Israel’s Rebelliousness and the Lord’s Deliverances.
106 Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever! 2 Who can put into words the mighty deeds of the Lord? Or who can proclaim all His praise [that is due Him]? 3 Blessed are those who observe justice [by honoring God’s precepts], Who practice righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O Lord, when You favor Your people. Visit me with Your salvation [when You rescue them], 5 That I may see the prosperity of Your chosen ones, That I may rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, That I may glory with Your inheritance.
6 We have sinned like our fathers; We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly. 7 Our fathers in Egypt did not understand nor appreciate Your miracles; They did not remember the abundance of Your mercies nor imprint Your lovingkindnesses on their hearts, But they were rebellious at the sea, at the [a]Red Sea. 8 Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake, That He might make His [supreme] power known. 9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up; And He led them through the depths as through a pasture. 10 So He saved them from the hand of the one that hated them, And redeemed them from the hand of the [Egyptian] enemy. 11 And the waters covered their adversaries; Not one of them was left. 12 Then Israel believed in [the validity of] His words; They sang His praise.
13 But they quickly forgot His works; They did not [patiently] wait for His counsel and purpose [to be revealed regarding them], 14 But lusted intensely in the wilderness And tempted God [with their insistent desires] in the desert. 15 So He gave them their request, But sent a wasting disease among them.
16 They envied Moses in the camp, And Aaron [the high priest], the holy one of the Lord, 17 Therefore the earth opened and swallowed Dathan, And engulfed the company of Abiram. 18 And a fire broke out in their company; The flame consumed the wicked.
19 They made a calf in Horeb (Sinai) And worshiped a cast image. 20 Thus they exchanged [the true God who was] their glory For the image of an ox that eats grass. 21 They forgot God their Savior, Who had done such great things in Egypt, 22 Wonders in the land of Ham, Awesome things at the Red Sea. 23 Therefore He said He would destroy them, [And He would have done so] had not Moses, His chosen one, stepped into the gap before Him, To turn away His wrath from destroying them. 24 Then they despised the pleasant land [of Canaan]; They did not believe in His word nor rely on it, 25 But they sulked and complained in their tents; They did not listen to the voice of the Lord. 26 Therefore He lifted up His hand [swearing] to them, That He would cause them to fall in the wilderness, 27 And that He would cast out their descendants among the nations And scatter them in the lands [of the earth].
28 They joined themselves also to [the idol] Baal of Peor, And ate sacrifices offered to the dead. 29 Thus they provoked Him to anger with their practices, And a plague broke out among them. 30 Then Phinehas [the priest] stood up and [b]interceded, And so the plague was halted. 31 And that was credited to him for righteousness, To all generations forever.
32 They provoked Him to anger at the waters of [c]Meribah, So that it went hard with Moses on their account; 33 Because they were rebellious against His Spirit, Moses spoke recklessly with his lips.
34 They did not destroy the [pagan] peoples [in Canaan], As the Lord commanded them, 35 But they mingled with the [idolatrous] nations And learned their ways, 36 And served their idols, Which became a [dreadful] snare to them. 37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons 38 And shed innocent blood, Even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with their blood. 39 In this way they became unclean in their practices; They played the prostitute in their own deeds [by giving their worship, which belongs to God alone, to other “gods”].
40 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against His people And He detested His own [d]inheritance. 41 He gave them into the hands of the nations, And those who hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies also oppressed them, And they were subdued under the [powerful] hand of their enemies. 43 Many times He rescued them; But they were rebellious in their counsel, And sank down in their wickedness.
44 Nevertheless He looked [sympathetically] at their distress When He heard their cry; 45 And He remembered His covenant for their sake, And relented [rescinding their sentence] according to the greatness of His lovingkindness [when they cried out to Him], 46 He also made them objects of compassion Among those who had carried them away captive.
47 Save us, O Lord our God, And gather us from among the nations, That we may give thanks to Your holy name And glory in praising You. 48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. And let all the people say, “Amen.” Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
Psalm 106:30The exact meaning of the Hebrew here has been debated since ancient times. The term interceded probably is best because it could refer to Phinehas’ intervention by executing the guilty couple (Num 25:7f), or to his interceding through prayer in behalf of Israel. No such prayer is recorded, but it is certainly possible that Phinehas prayed for relief before or after the execution. The ancient rabbis mostly understood the intercession as a prayer, but some of them took the meaning of the Hebrew to be that Phinehas interceded essentially by arguing with God as to whether it was fair to destroy so many people for the sins of two.