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Ps 105:1-45. After an exhortation to praise God, addressed especially to the chosen people, the writer presents the special reason for praise, in a summary of their history from the calling of Abraham to their settlement in Canaan, and reminds them that their obedience was the end of all God's gracious dealings.
1. call . . . name--
Call on Him, according to His historically manifested glory. After the
example of Abraham, who, as often as God acquired for Himself a name in
guiding him, called in solemn worship upon the name of the Lord
3, 4. Seeking God's favor is the only true mode of getting true
happiness, and His strength
is the only true source of protection (compare
Ps 32:11; 40:16).
5, 6. judgments . . . mouth--His judicial decisions for the good and against the wicked.
6. chosen--rather qualifies "children" than "Jacob," as a plural.
7. Rather, "He, Jehovah, is our God." His title, "JEHOVAH," implies that He, the unchangeable, self-existing Being, makes things to be, that is, fulfils His promises, and therefore will not forsake His people. Though specially of His people, He is God over all.
8-11. The covenant was often ratified.
10, 11. Alluding to God's promise to Jacob (Ge 28:13). Out of the whole storehouse of the promises of God, only one is prominently brought forward, namely, that concerning the possession of Canaan [Ps 105:11]. Everything revolves around this. The wonders and judgments have all for their ultimate design the fulfilment of this promise.
12-15. few . . . in number--alluding to Jacob's words
"I being few in number."
13. from one nation to another--and so from danger to danger; now in Egypt, now in the wilderness, and lastly in Canaan. Though a few strangers, wandering among various nations, God protected them.
14. reproved kings--Pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of Gerar (Ge 12:17; 20:3).
15. Touch not--referring to
where Abimelech says of Isaac, "He that toucheth this man or his
wife shall surely be put to death."
16. God ordered the famine. God
18. hurt with fetters--
19. his word came--His prophecy
to the officers came to pass, or was fulfilled
(Jud 13:12, 17;
explain the form of speech).
22. To bind--Not literally bind; but
exercise over them absolute control, as the parallel in the second
clause shows; also
Ge 41:40, 44,
in which not literal fettering, but commanding obedience,
is spoken of. It refers to
The soul that was once bound itself now binds others, even
princes. The same moral binding is assigned to the saints
23-25. Israel . . . and Jacob--that is, Jacob himself is meant, as
speaks of "his people." Still, he came with his whole house
(Ge 46:6, 7).
25. turned their heart--God controls men's free acts (compare 1Sa 10:9). "When Saul had turned his back to go from (God's prophet) Samuel, God turned (Margin) him another heart" (see Ex 1:8, &c.). Whatever evil the wicked man plots against God's people, God holds bound even his heart, so as not to lay a single plan except what God permits. Thus Isaiah (Isa 43:17) says it was God who brought forth the army of Pharaoh to pursue Israel to their own destruction (Ex 4:21; 7:3).
27. signs--literally, "words of signs," or rather, as "words" in Hebrew means "things," "things of His signs," that is, His marvellous tokens of power (Ps 145:5, Margin). Compare the same Hebraism (Ps 65:3, Margin).
28-36. The ninth plague is made prominent as peculiarly wonderful.
29-31. He deprived them of their favorite "fish," and gave them instead, [Ps 105:30] out of the water, loathsome "frogs," and (Ps 105:31) upon their land tormenting "flies" (the dog-fly, according to MAURER) and "lice" (gnats, according to HENGSTENBERG).
32. gave them--referring to
"I give you rain in due season." His "gift" to Israel's foes is
one of a very different kind from that bestowed on His people.
34. caterpillars--literally, "the lickers up," devouring insects; probably the hairy-winged locust.
37. with silver and gold--presented them by the Egyptians, as an
acknowledgment due for their labors in their bondage (compare
38. (Compare Ex 12:33; De 11:25).
39. covering--in sense of protection (compare Ex 13:21; Nu 10:34). In the burning sands of the desert the cloud protected the congregation from the heat of the sun; an emblem of God's protecting favor of His people, as interpreted by Isaiah (Isa 4:5, 6; compare Nu 9:16).
42-45. The reasons for these dealings: (1) God's faithfulness to
His covenant, "His holy promise" of Canaan, is the fountain whence
flowed so many acts of marvellous kindness to His people (compare
Ps 105:8, 11).
is the fundamental passage [HENGSTENBERG]. (2)
That they might be obedient. The observance of God's commands by
Abraham was the object of the covenant with him
as it was also the object of the covenant with Israel, that they might
observe God's statutes.