PSALM 105#A hymn to God who promised the land of Canaan to the holy people, cf. Ps 78; 106; 136. Israel is invited to praise and seek the presence of God (Ps 105:1–6), who is faithful to the promise of land to the ancestors (Ps 105:7–11). In every phase of the national story—the ancestors in the land of Canaan (Ps 105:12–15), Joseph in Egypt (Ps 105:16–22), Israel in Egypt (Ps 105:23–38), Israel in the desert on the way to Canaan (Ps 105:39–45)—God remained faithful, reiterating the promise of the land to successive servants.
God’s Fidelity to the Promise
1Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name;#a. [105:1–15] 1 Chr 16:8–22.
make known among the peoples his deeds!#b. [105:1] Ps 18:50; 96:3; 145:5; Is 12:4–5.
2Sing praise to him, play music;
proclaim all his wondrous deeds!
3Glory in his holy name;
let hearts that seek the Lord rejoice!
4Seek out the Lord and his might;
constantly seek his face.#c. [105:4] Ps 24:6; 27:8.
5Recall the wondrous deeds he has done,
his wonders and words of judgment,
6You descendants of Abraham his servant,
offspring of Jacob the chosen one!
7He the Lord, is our God
whose judgments reach through all the earth.
8He remembers forever his covenant,
the word he commanded for a thousand generations,
9Which he made with Abraham,
and swore to Isaac,#d. [105:9] Gn 15:1ff; 26:3.
10And ratified in a statute for Jacob,
an everlasting covenant for Israel:
11“To you I give the land of Canaan,
your own allotted inheritance.”#e. [105:11] Gn 12:7; 15:18.
12When they were few in number,#f. [105:12–13] Dt 4:27; 26:5.
a handful, and strangers there,
13Wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
14He let no one oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:#Kings: Pharaoh and Abimelech of Gerar, cf. Gn 12:17; 20:6–7.
15#My anointed ones…my prophets: the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were “anointed” in the sense of being consecrated and recipients of God’s revelation.“Do not touch my anointed ones,
to my prophets do no harm.”
16Then he called down a famine on the land,
destroyed the grain that sustained them.#The grain that sustained them: lit., every “staff of bread.”#g. [105:16] Gn 41:54, 57.
17He had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.#h. [105:17] Gn 37:28, 36; 45:5.
18They shackled his feet with chains;
collared his neck in iron,#i. [105:18] Gn 39:20.
19Till his prediction came to pass,
and the word of the Lord proved him true.#j. [105:19] Gn 40–41.
20The king sent and released him;
the ruler of peoples set him free.#k. [105:20] Gn 41:14.
21He made him lord over his household,
ruler over all his possessions,#l. [105:21] Gn 41:41–44.
22To instruct his princes as he desired,
to teach his elders wisdom.
23Then Israel entered Egypt;#m. [105:23] Gn 46:1–47:12; Acts 7:15.
Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.#The land of Ham: a synonym for Egypt, cf. Gn 10:6.
24God greatly increased his people,
made them more numerous than their foes.#n. [105:24] Ex 1:7; Acts 7:17.
25He turned their hearts to hate his people,
to treat his servants deceitfully.#o. [105:25] Ex 1:8–14.
26He sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron whom he had chosen.#p. [105:26] Ex 3:10; 4:27.
27#This Psalm and Ps 78:43–51 have an account of the plagues differing in number or in order from Ex 7:14–12:30. Several versions of the exodus story were current.They worked his signs in Egypt#q. [105:27–36] Ps 78:43–51; Ex 7–12.
and wonders in the land of Ham.
28He sent darkness and it grew dark,
but they rebelled against his word.
29He turned their waters into blood
and killed their fish.
30Their land swarmed with frogs,
even the chambers of their kings.
31He spoke and there came swarms of flies,
gnats through all their country.
32For rain he gave them hail,
flashes of lightning throughout their land.
33He struck down their vines and fig trees,
shattered the trees of their country.
34He spoke and the locusts came,
grasshoppers without number.#r. [105:34] Jl 1:4.
35They devoured every plant in the land;
they devoured the crops of their fields.
36He struck down every firstborn in the land,
the first fruits of all their vigor.
37He brought his people out,
laden with silver and gold;#s. [105:37] Ex 12:33–36.
no one among the tribes stumbled.
38Egypt rejoiced when they left,
for fear had seized them.
39He spread a cloud out as a cover,
and made a fire to light up the night.#t. [105:39] Ps 78:14; Ex 13:21–22; Wis 18:3.
40They asked and he brought them quail;
with bread from heaven he filled them.#u. [105:40] Ps 78:24–28; Ex 16:13–15; Nm 11:31ff; Wis 16:20.
41He split the rock and water gushed forth;
it flowed through the desert like a river.#v. [105:41] Ps 78:15–16; Ex 17:1–7; Nm 20:11.
42For he remembered his sacred promise
to Abraham his servant.
43He brought his people out with joy,
his chosen ones with shouts of triumph.
44He gave them the lands of the nations,
they took possession of the wealth of the peoples,#w. [105:44] Dt 4:37–40.
45That they might keep his statutes
and observe his teachings.#x. [105:45] Dt 6:20–25; 7:8–11.