Psalm 106:14
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Lusted.—See margin.

106:13-33 Those that will not wait for God's counsel, shall justly be given up to their own hearts' lusts, to walk in their own counsels. An undue desire, even for lawful things, becomes sinful. God showed his displeasure for this. He filled them with uneasiness of mind, terror of conscience, and self-reproach. Many that fare deliciously every day, and whose bodies are healthful, have leanness in their souls: no love to God, no thankfulness, no appetite for the Bread of life, and then the soul must be lean. Those wretchedly forget themselves, that feast their bodies and starve their souls. Even the true believer will see abundant cause to say, It is of the Lord's mercies that I am not consumed. Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed. If God dealt severely with Moses for unadvised words, what do those deserve who speak many proud and wicked words? It is just in God to remove those relations that are blessings to us, when we are peevish and provoking to them, and grieve their spirits.But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness - Margin, as in Hebrew, "lusted a lust." The reference is to their desire of better food than the manna.

And tempted God in the desert - Tried God, whether he "could" provide for them food and drink. Psalm 78:19-20.

14. Literally, "lusted a lust" (quoted from Nu 11:4, Margin). Previously, there had been impatience as to necessaries of life; here it is lusting (Ps 78:18). Lusted exceedingly, to wit, for flesh, as the next verse showeth.

But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,.... Or, "lusted a lust" (p) as in Numbers 11:4 to which story there related this refers; they were not content with the manna they had every day, though very nourishing and of a sweet taste; they lusted after the fish and flesh of Egypt, and other things they ate there; so that this was not a natural lust, or craving after food and drink, to satisfy nature, which would not have been criminal; but a voluptuous last to gratify their appetite: it was lusting after evil tidings, as the apostle interprets it, 1 Corinthians 10:6, lust after sinful things, or any unlawful object, or after anything in an unlawful way, is sin.

And tempted God in the desert; which is expressly forbidden by a law which our Lord referred to when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness: a very ungrateful action this, since God tempts no man to sin; a very daring impiety, a sin of the first magnitude, and which lay in making experiments, in trying whether the presence of God was among them or not; and putting God as it were on proving that he had power sufficient to provide for them in the wilderness; see Exodus 17:7. It seems it was Jesus Christ whom they tempted, from whence it appears that he is truly God, 1 Corinthians 10:9. Both in this and the preceding clause an emphasis lies on the place where all this was done, the wilderness or desert, where God had done such great things for them, and where they could not help themselves, but were wholly and immediately dependent on him.

(p) "concupierunt concupiscentiam", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. A glance at yet another occasion of murmuring and its punishment The phrase and they fell a lusting, is taken from Numbers 11:4; cp. Psalm 78:29-30. They tempted God, i.e. tested Him, put Him to the proof, by questioning His will and ability to provide for them (Psalm 78:18).

Verse 14. - But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness; literally, "lusted a lust." The expression is taken from Numbers 11:4, where it is translated in the Authorized Version by "fell a-lusting." The lust was for "flesh," and for "the fish, the cucumbers, the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic, which they did eat in Egypt freely" (Numbers 11:5). And tempted God in the desert (comp. Psalm 78:18). Psalm 106:14The first of the principal sins on the other side of the Red Sea was the unthankful, impatient, unbelieving murmuring about their meat and drink, Psalm 106:13-15. For what Psalm 106:13 places foremost was the root of the whole evil, that, falling away from faith in God's promise, they forgot the works of God which had been wrought in confirmation of it, and did not wait for the carrying out of His counsel. The poet has before his eye the murmuring for water on the third day after the miraculous deliverance (Exodus 15:22-24) and in Rephidim (Exodus 17:2). Then the murmuring for flesh in the first and second years of the exodus which was followed by the sending of the quails (Exodus 16 and Numbers 11), together with the wrathful judgment by which the murmuring for the second time was punished (Kibrôth ha-Ta'avah, Numbers 11:33-35). This dispensation of wrath the poet calls רזון (lxx, Vulgate, and Syriac erroneously πλησμονήν, perhaps מזון, nourishment), inasmuch as he interprets Numbers 11:33-35 of a wasting disease, which swept away the people in consequence of eating inordinately of the flesh, and in the expression (cf. Psalm 78:31) he closely follows Isaiah 10:16. The "counsel" of God for which they would not wait, is His plan with respect to the time and manner of the help. חכּה, root Arab. ḥk, a weaker power of Arab. ḥq, whence also Arab. ḥkl, p. 111, ḥkm, p. 49 note 1, signifies prop. to make firm, e.g., a knot (cf. on Psalm 33:20), and starting from this (without the intervention of the metaphor moras nectere, as Schultens thinks) is transferred to a firm bent of mind, and the tension of long expectation. The epigrammatic expression ויּתאוּוּ תאוה (plural of ויתאו, Isaiah 45:12, for which codices, as also in Proverbs 23:3, Proverbs 23:6; Proverbs 24:1, the Complutensian, Venetian 1521, Elias Levita, and Baer have ויתאו without the tonic lengthening) is taken from Numbers 11:4.

The second principal sin was the insurrection against their superiors, Psalm 106:16-18. The poet has Numbers 16:1 in his eye. The rebellious ones were swallowed up by the earth, and their two hundred and fifty noble, non-Levite partisans consumed by fire. The fact that the poet does not mention Korah among those who were swallowed up is in perfect harmony with Numbers 16:25., Deuteronomy 11:6; cf. however Numbers 26:10. The elliptical תפתּה in Psalm 106:17 is explained from Numbers 16:32; Numbers 26:10.

The third principal sin was the worship of the calf, Psalm 106:19-23. The poet here glances back at Exodus 32, but not without at the same time having Deuteronomy 9:8-12 in his mind; for the expression "in Horeb" is Deuteronomic, e.g., Deuteronomy 4:15; Deuteronomy 5:2, and frequently. Psalm 106:20 is also based upon the Book of Deuteronomy: they exchanged their glory, i.e., the God who was their distinction before all peoples according to Deuteronomy 4:6-8; Deuteronomy 10:21 (cf. also Jeremiah 2:11), for the likeness (תּבנית) of a plough-ox (for this is pre-eminently called שׁוּר, in the dialects תּור), contrary to the prohibition in Deuteronomy 4:17. On Psalm 106:21 cf. the warning in Deuteronomy 6:12. "Land of Cham" equals Egypt, as in Psalm 78:51; Psalm 105:23, Psalm 105:27. With ויאמר in Psalm 106:23 the expression becomes again Deuteronomic: Deuteronomy 9:25, cf. Exodus 32:10. God made and also expressed the resolve to destroy Israel. Then Moses stepped into the gap (before the gap), i.e., as it were covered the breach, inasmuch as he placed himself in it and exposed his own life; cf. on the fact, besides Exodus 32, also Deuteronomy 9:18., Psalm 10:10, and on the expression, Ezekiel 22:30 and also Jeremiah 18:20.

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