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1 Hallelujah!
Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
because his mercy endures forever.
2 Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done?
Who can announce all the things for which he is worthy of praise?
3 Blessed are those who defend justice
and do what is right at all times.
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people.
Come to help me with your salvation
5 so that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
find joy in our people’s happiness,
and brag with the people who belong to you.
6 We have sinned, and so did our ancestors.
We have done wrong.
We are guilty.
7 When our ancestors were in Egypt,
they gave no thought to your miracles.
They did not remember your numerous acts of mercy,
so they rebelled at the sea, the Red Sea.
8 He saved them because of his reputation
so that he could make his mighty power known.
9 He angrily commanded the Red Sea, and it dried up.
He led them through deep water as though it were a desert.
10 He rescued them from the power of the one who hated them.
He rescued them from the enemy.
11 Water covered their adversaries.
Not one Egyptian survived.
12 Then our ancestors believed what he said.
They sang his praise.
13 They quickly forgot what he did.
They did not wait for his advice.
14 They had an unreasonable desire ⌊for food⌋ in the wilderness.
In the desert they tested God.
15 He gave them what they asked for.
He ⌊also⌋ gave them a degenerative disease.
16 In the camp certain men became envious of Moses.
They also became envious of Aaron, the Lord’s holy one.
17 The ground split open and swallowed Dathan.
It buried Abiram’s followers.
18 A fire broke out among their followers.
Flames burned up wicked people.
19 At Mount Horeb they made ⌊a statue of⌋ a calf.
They worshiped an idol made of metal.
20 They traded their glorious God #Or “their glory.”
for the statue of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their savior,
the one who did spectacular things in Egypt,
22 miracles in the land of Ham,
and terrifying things at the Red Sea.
23 God said he was going to destroy them,
but Moses, his chosen one, stood in his way
to prevent him from exterminating them.
24 They refused ⌊to enter⌋ the pleasant land.
They did not believe what he said.
25 They complained in their tents.
They did not obey the Lord.
26 Raising his hand, he swore
that he would kill them in the wilderness,
27 kill their descendants among the nations,
and scatter them throughout various lands.
28 They joined in worshiping the god Baal while they were at Peor,
and they ate what was sacrificed to the dead.
29 They infuriated God by what they did,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood between God and the people,
and the plague was stopped.
31 Because of this, Phinehas was considered righteous forever,
throughout every generation.
32 They made God angry by the water at Meribah.
Things turned out badly for Moses because of what they did,
33 since they made him bitter so that he spoke recklessly.
34 They did not destroy the people as the Lord had told them.
35 Instead, they intermarried with other nations.
They learned to do what other nations did,
36 and they worshiped their idols,
which became a trap for them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.
38 They shed innocent blood,
the blood of their own sons and daughters
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.
The land became polluted with blood.
39 They became filthy because of what they did.
They behaved like prostitutes.
40 The Lord burned with anger against his own people.
He was disgusted with those who belonged to him.
41 He handed them over to other nations,
and those who hated them ruled them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them
and made them subject to their power.
43 He rescued them many times,
but they continued to plot rebellion against him
and to sink deeper because of their sin.
44 He saw that they were suffering
when he heard their cry for help.
45 He remembered his promise #Or “covenant.” to them.
In keeping with his rich mercy, he changed his plans.
46 He let them find compassion
from all those who held them captive.
47 Rescue us, O Lord our God, and gather us from the nations
so that we may give thanks to your holy name
and make your praise our glory.
48 Thanks be to the Lord God of Israel
from everlasting to everlasting.
Let all the people say amen.
PSALM 106#Israel is invited to praise the God whose mercy has always tempered judgment of Israel (Ps 106:1–3). The speaker, on behalf of all, seeks solidarity with the people, who can always count on God’s fidelity despite their sin (Ps 106:4–5). Confident of God’s mercy, the speaker invites national repentance (Ps 106:6) by reciting from Israel’s history eight instances of sin, judgment, and forgiveness. The sins are the rebellion at the Red Sea (Ps 106:6–12; see Ex 14–15), the craving for meat in the desert (Ps 106:13–15; see Nm 11), the challenge to Moses’ authority (Ps 106:16–18; see Nm 16), the golden calf episode (Ps 106:19–23; see Ex 32–34), the refusal to take Canaan by the southern route (Ps 106:24–27; see Nm 13–14 and Dt 1–2), the rebellion at Baal-Peor (Ps 106:28–31; see Nm 25:1–10), the anger of Moses (Ps 106:32–33; see Nm 20:1–13), and mingling with the nations (Ps 106:34–47). The last, as suggested by its length and generalized language, may be the sin that invites the repentance of the present generation. The text gives the site of each sin: Egypt (Ps 106:7), the desert (Ps 106:14), the camp (Ps 106:16), Horeb (Ps 106:19), in their tents (Ps 106:25), Baal-Peor (Ps 106:28), the waters of Meribah (Ps 106:32), Canaan (Ps 106:38).
Israel’s Confession of Sin
Give thanks to the Lord, who is good,
whose mercy endures forever.#a. [106:1] Ps 100:5; 107:1; 1 Chr 16:34; Jer 33:11; Dn 3:89.
2Who can recount the mighty deeds of the Lord,
proclaim in full God’s praise?
