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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Psalms 107

 

 

Introduction
1The psalmist exhorts the redeemed, in praising God, to observe his manifold providence,
4over travellers;
10over captives;
17over sick men;
23over seamen;
33and in divers varieties of life.

Verse 1
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
A. M. 3468. B.C. 536. (Title.) The author of this Psalm is unknown; but it was evidently written to commemorate the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity; and it may easily be perceived that it must have been sung in alternate parts, having a double burden, or two intercalary verses often recurring. Bp. Lowth considers it as written "after the method of the ancient pastorals, where, be the subject of their verse what it will, each swain endeavours to excel the other; and one may perceive their thoughts and expressions gradually to rise upon each other." "No doubt," he adds, "the composition of this Psalm is admirable throughout; and the descriptive part of it adds at least its share of beauty to the whole; but what is most to be admired is its conciseness, and withal the expressiveness of the diction, which strikes the imagination with illimitable elegance. The weary and bewildered traveller--the miserable captive in the dungeon--the sick and dying man--the seaman foundering in a storm--are described in so affecting a manner, that they far exceed any thing of the kind, though never so much laboured."
Give
106:1; 118:1; 136:1-26; 1 Chronicles 16:34,41; 2 Chronicles 5:13; 7:3,6; 20:21
good
119:68; Matthew 19:17
for his mercy
103:17; Luke 1:50

Verse 2
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;
Let the
31:5; 130:8; Exodus 15:16; Deuteronomy 15:15; Isaiah 35:9; 43:1; 44:22; Luke 1:68; Luke 24:21; Galatians 3:13; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 1:18,19
from
106:10; Deuteronomy 7:8; Jeremiah 15:21; 31:11; Micah 4:10; Luke 1:74

Verse 3
And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.
gathered
106:47; Isaiah 11:11-16; 43:5,6; 49:12; Jeremiah 29:14; 31:8,10; Ezekiel 36:24; Ezekiel 39:27; Revelation 5:9
south
Heb. sea.

Verse 4
They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.
wandered
40; Genesis 21:14-16; Numbers 14:33; Deuteronomy 8:15; 32:10; Job 12:24; Ezekiel 34:6,12; Hebrews 11:38; Revelation 12:6
they found
This is the first similitude; in which the Israelites in captivity are compared to travellers in a dreary, uninhabited, and barren desert, spent with hunger and thirst, as well as by the fatigues of the journey.

Verse 5
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.
Judges 15:18,19; 1 Samuel 30:11,12; Isaiah 44:12; Jeremiah 14:18; Lamentations 2:19; Mark 8:2,3

Verse 6
Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
Then
13,19,28; 50:15; 91:15; Isaiah 41:17,18; Jeremiah 29:12-14; Hosea 5:15; Hebrews 4:15,16
he delivered
2 Corinthians 1:8-10; 12:8-10; 2 Timothy 3:11

Verse 7
And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
he led
77:20; 78:52; 136:16; Ezra 8:21-23; Isaiah 30:21; 35:8-10; 48:17; Isaiah 49:8-11; 63:13,14; Jeremiah 6:16; 31:9; 2 Peter 2:15,21
that they
4,36; Nehemiah 11:3; Jeremiah 31:24,38-40; 33:10-13; Hebrews 11:9,10,16; 12:22; Revelation 21:2-4,10-27

Verse 8
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Oh that men
15,21,31; 81:13-16; Deuteronomy 5:29; 32:29; Isaiah 48:18
praise
34:3; 92:1,2; 147:1; Isaiah 63:7
his wonderful
40:5; 78:4; 111:4; Daniel 4:2,3; 6:27

Verse 9
For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
34:10; 132:15; 146:7; Isaiah 55:1-3; Jeremiah 31:14,25; Matthew 5:6; Luke 1:53; Revelation 7:16,17

Verse 10
Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;
Such
Here begins the second comparison; in which the state of the captives in Babylon is illustrated by that of prisoners in a dreary dungeon.
as sit
Job 3:5; Isaiah 9:2; Matthew 4:16; 22:13; Luke 1:79
bound
105:18; Exodus 2:23,24; 2 Chronicles 33:11; Job 36:8,9; Lamentations 3:6,7; Romans 6:20,21

