the wilderness (v 26) and that he would cast their seed among the nations (disperse them), and scatter them in the lands (v 27).

Psa 106.28-31 tells us about the Baal-peor incident and a plague (Num 25.1-9). They joined themselves to Baal-peor, a false god of the Moabites, and offered and ate sacrifices to the dead (v 28). As a result, they provoked Yehovah to anger with their deeds and a plague broke out (Num 25.9) among them (v 29). Then Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, stood up and executed judgment and the plague was stopped (v 30). This act of killing two of the perpetrators (Num 25.7-9) waas counted to him as righteousness (Gen 15.6; Deut 6.25) unto all generations. It was an act of emunah, meaning “faith” and confidence in the Lord (v 31).

Psa 106.32-33 tells us that Moses is disciplined for unbelief in Num 20.12. They also provoked Yehovah to wrath at the waters of Meribah (strife) so that went hard with Moses on their account (v 32). Because they were rebellious against the spirit of Moses, he (Moses) spoke rashly (unadvisedly) with his lips saying, “Hear now, you rebels, shall we (not God) bring you water out of this rock” (v 33).

Psa 106.34-39 says that because Israel sinned by not destroying the seven nations as commanded in Deut 7.2; 20.16 (v 34), and they mingled with those nations they did not destroy and learned their pagan practices (Jer 10.2; Matt 10.5; Deut 12.30) which they were not to do (v 35). They served their idols (Hebrew “sorrow” because idolatry always leads to this), and all of this became a snare to them (v 36). They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons (v 37) and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood (Num 35.33-34-v 38). Thus they were defiled by their own works (idolatry) and played the harlot spiritually inj their deeds (v 39).

Psa 106 40-43 tells us that God gave Israel over to their enemies because of their sins. As a result, the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people, whom he had elected (chosen for a purpose), and he abhorred (loathed) his inheritance (v 40). Then he gave them into the hand of the nations (Moab, Canaan, Midian, Philistines, etc) and those who hated them ruled over them (v 41). Their enemies also oppressed them through tribute and raiders, and they were subdued and became servants under their power (v 42). Many times he would deliver them by the judges, such as Othniel, Ehud, Barak, Gideon, Jepthah and Samson. They, however, were rebellious in their counsel (they wanted a king) and weakened by their sin by seeking help by others, and repeating the same cycle over and over again (v 43).

Psa 106.44-46 talks about God’s mercy to Israel. He looked upon their distress and heard their outcry, despite their sin (v 44). He remembered (not that he forgot) his covenant for the sake of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and relented according to the greatness of his mercy (v 45). He also made them objects of compassion in the presence of their enemies. This was especially true in the Babylonian Captivity with Cyrus the Persian, Darius and Artaxerxes who sent Nehemiah back to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (v 46). Psa 106.47-48 is talking about those still being held by the enemies of Israel, or it is prophetic. The plea is for God to save them and gather Israel from among the nations, and to give thanks to the name Yehovah (v 47), and to bless Yehovah, who is the God of Israel, from everlasting (“min ha olam”) to everlasting (“v’ad ha olam” or the “world to come”), and let all the peoples say, “Amen.” In the final analysis there is no difference among men who unite in perfect harmony. The psalm ends with “Hallelu Yah” or “praise Yah, which is a shortened form of Yehovah.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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