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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 105

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-45

Psalms 105:1-45.

V. 1,2. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:7-9.) ’ The ’ first part of this psalm at least (to the end of the ’ fifteenth verse) was made by David : . . . and it is most ’ probable that he afterwards enlarged it ; (for who else ’ would adventure to do it ?) that it might be a more ’ complete commemoration of all the mercies of God ’ towards their nation.’ Dp. Patrick. ’ Musick and conversation are two things, by which the mind of man receiveth much good, or a great deal of harm. ... They, ’ who do in reality love their Saviour, will always find ’ themselves inclined to sing of him, and to talk of him. ’ In whom should the redeemed " glory " and exult, but ’ in their Redeemer?’ Bp. Home. (Note, Philippians 3:17; Philippians 3:5 v.7) ’ By faith we find our Redeemer in this life, and ’ experience the power and comfort of his grace : but ’ hope and love still seek, and wish, and aspire after the ’ sight and enjoyment of him in heaven, whither he is ascended.’ Bp. Home.

Talk ye (2); meditate ye, my meditation, Psalms 104:34. ’ Meditate on the wonderful works of God, that you may talk of them, as from the abundance of the heart.’

V. 3-7. Marg. Ref. Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:10-14.

V. 8-12. Marg. Ref. Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:15-19. He hath remembered, fyc. (8) In Chronicles, the Psalmist exhorts the people to be mindful of the covenant, which the Lord had made with their fathers ; but here he teaches them to praise God for having always remembered it. Marg. Ref. Notes, 42. Luke 1:67-75.

V. 13-15. Marg. Ref. Note, 1 Chronicles 16:20-22. Prophets. (15) ’ Meaning the old fathers, to whom God * shewed himself plainly, and who were setters fortli of his word.’ (Note, Genesis 20:7 -)

V. 16. Famine is here figuratively spoken of, as the servant of God, which at his call promptly attends to fulfil his righteous will. (Notes, Genesis 41:28-32.) Bread is called the staff, or the support, of life : and the experience of seasons, in which corn is very scarce and dear, though short of absolute famine, gives a very affecting and distressing exposition of the phrase. (Notes, Leviticus 26:25-26. Is. 3: 19, : 1. Ezekiel 4:9-17; Ezekiel 14:13-21.)

V. 17. The word translated " a man," is by some rendered an eminent man. Joseph was an eminent character, though envied by his brethren, and sold for a slave : he was a great deliverer, and one of the most illustrious types of the Saviour, in the whole old testament. When God purposed to call for a famine in the land, he had sent an extraordinary man into Egypt, to make provision for Jacob’s family. Joseph’s brethren indeed " thought evil " against him, but God meant it for good."

(Notes, Genesis 45:5-8; Genesis 49:22-26. v. 20.)

V. 18. It seems by this, that Joseph was very severely used, when first imprisoned by Potiphar. (Notes, Genesis 39:19-23.)

V. 19- 21. " Until his appointed time came, and the " counsel of the LORD had tried him." Old Version. The word which Joseph spoke, as from God, when he interpreted the dreams of the chief baker and chief butler, was reported to Pharaoh : and when Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s extraordinary dream too, he was not only releasd, but likewise advanced to the highest dignity.

(Mar. Ref. Notes, Genesis 40:-23: Proverbs 21:1.) But till this time arrived, Joseph continued in prison, according to " the word," or the counsel and decree, of God ; that he might be tned as gold is tried in the furnace. (Notes,1 Peter 1:6-7.)

V. 22. " That he should bind his princes unto his will." Old feraon. The clause seems rather to denote the efficacious means used by Pharaoh, to secure the obedience of his princes to Joseph; than any severe measures used by Joseph himself, to punish the disobedient, or in requiring submission to his high authority. The Septuagint thus render the verse : ’ That he should instruct his princes ’ even as himself; and make his elders wise; ’ which well expresses the meaning. Perhaps the wise maxims, which the elders or counsellors of Egypt, at this time, (a period far more ancient, than that of any other authentiek history of Egypt,) learned from Joseph, or rather from God by him, being delivered down to their successors, contributed to stain]) the counsels of Egypt with that character of wisdom, for which they were celebrated in after ages.

(Notes, Genesis 41:37-44. 1 Kings 4:30-34. Is. 19: 11- 14. Acts 7:17-29; Acts 5:22.)