3Blessed those who do what is right,
whose deeds are always just.#b. [106:3] Is 56:1–2.
4Remember me, Lord, as you favor your people;
come to me with your saving help,#c. [106:4] Ps 25:7; Neh 5:19.
5That I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
rejoice in the joy of your people,
and glory with your heritage.
6We have sinned like our ancestors;#d. [106:6–7] Ps 78:11–17; Ex 14:11; Lv 26:40; 1 Kgs 8:47; Bar 2:12; Dn 9:5.
we have done wrong and are guilty.
7Our ancestors in Egypt
did not attend to your wonders.
They did not remember your manifold mercy;
they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.
8Yet he saved them for his name’s sake
to make his power known.#e. [106:8] Ez 36:20–22.
9He roared at the Red Sea and it dried up.
He led them through the deep as through a desert.#f. [106:9] Ex 14:21–31; Is 50:2; 63:11–14; Na 1:4.
10He rescued them from hostile hands,
freed them from the power of the enemy.
11The waters covered their oppressors;
not one of them survived.
12Then they believed his words
and sang his praise.#g. [106:12] Ex 15:1–21.
13But they soon forgot all he had done;
they had no patience for his plan.
14In the desert they gave in to their cravings,
tempted God in the wasteland.#h. [106:14] Ps 78:18; Ex 15:24; 16:3; Nm 11:1–6.
15So he gave them what they asked
and sent a wasting disease against them.#i. [106:15] Ps 78:26–31; Nm 11:33.
16In the camp they challenged Moses#j. [106:16–18] Nm 16; Dt 11:6; Is 26:11.
and Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.
17The earth opened and swallowed Dathan,
it closed on the followers of Abiram.
18Against their company the fire blazed;
flames consumed the wicked.
19At Horeb they fashioned a calf,#k. [106:19–20] Ex 32; Dt 9:8–21; Jer 2:11; Acts 7:41; Rom 1:23.
worshiped a metal statue.
20They exchanged their glory#Their glory: meant as a reference to God.
for the image of a grass-eating bull.
21They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,#l. [106:21] Ps 78:42–58; Dt 32:18; Jer 2:32.
22Amazing deeds in the land of Ham,
fearsome deeds at the Red Sea.
23He would have decreed their destruction,
had not Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach#Withstood him in the breach: the image is that of Moses standing in a narrow break made in the wall to keep anyone from entering.
to turn back his destroying anger.#m. [106:23] Ex 32:11; Dt 9:25; Ez 22:30.
24Next they despised the beautiful land;#n. [106:24–27] Lv 26:33; Nm 14; Dt 1:25–36; Ez 20:15, 23.
they did not believe the promise.
25In their tents they complained;
they did not heed the voice of the Lord.
26So with raised hand he swore
he would destroy them in the desert,
27And scatter their descendants among the nations,
disperse them in foreign lands.
28They joined in the rites of Baal of Peor,#o. [106:28–31] Nm 25; Dt 26:14; Sir 45:23–24.
ate food sacrificed to the dead.
29They provoked him by their actions,
and a plague broke out among them.
30Then Phinehas rose to intervene,
and the plague was brought to a halt.
31This was counted for him as a righteous deed
for all generations to come.
32At the waters of Meribah they angered God,#p. [106:32–33] Ps 95:8–9; Ex 17:1–7; Nm 20:2–13; Dt 6:16; 33:8.
and Moses suffered because of them.#Moses suffered because of them: Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of his rash words (Nm 20:12). According to Dt 1:37, Moses was not allowed to cross because of the people’s sin, not his own.
33They so embittered his spirit
that rash words crossed his lips.
34They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord had commanded them,#q. [106:34] Dt 7:1; Jgs 2:1–5.
35But mingled with the nations
and imitated their ways.#r. [106:35] Lv 18:3; Jgs 1:27–35; 3:5.
36They served their idols
and were ensnared by them.#s. [106:36–38] Lv 18:21; Nm 35:33; Dt 32:17; Jgs 2:11–13, 17, 19; 2 Kgs 16:3; Bar 4:7; 1 Cor 10:20.
37They sacrificed to demons#Demons: Hebrew shedim occurs in parallelism with “gods” in an important inscription from Transjordan and hence can also be translated “the gods.”
their own sons and daughters,
38Shedding innocent blood,
the blood of their own sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
desecrating the land with bloodshed.
39They defiled themselves by their actions,
became adulterers by their conduct.
40So the Lord grew angry with his people,
abhorred his own heritage.
41He handed them over to the nations,
and their adversaries ruled over them.#t. [106:41] Jgs 2:14–23.
42Their enemies oppressed them,
kept them under subjection.
43Many times did he rescue them,
but they kept rebelling and scheming
and were brought low by their own guilt.#u. [106:43] Is 63:7–9.
44Still God had regard for their affliction
when he heard their wailing.
45For their sake he remembered his covenant
and relented in his abundant mercy,#v. [106:45] Lv 26:42.
46Winning for them compassion
from all who held them captive.
47Save us, Lord, our God;
gather us from among the nations
That we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in praising you.#w. [106:47] 1 Chr 16:35.
48#A doxology ending Book IV of the Psalter. It is not part of the Psalm.Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
Let all the people say, Amen!#x. [106:48] Ps 41:14; 72:18; 89:53; 1 Chr 16:36; Neh 9:5.