Israel’s Rebelliousness and the Lord’s Deliverances.
1Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever!
2Who can put into words the mighty deeds of the Lord?
Or who can proclaim all His praise [that is due Him]?
3Blessed are those who observe justice [by honoring God’s precepts],
Who practice righteousness at all times.
4Remember me, O Lord, when You favor Your people.
Visit me with Your salvation [when You rescue them],
5That 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.
6We have sinned like our fathers;
We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly.
7Our 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 #Lit Sea of Reeds; and so throughout.Red Sea.
8Nevertheless He saved them for His name’s sake,
That He might make His [supreme] power known.
9He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up;
And He led them through the depths as through a pasture.
10So He saved them from the hand of the one that hated them,
And redeemed them from the hand of the [Egyptian] enemy.
11And the waters covered their adversaries;
Not one of them was left.
12Then Israel believed in [the validity of] His words;
They sang His praise.
13But they quickly forgot His works;
They did not [patiently] wait for His counsel and purpose [to be revealed regarding them],
14But lusted intensely in the wilderness
And tempted God [with their insistent desires] in the desert.
15So He gave them their request,
But sent a wasting disease among them.
16They envied Moses in the camp,
And Aaron [the high priest], the holy one of the Lord,
17Therefore the earth opened and swallowed Dathan,
And engulfed the company of Abiram.
18And a fire broke out in their company;
The flame consumed the wicked.
19They made a calf in Horeb (Sinai)
And worshiped a cast image.
20Thus they exchanged [the true God who was] their glory
For the image of an ox that eats grass.
21They forgot God their Savior,
Who had done such great things in Egypt,
22Wonders in the land of Ham,
Awesome things at the Red Sea.
23Therefore 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.
24Then they despised the pleasant land [of Canaan];
They did not believe in His word nor rely on it,
25But they sulked and complained in their tents;
They did not listen to the voice of the Lord.
26Therefore He lifted up His hand [swearing] to them,
That He would cause them to fall in the wilderness,
27And that He would cast out their descendants among the nations
And scatter them in the lands [of the earth].
28They joined themselves also to [the idol] Baal of Peor,
And ate sacrifices offered to the dead.
29Thus they provoked Him to anger with their practices,
And a plague broke out among them.
30Then Phinehas [the priest] stood up and #The 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.interceded,
And so the plague was halted.
31And that was credited to him for righteousness,
To all generations forever.
32They provoked Him to anger at the waters of #Lit strife.Meribah,
So that it went hard with Moses on their account;
33Because they were rebellious against His Spirit,
Moses spoke recklessly with his lips.
34They did not destroy the [pagan] peoples [in Canaan],
As the Lord commanded them,
35But they mingled with the [idolatrous] nations
And learned their ways,
36And served their idols,
Which became a [dreadful] snare to them.
37They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons
38And 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.
39In 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”].
40Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against His people
And He detested His own #I.e. people.inheritance.
41He gave them into the hands of the nations,
And those who hated them ruled over them.
42Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were subdued under the [powerful] hand of their enemies.
43Many times He rescued them;
But they were rebellious in their counsel,
And sank down in their wickedness.
44Nevertheless He looked [sympathetically] at their distress
When He heard their cry;
45And 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],
46He also made them objects of compassion
Among those who had carried them away captive.
47Save 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.
48Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!)