Psalm 106:7
Our fathers understood not your wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of your mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
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(7) At the sea.—LXX., “going up to the sea.” (12) An epitome of Exodus 14:31; Exodus 14:15

106:6-12 Here begins a confession of sin; for we must acknowledge that the Lord has done right, and we have done wickedly. We are encouraged to hope that though justly corrected, yet we shall not be utterly forsaken. God's afflicted people own themselves guilty before him. God is distrusted because his favours are not remembered. If he did not save us for his own name's sake, and to the praise of his power and grace, we should all perish.Our fathers understood not - They did not fully comprehend the design of the divine dealings. They did not perceive the greatness of the favor shown to them, or the obligation to obey and serve God under which they were placed by these remarkable manifestations.

Thy wonders in Egypt - The miracles performed there in behalf of the Hebrew people.

They remembered not the multitude of thy mercies - The great number of the divine interpositions in their behalf. They did not allow them to influence their conduct as they should have done. The aggravation of their offence in the case here referred to was particularly in the "multitude" of the mercies. It would have been sinful to have forgotten even one act of the divine favor; it was a great aggravation of their guilt that "so many" acts were forgotten, or that they failed to make an impression on them. So now. It is a great sin to be unmindful of a "single" favor conferred by God; it is a great aggravation of guilt that men live continually amidst so many proofs of the divine goodness; that they are fed, and clothed, and protected; that they breathe the pure air, and look upon the light of the sun; that they enjoy the comforts of domestic life, the blessings of liberty, and the offers of salvation; that they lie down and rise up; that their toils are crowned with success, and that the blessings of every land are made to come around them - and yet they forget or disregard all these proofs of the divine mercy.

But provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea - Exodus 14:10-12. They "rebelled" against him. Even amidst the wonders there occurring, and after all the blessings which they had received at his hands, when they were in danger they doubted his power, and called in question his faithfulness.

7-12. Special confession. Their rebellion at the sea (Ex 14:11) was because they had not remembered nor understood God's miracles on their behalf. That God saved them in their unbelief was of His mere mercy, and for His own glory.

the sea … the Red Sea—the very words in which Moses' song celebrated the scene of Israel's deliverance (Ex 15:4). Israel began to rebel against God at the very moment and scene of its deliverance by God!

Understood not; or, considered not, to wit, so as to be rightly affected with them, to give thee that love, and praise, and trust, and obedience which they deserved and required.

Even at the Red Sea; when those wonders of thy power and goodness in Egypt were but newly done, and fresh in memory. Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt,.... Or, "our fathers in Egypt" (l); while they were there, they did not understand, or wisely consider and attend unto, the miracles there wrought, the plagues inflicted on the Egyptians. These were done in their sight, they saw them with their eyes; yet had not hearts to perceive them, and understand the true use and design of them: not only that these were for the destruction of their enemies, and for their deliverance from them; but that they were proofs of the power of God, and of his being the one only and true God, in opposition to the idols of the Egyptians; and that he only ought to be adhered unto, worshipped, and trusted in. Had they adverted to these things, they would not so easily have given in to a murmuring and repining spirit, to a distrust of the power and providence of God, and to idolatry, as they did; see Deuteronomy 29:2, something of this kind may be observed in the disciples of Christ, Mark 6:52.

They remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; the mercies of God bestowed on his people are many, both temporal and spiritual; there is a multitude of them; the sum of them is great, it cannot well be said how great it is: but though they are so many as not to be reckoned up in order, yet a grateful remembrance of them should be kept up; it is sinful to forget them, and argues great ingratitude. Past mercies should be remembered, both for the glory of God, and to encourage faith and hope in him, with respect to future ones, as well as to preserve from sinning against him. The stupidity and ingratitude of this people, here confessed, were the source of their rebellion against God, as follows:

but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea; or, "sea of Suph" (m); so called, either from a city of this name, which it washed, as Hillerus (n) thinks; see Numbers 21:14 or from the sedge and weeds in it, or reeds and rushes that grew upon the banks of it. When they were come hither, though just brought out of Egyptian bondage, and had seen the wonders the Lord had done; and though now in the utmost distress, the Egyptian army behind them, and the sea before them; yet neither past mercies nor present danger could keep them from rebelling against the Lord. They provoked him by their language to Moses;

because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Exodus 14:11. The Targum is,

"but they rebelled against thy word.''

(l) "patres nostri in Aegypto", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (m) "in mari Suph", Pagninus, Vatablus, Schmidt; "in mare carecti", Montanus; "mare algosum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. (n) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 128, 940.

Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red sea.
7. Our fathers in Egypt considered not thy marvellous works: They remembered not the abundance of thy lovingkindnesses,

And were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea.

Lack of insight (cp. Deuteronomy 32:28-29) had characterised Israel from the first. The ‘marvellous works’ of Jehovah (Psalm 105:2; Psalm 105:5) by which He had effected their deliverance from Egypt (Psalm 78:43 ff.; Psalm 105:27 ff.) had failed to make them understand His character and will. So short were their memories, that at the first sign of danger, they rebelled against God’s purpose to deliver them (Exodus 14:11-12). Again and again forgetfulness of past mercies is stigmatized as the source of sin. Cp. Psalm 106:13; Psalm 106:21; Psalm 78:11; Deuteronomy 32:18; and often; and Israel’s sin is described as ‘rebellion’;—obstinate resistance to the revealed Will of God. Cp. Psalm 106:33; Psalm 106:43, and Psalm 78:17, note.

The construction of the last line is suspicious, and it has been plausibly conjectured that we should read, and rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea, as in Psalm 78:17; Psalm 78:56.

7–12. The first instance of Israel’s sin; their unbelief and murmuring at the Red Sea.Verse 7. - Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; rather, considered not - did not give serious thought to them; took them as matters of course, and so were not impressed by them. They remembered not the multitude of thy mercies (comp. Psalm 69:16; Isaiah 63:7; Lamentations 3:32; and infra, ver. 45). But provoked him; rather, were rebellious (see the Revised Version). At the sea, even at the Red Sea (comp. Exodus 14:11, 12). The Psalm begins with the liturgical call, which has not coined for the first time in the Maccabaean age (1 Macc. 4:24), but was already in use in Jeremiah's time (Psalm 33:11). The lxx appropriately renders טּוב by χρηστός, for God is called "good" not so much in respect of His nature as of the revelation of His nature. The fulness of this revelation, says Psalm 106:2 (like Psalm 40:6), is inexhaustible. גּבוּרות are the manifestations of His all-conquering power which makes everything subservient to His redemptive purposes (Psalm 20:7); and תּהלּה is the glory (praise or celebration) of His self-attestation in history. The proclaiming of these on the part of man can never be an exhaustive echo of them. In Psalm 106:3 the poet tells what is the character of those who experience such manifestations of God; and to the assertion of the blessedness of these men he appends the petition in Psalm 106:4, that God would grant him a share in the experiences of the whole nation which is the object of these manifestations. עמּך beside בּרצון is a genitive of the object: with the pleasure which Thou turnest towards Thy people, i.e., when Thou again (cf. Psalm 106:47) showest Thyself gracious unto them. On פּקד cf. Psalm 8:5; Psalm 80:15, and on ראה ב, Jeremiah 29:32; a similar Beth is that beside לשׂמח (at, on account of, not: in connection with), Psalm 21:2; Psalm 122:1. God's "inheritance" is His people; the name for them is varied four times, and thereby גּוי is also exceptionally brought into use, as in Zephaniah 2:9.
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