Psalm 107:36
And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
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107:33-43 What surprising changes are often made in the affairs of men! Let the present desolate state of Judea, and of other countries, explain this. If we look abroad in the world, we see many greatly increase, whose beginning was small. We see many who have thus suddenly risen, as suddenly brought to nothing. Worldly wealth is uncertain; often those who are filled with it, ere they are aware, lose it again. God has many ways of making men poor. The righteous shall rejoice. It shall fully convince all those who deny the Divine Providence. When sinners see how justly God takes away the gifts they have abused, they will not have a word to say. It is of great use to us to be fully assured of God's goodness, and duly affected with it. It is our wisdom to mind our duty, and to refer our comfort to him. A truly wise person will treasure in his heart this delightful psalm. From it, he will fully understand the weakness and wretchedness of man, and the power and loving-kindness of God, not for our merit, but for his mercy's sake.And there he maketh the hungry to dwell - Those who were in want; those who would have perished. It is not necessary to refer this to any particular case. It is a general statement, pertaining to changes which God makes upon the earth, as great as if he "should" thus convert a desert into a fruitful field - a barren waste into a land abounding in springs of water; as if he should conduct there a company of famished men, and provide for them food in abundance.

That they may prepare a city for habitation - A permanent dwelling-place for man.

33-41. He turneth rivers into a wilderness, &c.—God's providence is illustriously displayed in His influence on two great elements of human prosperity, the earth's productiveness and the powers of government. He punishes the wicked by destroying the sources of fertility, or, in mercy, gives fruitfulness to deserts, which become the homes of a busy and successful agricultural population. By a permitted misrule and tyranny, this scene of prosperity is changed to one of adversity. He rules rulers, setting up one and putting down another. The hungry; poor people; who could not provide for themselves, or were banished from their own land by potent oppressors, and were driven into wildernesses, like them Job 30:3, which God in pity to them made fruitful.

And there he maketh the hungry to dwell,.... In those fruitful places which they find agreeable to them, and so fix upon them as the places of their abode, and build houses, and dwell there; having all the conveniences of life, which they wanted elsewhere: so such as hunger and thirst after righteousness make to such places where the waters are, the word is preached, and ordinances administered; and here they take up their dwelling, their bread being given them, and their waters sure unto them.

That they may prepare a city for habitation; those poor necessitous persons, as they were when they first came; building houses, and others continually coming to them, by degrees form a well regulated city, which are a large number of inhabitants: which may be considered as an emblem of the church of God, often compared to a city; and is an habitation for God, and where saints desire and delight to dwell.

And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
36. And there he hath made the hungry to dwell,

And they have founded an inhabited city,

Verse 36. - And there he maketh the hungry to dwell. God gives the laud, which he has thus blessed, to some previously famishing people; as he did Canaan to Israel after they had had but scant fare in the wilderness. That they may prepare a city for habitation; literally, and they prepare. It is naturally their first thought to prepare themselves a settled dwelling-place (comp. Genesis 4:17; Genesis 11:4; Genesis 25:16, etc.). Psalm 107:36Since in Psalm 107:36 the historical narration is still continued, a meaning relating to the contemporaneous past is also retrospectively given to the two correlative ישׂם. It now goes on to tell what those who have now returned have observed and experienced in their own case. Psalm 107:33 sounds like Isaiah 50:2; Psalm 107:33 like Isaiah 35:7; and Psalm 107:35 takes its rise from Isaiah 41:18. The juxtaposition of מוצאי and צמּאון, since Deuteronomy 8:15, belongs to the favourite antithetical alliterations, e.g., Isaiah 61:3. מלחה, that which is salty (lxx cf. Sir. 39:23: ἅλμη), is, as in Job 39:6, the name for the uncultivated, barren steppe. A land that has been laid waste for the punishment of its inhabitants has very often been changed into flourishing fruitful fields under the hands of a poor and grateful generation; and very often a land that has hitherto lain uncultivated and to all appearance absolutely unprofitable has developed an unexpected fertility. The exiles to whom Jeremiah writes, Psalm 29:5 : Build ye houses and settle down, and plant gardens and eat their fruit, may frequently have experienced this divine blessing. Their industry and their knowledge also did their part, but looked at in a right light, it was not their own work but God's work that their settlement prospered, and that they continually spread themselves wider and possessed a not small, i.e., (cf. 2 Kings 4:3) a very large, stock of cattle.
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