Verse 11
Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High:
Because
68:6,18; 106:43; Isaiah 63:10,11; Lamentations 3:39-42; 5:15-17
contemned
73:24; 113:7-9; 119:24; 2 Chronicles 25:15,16; 33:10; Proverbs 1:25,30,31; 1 Samuel 2:5-8; Isaiah 5:19; Jeremiah 44:16; Luke 7:30; 16:14; Acts 20:27; Romans 1:28

Verse 12
Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help.
he brought
Exodus 2:23; 5:18,19; Judges 10:16-18; 16:21,30; Nehemiah 9:37; Isaiah 51:19,20,23; Isaiah 52:5; Lamentations 5:5,6; Luke 15:14-17
and there
18:40,41; 22:11; 142:4; 2 Kings 6:26,27,33; Job 9:13; Isaiah 63:5

Verse 13
Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.
6,19,28; 18:6; 116:3-6; Exodus 3:7,8; Judges 4:3; 6:6-10; 10:10-18; 2 Chronicles 33:12,13,18,19; Jeremiah 31:18-20

Verse 14
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder.
brought
10; 68:6; Job 3:5; 10:21,22; 15:22,30; 19:8; 33:30; 42:10-12; Isaiah 42:16; 49:9; 60:1-3; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9
brake
102:20; 105:19,20; 116:16; 146:7; Job 36:8; Isaiah 61:1; Jeremiah 52:31-34; Zechariah 9:11,12; Acts 5:19,25; 12:7-10; 16:26-40

Verse 15
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
8,21,31; 116:17-19

Verse 16
For he hath broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder.
Judges 16:3; Isaiah 45:1,2; Micah 2:13

Verse 17
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
Fools
This is the third comparison; the captives being compared to persons in a dangerous malady, as the consequences of their own sins.
14:1; 92:6; Proverbs 1:22; 7:7,22
because
38:1-8; Numbers 11:33,34; 12:10-13; 21:5-9; Isaiah 57:17,18; Jeremiah 2:19; Lamentations 3:39

Verse 18
Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death.
abhorreth
Job 33:19-22
and they
9:13; 88:3; Isaiah 38:10

Verse 19
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses.
6,13,28; 30:8-12; 34:4-6; 78:34,35; 116:4-8; Jeremiah 33:3

Verse 20
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
He sent
147:15,19; 2 Kings 20:4,5; Matthew 8:8
healed
30:2,3; 103:3,4; 147:3; Numbers 21:8,9; Job 33:23-26
delivered
49:15; 56:13; Job 33:28-30

Verse 21
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
8,15,31; 66:5; 2 Chronicles 32:25; Luke 17:18

Verse 22
And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
sacrifice
50:14; 116:12,17; Leviticus 7:12; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:5,9
declare
9:11; 73:28; 105:1,2; 118:17; Isaiah 12:4
rejoicing
Heb. singing.

Verse 23
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
They
This is the fourth comparison; their captivity was as dangerous and alarming as a dreadful tempest at sea; with a most natural and striking description of which we are here presented.
go down
48:7; Ezekiel 27:26; Acts 27:9-28; Revelation 18:17

Verse 24
These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
his wonders
95:5; 104:24-27; Job 38:8-11

Verse 25
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
he commandeth
135:7; 148:8; Jonah 1:4
raiseth
Heb. maketh to stand. lifteth.
93:3; Matthew 8:24; John 6:18

Verse 26
They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
their soul
22:14; 119:28; 2 Samuel 17:10; Isaiah 13:7; Nahum 2:10

Verse 27
They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end.
stagger
Job 12:25; Isaiah 19:14; 29:9
are at their wit's end
Heb. all their wisdom is swallowed up.
Job 37:20; Isaiah 19:3; *marg:; Acts 27:15-20

Verse 28
Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
6,13,19; Jonah 1:5,6,14; Matthew 8:25; Acts 27:23-25

Verse 29
He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
65:7; 89:9; Jonah 1:15; Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:23-25

Verse 30
Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
he bringeth
John 6:21

Verse 31
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Oh that men
8,15,21; 103:2; 105:1; Hosea 2:8; Jonah 1:16; 2:9; Micah 6:4,5; Romans 1:20,21; 2 Timothy 3:2; Hebrews 13:15
his wonderful
71:17; 72:18,19; 77:11,14; 105:2; Revelation 15:3