V. 23- 25. (Notes, Genesis 42:-38: Acts 7:9-14.) At first the Egyptians were friends to Jacob’s family, for Joseph’s sake : but after the death of Joseph and his patron, and the succession of another " king who knew not " Joseph," the Egyptians became enemies to Israel. Their rapid increase, from a single family to a powerful people, excited envy, jealousy, dread, and hatred ; which prompted both the king and his subjects to devise politick and detestable measures, for diminishing their numbers and strength, and for retaining them in bondage. (Notes, Exodus 1:1-22:)

And as the events which had taken place, by the providential appointment of God, gave occasion to this change in the disposition of the Egyptians ; as he foresaw, and had predicted, that this would be the case ; and as he determined to leave them to themselves and the natural tendency of their depraved hearts, in such circumstances ; it is said, " He turned their heart to hate his people." (Notes, Genesis 15:12-15. Exodus 3:19-20; Exodus 4:21; Exodus 8:18; Exodus 19:9-12. Ezra 6:22. Ezekiel 14:9-11. Romans 9:15-21. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.)

V. 26- 28. They rebelled not, &c. (28) Moses and Aaron boldly executed their commission, in every particular. They " feared not the wrath of the king; but endured as " seeing him who is invisible." (Notes, Hebrews 11:23-27.) They were sent, like Ezekiel, to deliver the message of God to haughty rebels ; and were careful not to imitate their rebellion. (Notes, Ezekiel 2:3-8.) Some, however, explain the clause of the Egyptians, reading it as an interrogation : " Did they not rebel against his word ? " ’ Did they not persist in rebelling, amidst all the plagues

inflicted on them?’ (Notes, Exodus 2:-15: Acts 7:20-36.)

V. 29-36. Marg. Ref. Notes,Psalms 78:42-50.

V. 37, 38. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Exodus 12:35-38; Exodus 13:17-18. Is. 63. 11- 14.) ’ Among such a number of men, ’ women, children, and cattle, nothing was " weak and ’ " feeble," nothing unable to perform the journey. The ’ order was that " not a hoof should be left behind ; " (Exodus 10:26:) and he who commanded, gave strength to obey.’ Bp. Home.

V. 39 tl. Notes,Psalms 78:12-31.. 1 Corinthians 10:1-5.

V. 42. In this Psalm the sacred writer records the goodness of God to Israel, without noticing Israel’s ingratitude and rebellion ; which form in great measure the subject of the ensuing psalm. Yet he intimates, in this verse, that the Lord conferred all these benefits on them, entirely from regard to their ancestor " Abraham, his friend ; " " and " to the word of his holiness," which he had spoken to Abraham. (Notes, 3- 17. Exodus 3:15. Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Deuteronomy 9:2-17. . Luke 1:46-55.)

V. 43- 45. Marg. Ref. Note, 44: I- 3. Might observe his statutes, &c. (45) Many of the laws given to Israel were of such a nature, that they could not be obeyed in the wilderness, or at a distance from the sanctuary : (Notes, Numbers 9:1-5. Deuteronomy 12:8-9:) so that there was a special reason, why they must inhabit Canaan, in order to observe the statutes and obey the laws of God : but in general, all their religious advantages and all the favours bestowed on them, were expressly vouchsafed, in order to separate them from other nations, and to render them the obedient worshippers of the true God. ’ Let all . . .whose ’ lot hath fallen in " a land flowing with milk and honey," ’ upon earth, reflect, that God hath given them riches, and ’ the leisure which riches procure, not for the purpose of ’ indulging and corrupting themselves and others ; but ’ that they may glorify him, benefit their neighbours, and ’ save their own souls.’ Bp. Home.

(Notes, Ezekiel 11:17-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27. Luke 1:67-75. Titus 2:11-14.) This Psalm, like the preceding, and several which follow, concludes with the word Hallelujah. (Note, Psalms 106:1.) ’ For ’ which, and all other his benefits, excite yourselves to ’ praise the Lord.’ Bp. Patrick. The labour of the people.

(44) Deuteronomy 6:10-11. Joshua 24:13. Nehemiah 9:25.


