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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Chapter 106
Chapter 106

We must give glory to God by making confession, not only of his goodness but our own badness, which serve as foils to each other. Our badness makes his goodness appear the more illustrious, as his goodness makes our badness the more heinous and scandalous. The foregoing psalm was a history of God’s goodness to Israel; this is a history of their rebellions and provocations, and yet it begins and ends with Hallelujah; for even sorrow for sin must not put us out of tune for praising God. Some think it was penned at the time of the captivity in Babylon and the dispersion of the Jewish nation thereupon, because of that prayer in the close, Ps. 106:47. I rather think it was penned by David at the same time with the foregoing psalm, because we find the first verse and the last two verses in that psalm which David delivered to Asaph, at the bringing up of the ark to the place he had prepared for it (Ps. 106:1, 47; 48; 1 Chron. 16:34-36), “Gather us from among the heathen;” for we may suppose that in Saul’s time there was a great dispersion of pious Israelites, when David was forced to wander. In this psalm we have, I. The preface to the narrative, speaking honour to God (Ps. 106:1, 2), comfort to the saints (Ps. 106:3), and the desire of the faithful towards God’s favour, Ps. 106:4, 5. II. The narrative itself of the sins of Israel, aggravated by the great things God did for them, an account of which is intermixed. Their provocations at the Red Sea (Ps. 106:6-12), lusting (Ps. 106:13-15), mutinying (Ps. 106:16-18), worshipping the golden calf (Ps. 106:19-23), murmuring (Ps. 106:24-27), joining themselves to Baal-peor (Ps. 106:28-31), quarrelling with Moses (Ps. 106:32, 33), incorporating themselves with the nations of Canaan, Ps. 106:34-39. To this is added an account how God had rebuked them for their sins, and yet saved them from ruin, Ps. 106:40-46. III. The conclusion of the psalm with prayer and praise, Ps. 106:47, 48. It may be of use to us to sing this psalm, that, being put in mind by it of our sins, the sins of our land, and the sins of our fathers, we may be humbled before God and yet not despair of mercy, which even rebellious Israel often found with God.