|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 39. - Thus were they defiled with their own works. The heathen "works," which they adopted from them (ver. 35), had become "their own works," and made them a "defiled" and "polluted" people. And went a-whoring with their own inventions; i.e. "became spiritually adulterous," deserted God, and were unfaithful to him (comp. Ezekiel 23:2-21; Hosea 2:2-5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus were they defiled with their own works,.... Not the land only, but they themselves also; or "with their works" (a), with the works of the Heathen they learned, Psalm 106:35, or rather with their own works, the works of the flesh, especially their shocking idolatries: sin is of a defiling nature; it has defiled all men, it defiles all of men, all the faculties of their souls, and all the members of their bodies; nor can anything truly and thoroughly cleanse from it but the blood of Christ: even men's works of righteousness are as filthy rags and defiling, and much more their evil works.
And went a whoring with their own inventions; after other gods; idolatry is often in Scripture signified by whoredom; the idolatry of Israel and Judah is represented by two harlots and their lewd practices, in Ezekiel 23:1 and hence the apostate church of Rome is compared to a whore, because of her idolatry, Revelation 17:1.
(a) "operibus earum", Muis; so Ainsworth.
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