V. 1-22.

Our meditations on the works of the Creator, and on his providential goodness, should lead us to consider his special love to his chosen people ; that we may have more enlarged views of his glory, and be more enlivened in ailmiring love and gratitude. Whilst ungodly men, by their vain songs and corrupt conversation, inflame one another’s passions ; Christians should edify each other, by singing the praises of God, and by " talking of all his wondrous " works : " and the New Testament furnishes us with more sublime and interesting subjects, than even the history of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, and settlement in the promised land, afforded that favoured nation. (Notes, Ephesians 5:15-20. Colossians 3:16-17.) Let believers then " glory " in his holy name ; " let sinners seek his face ; and let us all remember the Redeemer’s " marvellous works, his " wonders, and the judgments of his mouth." The Lord has indeed remembered his covenant with Abraham, in raising up his promised " Seed, in whom all the families " of the earth shall be blessed : " and we Gentiles are in him become a chosen generation to shew forth his praises. (Note, 1 Peter 2:9-10.) Indeed true Christians have been hitherto but few in number, compared with the population of the globe ; and they, strangers and pilgrims upon earth : yet a far better inheritance than that of Canaan is insured to them, by the oath and covenant of God, And if we have the unction of the Holy Spirit, no kings or people can do us harm ; but our God will reprove the greatest of those who so much as attempt to injure us. We greatly mistake, if we do not rank afflictions among our mercies : (17- 19 :) as they tend to prove the reality of our faith and love, to humble our pride, to wean us from the world, to quicken our prayers, to enlarge our experience of the Lord’s faithfulness to his promises, to encourage our dependence, to bow our hearts into submission, and to soften them into compassion to our brethren. (Notes, Romans 5:3-5. 2 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 4:13-18. Hebrews 12:4-11. James 1:24. 1 Peter 1:6-7; 1 Peter 4:12-16.) When the Lord calls, famines obey his word ; and by withholding bread he breaks " the staff of life," to punish the iniquities of guilty nations, and to exercise the faith and patience of his people. But he will assuredly provide for those who trust in him : and he often previously makes arrangements, in order to supply those wants of which his servants had no foresight. Thus, in his foreknowledge of our lost estate, long before we had an existence, he appointed his beloved Son, whom Joseph typified, to be our Redeemer. In the fulness of time he appeared on earth in " the form of a " servant ; " and though perfectly holy, he was accused of grievous crimes, treated with the utmost insult, crucified, and laid in the grave ; and by these sufferings he paid the ransom of our souls. At the appointed time the bands of death were loosed, and by his resurrection he was fully justified from all which had been laid to his charge : he was then exalted, by the right hand of the Father, to the mediatorial throne : all the treasures of grace and salvation are entirely at his disposal ; and perishing sinners come to him, and are relieved from his inexhaustible stores.

But with this example in view, we can expect nothing else, than humiliation and hardship, before honour and usefulness on earth, and complete felicity in heaven. We should then prepare for the cross, and for the hatred of the world : we should submit to the will of our God, and wait his time, and commit our all to his disposal : and in the depth of our distress, the case of Joseph also may teach us to Lope for speedy and important changes in our circumstances, even in this present world. Nor is it improper to observe, that Jesus has power to bind kings and prince at his will ; (Notes, Psalms 2:10-12. Psalms 149:7-9. Revelation 6:12-17;) and that he alone can teach senators and statesmen true wisdom and sound policy.

V. 23-45.

As the believer commonly is most prosperous in his soul, when under trials and afflictions ; so the church has often flourished most in holiness, and increased in number, under oppression and persecution. But the image and favour of God are sure to excite the enmity of wicked men ; whose hearts will thus be " turned to hate his servants," and to join force with subtlety to destroy them : and that which ungodly counsellors think a wise political measure, often proves, on examination, to be a most detestable project of the devil against the church of Christ. Yet instruments shall be raised up for her good, suited to her emergencies : and multiplied plagues may be expected by obstinate persecutors, who persist in their rebellion under the gentler strokes of God’s correcting rod. The whole creation is ready to rise up in arms against his enemies ; and when he gives the word, every thing will concur to render them contemptible and miserable. He will fulfil his largest promises to his people, and make them a terror to those who hate them : and all the benefits conferred on Israel, as a nation, were only shadows of the " spiritual " blessings with which he hath blessed us in Christ Jesus." Having redeemed us with his blood, enriched us from his treasures, restored our souls to health and holiness, and set us at liberty from Satan’s bondage ; he guides and guards us all the way ; he satisfies our souls with the Bread of heaven, and with the Water of life from the Rock of salvation, and will bring us safe to our incorruptible inheritance. But let it never for a moment be forgotten, that the Lord, by all he does for us, intends to teach, incline, and enable us, to " observe his statutes, and keep " his laws ; " and to shew forth his praise, first here on earth, and then in heaven for ever ; and that he " redeems " his servants " from all iniquity, and purifies " them unto himself, a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 105". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-105.html. 1804.
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