Verse 32
Let them exalt him also in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
exalt
18:46; 46:10; 99:5,9; Exodus 15:2; Isaiah 12:4; 25:1
in the congregation
22:22,25; 40:9,10; 66:16; 111:1; 119:46; Acts 4:8-12

Verse 33
He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;
turneth
1 Kings 17:1-7; Isaiah 13:19-21; 19:5-10; 34:9,10; 42:15; 44:27; 50:2; Ezekiel 30:12; Joel 1:20; Nahum 1:4; Zephaniah 2:9,13
water-springs
1 Kings 18:5; Jeremiah 14:3; Amos 4:7,8

Verse 34
A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
a fruitful
Genesis 13:10,13; 19:25; Deuteronomy 29:23-28; Isaiah 32:13-15
barrenness
Heb. saltness.
Genesis 14:3; Ezekiel 47:11

Verse 35
He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.
turneth
114:8; Numbers 21:16-18; 2 Kings 3:16-20; Isaiah 35:6,7; 41:17-19; 44:3-5; Ezekiel 47:6-12

Verse 36
And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;
there he
146:7; Luke 1:53
a city
7; Acts 17:26

Verse 37
And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
sow
Isaiah 37:30; Jeremiah 29:5; 31:5; Ezekiel 28:26; Amos 9:13-15
which may
65:9-13; Genesis 26:12; Joel 1:10-12; Haggai 1:5,6,10,11; 2:16-19; Zechariah 8:12; Acts 14:17; 1 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 9:10

Verse 38
He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.
He blesseth
128:1-6; Genesis 1:28; 9:1; 12:2; 17:16,20; Exodus 1:7; Deuteronomy 28:4,11; 30:9; Jeremiah 30:19; Ezekiel 37:26
suffereth
144:13,14; Genesis 30:43; 31:9; Exodus 9:3-7; 12:38; Deuteronomy 7:14; Proverbs 10:22

Verse 39
Again, they are minished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.
Again
The incidents detailed in these verses, which frequently occur, and mark the superintendence of a benign Providence, and the hand of a just God, appear to be brought forward to illustrate the return of the Israelites from captivity, and the punishment of their oppressors the Babylonians. Wherefore, at last, as in a common chorus, they conclude with exhorting each other to a serious consideration of these things, and to make a proper return to the Almighty.
they are
30:6,7; Genesis 45:11; Ruth 1:20,21; 1 Samuel 2:5-7; 2 Kings 4:8; 8:3; Job 1:10-17
oppression
Exodus 1:13,14; 2:23,24; Judges 6:3-6; 2 Kings 10:32; 13:7,22; 14:26; 2 Chronicles 15:5,6; Jeremiah 51:33,34

Verse 40
He poureth contempt upon princes, and causeth them to wander in the wilderness, where there is no way.
poureth
Job 12:21,24; Isaiah 23:8,9
contempt
78:66; Exodus 8:3,17,24; Joshua 10:24-26; Judges 1:6,7; 4:21; 1 Samuel 5:9; 6:4; 1 Kings 21:19; 2 Kings 9:35-37; Daniel 4:33; 5:5,6,18-30; Acts 12:23; Revelation 19:18
causeth
4; Job 12:24; Jeremiah 13:15-18
wilderness
or, void place.

Verse 41
Yet setteth he the poor on high from affliction, and maketh him families like a flock.
setteth
113:7,8; Ruth 4:14-17; 1 Samuel 2:8; Esther 8:15-17; Job 5:11; 8:7; 11:15-19; Job 42:10-12; Jeremiah 52:31-34; James 5:11
from
or, after. maketh.
78:52; 128:6; Genesis 23:5-7; 48:11; 1 Samuel 2:21; Job 21:11; 42:16; Proverbs 17:6; Isaiah 49:20-22

Verse 42
The righteous shall see it, and rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
righteous
52:6; 58:10,11; Job 22:19; Isaiah 66:10,11,14
iniquity
63:11; 112:10; Exodus 11:7; Job 5:15,16; Proverbs 10:11; Romans 3:19

Verse 43
Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD.
is wise
28:5; 64:9; Isaiah 5:12; Jeremiah 9:12; Daniel 10:12; Hosea 14:9
they shall understand
50:23; Jeremiah 9:24; Ephesians 3:18,19

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 107:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-107.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, September 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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