Psalm 106:26
Therefore he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Lifted up his hand.—Not to strike, but to give emphasis to the oath pronounced against the sinners. (See Exodus 6:8, margin; Deuteronomy 32:40; comp. Psalm 144:8.) The substance of the oath here referred to is given in Numbers 14:28-35.

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.Therefore he lifted up his hand against them - Numbers 14:27-33. He resolved to cut them off, so that none of them should reach the promised land.

To overthrow them in the wilderness - literally, to cause them to "fall."

26. lifted up his hand—or, "swore," the usual form of swearing (compare Nu 14:30, Margin). He lifted up his hand; he sware, as this phrase is commonly used, as Genesis 14:22 Deu 32:40 Nehemiah 9:15 Revelation 10:5,6: of this dreadful and irrevocable sentence and oath of God, see Numbers 14. Therefore he lifted up his hand against them,.... A gesture used in swearing, Genesis 14:22. So the Targum understands it here,

"and he lifted up his hand with an oath, because of them:''

and so it is interpreted by Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech; and agrees with Numbers 14:28. The same gesture was used by the Heathens in swearing, as by Latinus (s). Or he lifted up his hand, in a way of judgment, to strike the blow; and which, when it lights on man with the indignation of his anger, falls heavy; see Isaiah 26:11. To overthrow them in the wilderness; as he did all the murmuring generation that came out of Egypt, all but Caleb and Joshua; all from twenty years and upwards, their carcasses fell in the wilderness; there they were wasted, consumed, and died, Numbers 14:32.

(s) "----Tenditque ad sidera dextram--Terram, mare, sidera juro", Virg. Aeneid. 12.

Therefore {n} he lifted up his hand against them, to overthrow them in the wilderness:

(n) That is, he swore. Sometimes also it means to punish.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. So he lifted up his hand unto them

That he would make them fall in the wilderness.

i.e. He swore solemnly. See Numbers 14:28-29; Numbers 14:32, “As I live … your carcases shall fall in the wilderness.” ‘Lifting up the hand’ to heaven is man’s gesture as he appeals to God in an oath. The phrase is transferred ‘anthropopathically’ to God. Cp. Exodus 6:8; Deuteronomy 32:40; Ezekiel 20:23.Verse 26. - Therefore he lifted up his hand against them (comp. Numbers 14:30, marginal rendering). The phrase is used with reference to the uplifting of the hand width accompanied an oath. To overthrow them in the wilderness (see Numbers 14:29, 32, 37). The death in the wilderness of the entire generation which had set out from Egypt, save only Joshua and Caleb, is the "overthrow" intended. The 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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