Psalm 106:30
Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.
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(30) Executed judgment.—The Prayer Book has “prayed,” following the Chaldee and Syriac. The LXX. and Vulg. have “appeased.”

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.Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment ... - Inflicted summary punishment upon a principal offender. Numbers 25:7-8. 30. stood—as Aaron "stood between the living and the dead, and the plague was stayed" (Nu 16:48).

executed judgment—literally, "judged," including sentence and act.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment,.... When none else would, he rose up in great zeal for the Lord of hosts; and took on him the work of a civil magistrate, and slew two persons of noble birth in the very act of fornication. The Targum is,

"he prayed''

and so the Syriac version

"he interceded with the Lord, that the plague might stop.''

This he might do, as well as the other, though it is not elsewhere recorded, and in which he succeeded: but in the Talmud (y) it is observed that it is not said (that is, "he prayed"), but from whence may be learned, if it is proper to say so, that he executed judgments with his Maker. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it, "he appeased"; made atonement for propitiation; and this is said of him, Numbers 25:13.

And so the plague was stayed; it was restrained from proceeding further; no more execution was done by it. In this he was a type of Christ, who, by doing righteousness, by the atoning sacrifice of himself, and by his intercession, has appeased the wrath of God, and satisfied divine justice so that there is no condemnation to them that are interested in him; no evil of punishment shall befall them, nor plague come nigh them.

(y) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 82. 2.

Then stood up {r} Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed.

(r) When all others neglected God's glory, he in his zeal killed the adulterers and prevented God's wrath.

30. Then stood up Phinehas] Cp. Numbers 25:7; and for ‘stood,’ Numbers 16:48.

and executed judgment] So rightly Jerome, diiudicavit. P.B.V. prayed follows the Syr. and Targ.; but this is not the regular meaning of the form of the verb, and does not agree with the history.

and so the plague was stayed] From Numbers 25:8.

Verse 30. - Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment (see Numbers 25:7, 8). Some critics, however, translate יפלל, by "mediated" (Kay, Cheyne). And so the plague was stayed (comp. Numbers 25:8). Psalm 106:30The fact to which the poet refers in Psalm 106:24, viz., the rebellion in consequence of the report of the spies, which he brings forward as the fourth principal sin, is narrated in Numbers 13, Numbers 14. The appellation ארץ חמדּה is also found in Jeremiah 3:19; Zechariah 7:14. As to the rest, the expression is altogether Pentateuchal. "They despised the land," after Numbers 14:31; "they murmured in their tents," after Deuteronomy 1:27; "to lift up the land" equals to swear, after Exodus 6:8; Deuteronomy 32:40; the threat להפּיל, to make them fall down, fall away, after Numbers 14:29, Numbers 14:32. The threat of exile is founded upon the two great threatening chapters, Leviticus 26; Deuteronomy 28:1; cf. more particularly Leviticus 26:33 (together with the echoes in Ezekiel 5:12; Ezekiel 12:14, etc.), Deuteronomy 28:64 (together with the echoes in Jeremiah 9:15; Ezekiel 22:15, etc.). Ezekiel 20:23 stands in a not accidental relationship to Psalm 106:26.; and according to that passage, וּלהפיל is an error of the copyist for וּלהפיץ (Hitzig).

Now follows in Psalm 106:28-31 the fifth of the principal sins, viz., the taking part in the Moabitish worship of Baal. The verb נצמד (to be bound or chained), taken from Numbers 25:3, Numbers 25:5, points to the prostitution with which Baal Per, this Moabitish Priapus, was worshipped. The sacrificial feastings in which, according to Numbers 25:2, they took part, are called eating the sacrifices of the dead, because the idols are dead beings (nekroi', Wisd. 13:10-18) as opposed to God, the living One. The catena on Revelation 2:14 correctly interprets: τὰ τοῖς εἰδώλοις τελεσθέντα κρέα.

(Note: In the second section of Aboda zara, on the words of the Mishna: "The flesh which is intended to be offered first of all to idols is allowed, but that which comes out of the temple is forbidden, because it is like sacrifices of the dead," it is observed, fol. 32b: "Whence, said R. Jehuda ben Bethra, do I know that that which is offered to idols (תקרובת לעבדה זרה) pollutes like a dead body? From Psalm 106:28. As the dead body pollutes everything that is under the same roof with it, so also does everything that is offered to idols." The Apostle Paul declares the objectivity of this pollution to be vain, cf. more particularly 1 Corinthians 10:28.)

The object of "they made angry" is omitted; the author is fond of this, cf. Psalm 106:7 and Psalm 106:32. The expression in Psalm 106:29 is like Exodus 19:24. The verb עמד is chosen with reference to Numbers 17:13. The result is expressed in Psalm 106:30 after Numbers 25:8, Numbers 25:18., Numbers 17:13. With פּלּל, to adjust, to judge adjustingly (lxx, Vulgate, correctly according to the sense, ἐξιλάσατο), the poet associates the thought of the satisfaction due to divine right, which Phinehas executed with the javelin. This act of zeal for Jahve, which compensated for Israel's unfaithfulness, was accounted unto him for righteousness, by his being rewarded for it with the priesthood unto everlasting ages, Numbers 25:10-13. This accounting of a work for righteousness is only apparently contradictory to Genesis 15:5.: it was indeed an act which sprang from a constancy in faith, and one which obtained for him the acceptation of a righteous man for the sake of this upon which it was based, by proving him to be such.

In Psalm 106:32, Psalm 106:33 follows the sixth of the principal sins, viz., the insurrection against Moses and Aaron at the waters of strife in the fortieth year, in connection with which Moses forfeited the entrance with them into the Land of Promise (Numbers 20:11., Deuteronomy 1:37; Deuteronomy 32:51), since he suffered himself to be carried away by the persevering obstinacy of the people against the Spirit of God (המרה mostly providing the future for מרה, as in Psalm 106:7, Psalm 106:43, Psalm 78:17, Psalm 78:40, Psalm 78:56, of obstinacy against God; on את־רוּחו cf. Isaiah 63:10) into uttering the words addressed to the people, Numbers 20:10, in which, as the smiting of the rock which was twice repeated shows, is expressed impatience together with a tinge of unbelief. The poet distinguishes, as does the narrative in Numbers 20, between the obstinacy of the people and the transgression of Moses, which is there designated, according to that which lay at the root of it, as unbelief. The retrospective reference to Numbers 27:14 needs adjustment accordingly.

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