|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
106:34-48 The conduct of the Israelites in Canaan, and God's dealings with them, show that the way of sin is down-hill; omissions make way for commissions: when they neglected to destroy the heathen, they learned their works. One sin led to many more, and brought the judgments of God on them. Their sin was, in part, their own punishment. Sinners often see themselves ruined by those who led them into evil. Satan, who is a tempter, will be a tormentor. At length, God showed pity to his people for his covenant's sake. The unchangeableness of God's merciful nature and love to his people, makes him change the course of justice into mercy; and no other change is meant by God's repentance. Our case is awful when the outward church is considered. When nations professing Christianity, are so guilty as we are, no wonder if the Lord brings them low for their sins. Unless there is general and deep repentance, there can be no prospect but of increasing calamities. The psalm concludes with prayer for completing the deliverance of God's people, and praise for the beginning and progress of it. May all the people of the earth, ere long, add their Amen.
Verse 37. - Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils. The Moloch sacrifices of children by their parents are evidently intended (comp. Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Kings 3:27; Jeremiah 7:31; Ezekiel 23:37, etc.). (For the identification of the false gods of the heathen with "devils," comp. Leviticus 17:71; Deuteronomy 32:17; 2 Chronicles 11:15; 1 Corinthians 10:20, 21.) It is argued by some that the use of the word "devils," or "demons," here does not imply that the objects of the worship were evil spirits. But it is difficult to see what else can be meant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils. Who have their name here given them from a word that signifies to waste and destroy, they being the destroyers of mankind. So the Targum renders it by which signifies spirits noxious and hurtful; but R. Elias Levita, in his Tishbi, p. 233, says it is a mistake to derive it from the root which signifies to waste and destroy; for then he says the "daleth" should have a "dagesh"; but does not tell us from whence it is derived. De Dieu, on Matthew 9:32, derives it from the Arabic word "to rule", for these demons were heroes, princes who ruled over others, and so were reckoned among the gods. As Satan, the head of them, was a murderer from the beginning, the cause of the ruin of our first parents, and of all their posterity; and may be truly called, as the king of the locusts is, "Apollyon" or "Abaddon", John 8:44 these the Israelites sacrificed unto, as the Gentiles did, Leviticus 17:7 and not lambs and rams, sheep, goats, and bullocks, but their sons and daughters; which they not only caused to pass through the fire to Moloch, which was a lustration of them by the flame, or causing them to pass between two fires; but they sacrificed them to be devoured, and actually burned them; see Jeremiah 7:31. From whence we may see of what a hardening nature sin is, and how by degrees persons may be brought to commit things the most shocking to nature, and which they some time before shuddered at. First, these Israelites mix themselves with the Heathens they spared, whom they should have destroyed; then they learn, by being among them, to do as they did, to walk in the vanity of their minds like them; and then they are enticed to serve their idols, and at last to sacrifice their sons and daughters to devils; which was no other than murder, and that of the most heinous nature: as follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
37. unto devils—Septuagint, "demons" (compare 1Co 10:20), or "evil spirits."
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