Psalm 106:38
And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(38) Innocent blood.—Human sacrifice, and especially that of children, was a Canaanite practice. It seems to have been inherent in Phoenician custom, for Carthage was, two centuries after Christ, notorious for it. (See Sil. Ital., iv. 767.)

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.And shed innocent blood ... - The blood of those who had committed no crime; who did not "deserve" the treatment which they received. That is, they were sacrificed "as" innocent persons, and "because" it was believed that they "were" innocent: the pure for the impure; the holy for the unholy. It was on the general principle that a sacrifice for sin must be itself pure, or it could not be offered in the place of the guilty; that an offering made for one who had violated law must be by one who had "not" violated it. This was the principle on which "lambs" were offered in sacrifice. It is on this principle that the atonement for sin by the Lord Jesus was made; on this depend its efficacy and its value.

And the land was polluted with blood - That is, Either so much blood was thus poured out, that it might be said that the very land was polluted with it; or, the sin itself was so great, that it seemed to defile and pollute the whole land.

38. polluted with blood—literally, "blood," or "murder" (Ps 5:6; 26:9). Innocent blood; the blood of their children, who, though sinners before God, yet were innocent as to them, from any crime deserving such barbarous usage from them.

And shed innocent blood,.... The blood of innocent persons; not that any of Adam's posterity, descending from him by ordinary generation, are strictly and properly innocent, or free from sin; self-righteous persons have thought themselves, touching the righteousness of the law, blameless; and some perfectionists have pretended to be free from sin, but are not such; they who are justified by the righteousness of Christ, and washed in his blood, are, so considered, all fair and without spot; are without fault before the throne, and unreproveable in the sight of God: but, considered in themselves, are not without sin; only the man Christ Jesus is perfectly holy and free from sin, being born of a virgin, under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost; otherwise all descending from Adam sinned in him, are conceived in sin, and polluted with it; nor can a clean thing be brought out of an unclean, no, not one: though infants may be said to be innocent in comparison of adult persons, guilty of actual transgressions, who have lived in sin, and committed many gross iniquities; as also they may be so called as being undeserving of such barbarous and inhuman usage here mentioned.

Even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan; this was a further aggravation of their wickedness, that it was not only innocent blood, but the blood of their own children, they shed; their own flesh and blood, pieces of themselves; and their near alliance to them gave them no power over their lives; but, on the contrary, the nearer they were in blood to them, the greater and more horrid was their sin; and what still added to it was, that they were the idols of Canaan, of that people whom the Lord abhorred, and had drove out before them, and had given their land; to them they sacrificed them; so that here was a complication of wickedness in this affair.

And the land was polluted with blood; with innocent blood, the blood of their own children; with the sins of murder, as the Targum; which only can be cleansed with the blood of the murderers, Numbers 35:33, even the land which the Lord separated from all others for his people; in which his tabernacle was placed, and his worship set up, and therefore called the holy land, Zechariah 2:12.

And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
38. Human sacrifices, the horror of which was intensified by the tender age of the victims and their relation to the offerers, are mentioned as the climax of the abominations of the Canaanites (Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:9-10), and of the Israelites who copied their ways (Ezekiel 16:20-21; Ezekiel 20:31).

the land was polluted with blood] Cp. Numbers 35:33-34; and for the thought of the defilement of a land by the sins of its inhabitants see Leviticus 18:24 ff.; Isaiah 24:5; Jeremiah 3:1-2; Jeremiah 3:9. The Canaanites had been condemned to extermination for their enormities; but Israel failed to take warning from their fate.

Verse 38. - And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters. Infants, who could have committed no actual sin, were the ordinary victims in the Moloch sacrifices (see Jarchi on Jeremiah 7:31; Diod. Sic., 20:14; Dollinger, 'Judenthum und Heidenthum,' 1:427, Engl. trans.). Whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan. Bloody offerings of this horrible kind were made, not only to Moloch, but also to Baal (Jeremiah 19:5), to Chemosh (2 Kings 3:27), and perhaps to other deities. And the land was polluted with blood. Contrary to the commandment given in Deuteronomy 35:33, "Ye shall not pollute the laud wherein ye are." The "innocent blood" shed in the land is often declared to have been the especial cause of God's anger against Israel, and of his final casting away of his inheritance (2 Kings 24:4; Isaiah 59:7; Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 22:3, 17, etc.). Psalm 106:38The sins in Canaan: the failing to exterminate the idolatrous peoples and sharing in their idolatry. In Psalm 106:34 the poet appeals to the command, frequently enjoined upon them from Exodus 23:32. onwards, to extirpate the inhabitants of Canaan. Since they did not execute this command (vid., Judges 1:1), that which it was intended to prevent came to pass: the heathen became to them a snare (mowqeesh), Exodus 23:33; Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:16. They intermarried with them, and fell into the Canaanitish custom in which the abominations of heathenism culminate, viz., the human sacrifice, which Jahve abhorreth (Deuteronomy 12:31), and only the demons (שׁדים, Deuteronomy 32:17) delight in. Thus then the land was defiled by blood-guiltiness (חנף, Numbers 35:33, cf. Isaiah 24:5; Isaiah 26:21), and they themselves became unclean (Ezekiel 20:43) by the whoredom of idolatry. In Psalm 106:40-43 the poet (as in Nehemiah 9:26.) sketches the alternation of apostasy, captivity, redemption, and relapse which followed upon the possession of Canaan, and more especially that which characterized the period of the judges. God's "counsel" was to make Israel free and glorious, but they leaned upon themselves, following their own intentions (בּעצתם); wherefore they perished in their sins. The poet uses מכך (to sink down, fall away) instead of the נמק (to moulder, rot) of the primary passage, Leviticus 26:39, retained in Ezekiel 24:23; Ezekiel 33:10, which is no blunder (Hitzig), but a deliberate change.
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