Praise to Yahweh (Ps 106:1-106:3)

“Praise Yahweh!

O give thanks to Yahweh!

He is good!

His steadfast love endures forever!

Who can utter the mighty deeds of Yahweh?

Who can declare all his praise?

Happy are those

Who observe justice!

Happy are those

Who do righteousness at all times!”

Psalm 106 is a continuation of Psalm 105, but is less joyful since it points out the many problems that the Israelites had. Once again there is no title to this psalm. However, it starts out with a rousing hymn to Yahweh. Praise Yahweh or alleluia, is the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” They are to give thanks to Yahweh because he is good. His steadfast love endures forever, a theme that is repeated over and over again. Who can say what all the mighty deeds of Yahweh are? Who can declare his praise? However, the happy ones are those who observe justice and are righteous all the time.

The possession of the Promised Land (Ps 105:42-105:45)

“Yahweh remembered his holy promise.

He remembered his servant Abraham.

He brought his people out with joy.

His chosen ones were singing.

He gave them the lands of the nations.

They took possession of the wealth of the peoples.

Thus they might keep his statutes.

Thus they might observe his laws.

Praise Yahweh!”

God remembered his holy promise to Abraham. He brought his people out of Egypt singing joyously. He gave them the land of the various countries or nations. They were able to take possession of the wealth of those people. Thus they were to keep and observe the statutes and laws of Yahweh. In this rendition of the Exodus there is no mention of the crossing of the Red Sea or the difficulties in taking possession of the Promised Land. This psalm ends with a great refrain “praise Yahweh,” which is another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”

Moses in the desert (Ps 105:37-105:41)

“Then he brought Israel out with silver and gold.

There was no one among their tribes who stumbled.

Egypt was glad when they departed.

The dread of them had fallen upon Egypt.

He spread a cloud for a covering.

He spread a fire to give light by night.

They asked.

Then he brought quails.

He gave them food from heaven in abundance.

He opened the rock.

Then water gushed out.

It flowed through the desert like a river.”

This is quick summary of Exodus, chapters 12-17. The Israelites left Egypt with silver and gold. No one of their tribes stumbled or fell. Thus Egypt was glad that they were gone since they were afraid of what would happen next. In the desert, they had a cloud for covering during the day and a fire as light at night. They wanted food and water, so God provided quails that flew in and manna from heaven in abundance as food. Moses struck a rock so that there was water in abundance like a river in the desert.

Moses and the plagues (Ps 105:26-105:36)

“Yahweh sent his servant Moses whom he had chosen.

He sent Aaron whom he had chosen.

They performed his signs among them.

They performed miracles in the land of Ham.

He sent darkness.

He made the land dark.

They rebelled against his words.

He turned their waters into blood.

He caused their fish to die.

Their land swarmed with frogs,

Even in the chambers of their kings.

He spoke.

Then there came swarms of flies.

There were gnats throughout their country.

He gave them hail for rain.

He gave them lightning that flashed through their land.

He struck their vines.

He struck their fig trees.

He shattered the trees of their country.

He spoke.

Then the locusts came.

There were young locusts without number.

They devoured all the vegetation in their land.

They ate up the fruit of their ground.

He struck down the entire first born in their land.

He struck down the first issue of all their strength.”

This section is based on Exodus, chapters 3-10. First, Yahweh chose Moses and Aaron. Then he performed signs and miracles in the land of Ham, Egypt. He sent darkness. He turned waters into blood so that the fish died. He sent swarms of frogs, flies, and gnats throughout the country, even in the royal chambers. He sent hail and lightning instead of gentle rain. He struck down the vines, fig trees, and shattered all the trees. He then sent numerous locusts that ate all the vegetation and fruits of the land. Finally, he struck down the first born through the country, both among humans and animals. This was just about total destruction to the land of Ham, the Egyptians.

Jacob goes to Egypt (Ps 105:23-10:25)

“Then Israel came to Egypt.

Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.

Yahweh made his people very fruitful.

He made them stronger than their foes.

He turned their hearts to hate his people.

Thus they dealt cunningly with his servants.”

Once again, this is a condensed version of the story in Genesis, chapters 46-47. Israel or Jacob came to Ham, because Ham supposedly settled in Egypt, at the request of Joseph, who had an important position in the Egyptian government. Then the sons of Jacob or the Israelites, as they came to be called, were very fruitful in Egypt. They grew stronger but the hearts of the Egyptians turned to hate them. They began to treat them cunningly. They became a treath to the immigrant Israelites since the Egyptians considered them as outsiders.

Joseph (Ps 105:16-105:22)

“When he summoned a famine against the land,

He broke every staff of bread.

He had sent a man ahead of them,

Joseph.

He was sold as a slave.

His feet were hurt with fetters.

His neck was put in a collar of iron.

His oracle came to pass.

As the word of Yahweh tested him.

The king then sent for him.

The king released him.

The ruler of the peoples

Set him free.

He made him

Lord of his house.

The king made him

Ruler of all his possessions.

Jospeh was to instruct

His officials at his pleasure.

He was to teach his elders wisdom.”

Here we find the story of Joseph as told in Genesis, chapters 37-50, but without the details of how he was betrayed by his brothers. Yahweh brought the famine that led Jacob and his sons to go to Egypt. Joseph hd gone ahead, but not voluntarily. He was sold as a slave or more precisely turned over by his brothers into slavery. While in Egypt, he was in jail. His dreams came through so he was released when they were found to be true. He was tested by Yahweh. Finally the king or pharaoh released him and put him in charge of his household and all his possessions. Jospeh then instructed the other officials in Egypt as he taught them wisdom. He made the correct preparations for the famine to come.

The wandering Israelites (Ps 105:12-105:15)

“When they were few in number,

Of little account,

Strangers in it,

They wandered from nation to nation.

They wandered from one kingdom to another people.

He allowed no one to oppress them.

He rebuked kings on their account.

He said.

‘Touch not my anointed ones.

Do my prophets no harm.’”

At one time the Israelites were not that large. They were strangers in other lands. They wandered from one country to another, from one kingdom to another. However, Yahweh did not allow anyone to oppress them. He would rebuke kings on their account. He told them not to touch his anointed ones. They were not to harm his prophets. Yet somehow, many of the Israelites complained about being persecuted by various countries and people.