Psalms 105

1Give thanks to the Lord!
Call on his name!
Make known his accomplishments among the nations!
2 Sing to him!
Make music to him!
Tell about all his miraculous deeds!
3 Boast about his holy name!
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
4 Seek the Lord and the strength he gives!
Seek his presence continually!
5 Recall the miraculous deeds he performed,
his mighty acts and the judgments he decreed,
Heb “and the judgments of his mouth.”

6 O children
Or “offspring”; Heb “seed.”
of Abraham,
Some mss have “Israel,” which appears in the parallel version of this psalm in 1 Chr 16:13.
Heb “his”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
you descendants
Heb “sons.”
of Jacob, God’s
Heb “his”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
chosen ones!
7 He is the Lord our God;
he carries out judgment throughout the earth.
Heb “in all the earth [are] his judgments.”

8 He always remembers his covenantal decree,
the promise he made
Heb “[the] word he commanded.” The text refers here to God’s unconditional covenantal promise to Abraham and the patriarchs, as vv. 10–12 make clear.
to a thousand generations –
9 the promise
Heb “which.”
he made to Abraham,
the promise he made by oath to Isaac!
10 He gave it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as a lasting promise,
Or “eternal covenant.”

11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion of your inheritance.”
12 When they were few in number,
just a very few, and resident aliens within it,
13 they wandered from nation to nation,
and from one kingdom to another.
Heb “and from a kingdom to another nation.”

14 He let no one oppress them;
he disciplined kings for their sake,
15 saying,
The word “saying” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
“Don’t touch my chosen
Heb “anointed.”
Don’t harm my prophets!”
16 He called down a famine upon the earth;
he cut off all the food supply.
Heb “and every staff of food he broke.” The psalmist refers to the famine that occurred in Joseph’s time (see v. 17 and Gen 41:53–57).

17 He sent a man ahead of them
After the reference to the famine in v. 16, v. 17 flashes back to events that preceded the famine (see Gen 37).

Joseph was sold as a servant.
18 The shackles hurt his feet;
Heb “they afflicted his feet with shackles.”

his neck was placed in an iron collar,
Heb “his neck came [into] iron.” The Hebrew term נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) with the suffix could mean simply “he” or “his life.” But the nuance “neck” makes good sense here (note the reference to his “feet” in the preceding line). See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101–150 (WBC), 38.

19 until the time when his prediction
Heb “word,” probably referring to Joseph’s prediction about the fate of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker (see Gen 41:9–14).
came true.
The Lord’s word
This line may refer to Joseph’s prediction of the famine in response to Pharaoh’s dream. Joseph emphasized to Pharaoh that the interpretation of the dream came from God (see Gen 41:16, 25, 28, 32, 39).
proved him right.
Heb “refined him.”

20 The king authorized his release;
Heb “[the] king sent and set him free.”

the ruler of nations set him free.
21 He put him in charge of his palace,
Heb “he made him master of his house.”

and made him manager of all his property,
22 giving him authority to imprison his officials
Heb “to bind his officials by his will.”

and to teach his advisers.
Heb “and his elders he taught wisdom.”

23 Israel moved to
Heb “entered.”
Jacob lived for a time
Heb “lived as a resident alien.”
in the land of Ham.
24 The Lord
Heb “and he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
made his people very fruitful,
and made them
Heb “him,” referring to “his people.”
more numerous than their
Heb “his,” referring to “his people.”
25 He caused them
Heb “their heart.”
to hate his people,
and to mistreat
Or “to deal deceptively.” The Hitpael of נָכַל (nakhal) occurs only here and in Gen 37:18, where it is used of Joseph’s brothers “plotting” to kill him.
his servants.
26 He sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They executed his miraculous signs among them,
Apparently the pronoun refers to “his servants” (i.e., the Israelites, see v. 25).

and his amazing deeds in the land of Ham.
28 He made it dark;
Heb “he sent darkness and made it dark.”
He made it dark. The psalmist begins with the ninth plague (see Exod 10:21–29).

they did not disobey his orders.
Heb “they did not rebel against his words.” Apparently this refers to Moses and Aaron, who obediently carried out God’s orders.

29 He turned their water into blood,
and killed their fish.
30 Their land was overrun by frogs,
which even got into the rooms of their kings.
31 He ordered flies to come;
Heb “he spoke and flies came.”

gnats invaded their whole territory.
32 He sent hail along with the rain;
Heb “he gave their rains hail.”

there was lightning in their land.
Heb “fire of flames [was] in their land.”

33 He destroyed their vines and fig trees,
and broke the trees throughout their territory.
34 He ordered locusts to come,
Heb “he spoke and locusts came.”

innumerable grasshoppers.
35 They ate all the vegetation in their land,
and devoured the crops of their fields.
Heb “the fruit of their ground.”

36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land,
the firstfruits of their reproductive power.
Heb “the beginning of all their strength,” that is, reproductive power (see Ps 78:51).
Verses 28–36 recall the plagues in a different order than the one presented in Exodus: v. 28 (plague 9), v. 29 (plague 1), v. 30 (plague 2), v. 31a (plague 4), v. 31b (plague 3), vv. 32–33 (plague 7), vv. 34–35 (plague 8), v. 36 (plague 10). No reference is made in Ps 105 to plagues 5 and 6.

37 He brought his people
Heb “them”; the referent (the Lord’s people) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
out enriched
The word “enriched” is supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
with silver and gold;
none of his tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt was happy when they left,
for they were afraid of them.
Heb “for fear of them had fallen upon them.”

39 He spread out a cloud for a cover,
Or “curtain.”

and provided a fire to light up the night.
40 They asked for food,
Heb “he [i.e., his people] asked.” The singular form should probably be emended to a plural שָׁאֲלוּ (shaalu, “they asked”), the vav (ו) having fallen off by haplography (note the vav at the beginning of the following form).
and he sent quails;
he satisfied them with food from the sky.
Or “bread of heaven.” The reference is to manna (see Exod 16:4, 13–15).

41 He opened up a rock and water flowed out;
a river ran through dry regions.
42 Yes,
Or “for.”
he remembered the sacred promise
Heb “his holy word.”

he made to Abraham his servant.
43 When he led his people out, they rejoiced;
his chosen ones shouted with joy.
Heb “and he led his people out with joy, with a ringing cry, his chosen ones.”

44 He handed the territory of nations over to them,
and they took possession of what other peoples had produced,
Heb “and the [product of the] work of peoples they possessed.”

45 so that they might keep his commands
and obey
Heb “guard.”
his laws.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 106

Psalm 106. The psalmist recalls Israel’s long history of rebellion against God, despite his mighty saving deeds on their behalf.
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