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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 106


1 Hallelujah! Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose love endures forever.


Who can tell the mighty deeds of the LORD, proclaim in full God's praise?


Happy those who do what is right, whose deeds are always just.


Remember me, LORD, as you favor your people; come to me with your saving help,


That I may see the prosperity of your chosen, rejoice in the joy of your people, and glory with your heritage.


We have sinned like our ancestors; we have done wrong and are guilty.


Our ancestors in Egypt did not attend to your wonders. They did not remember your great love; they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.


Yet he saved them for his name's sake to make his power known.


He roared at the Red Sea and it dried up. He led them through the deep as through a desert.


He rescued them from hostile hands, freed them from the power of the enemy.


The waters covered their oppressors; not one of them survived.


Then they believed his words and sang songs of praise.


But they soon forgot all he had done; they had no patience for his plan.


In the desert they gave way to their cravings, tempted God in the wasteland.


So he gave them what they asked and sent among them a wasting disease.


In the camp they challenged Moses and Aaron, the holy one of the LORD.


The earth opened and swallowed Dathan, it closed on the followers of Abiram.


Against that company the fire blazed; flames consumed the wicked.


At Horeb they fashioned a calf, worshiped a metal statue.


They exchanged their glorious God for the image of a grass-eating bull.


They forgot the God who saved them, who did great deeds in Egypt,


Amazing deeds in the land of Ham, fearsome deeds at the Red Sea.


2 He would have decreed their destruction, had not Moses, the chosen leader, Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destroying anger.


Next they despised the beautiful land; they did not believe the promise.


In their tents they complained; they did not obey the LORD.


So with raised hand he swore to destroy them in the desert,


To scatter their descendants among the nations, disperse them in foreign lands.


They joined in the rites of Baal of Peor, ate food sacrificed to dead gods.


They provoked him by their actions, and a plague broke out among them.


Then Phinehas rose to intervene, and the plague was brought to a halt.


This was counted for him as a righteous deed for all generations to come.


3 At the waters of Meribah they angered God, and Moses suffered because of them.


They so embittered his spirit that rash words crossed his lips.


They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them,


But mingled with the nations and imitated their ways.


They worshiped their idols and were ensnared by them.


4 They sacrificed to the gods their own sons and daughters,


Shedding innocent blood, the blood of their own sons and daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, desecrating the land with bloodshed.


They defiled themselves by their actions, became adulterers by their conduct.


So the LORD grew angry with his people, abhorred his own heritage.


He handed them over to the nations, and their adversaries ruled them.


Their enemies oppressed them, kept them under subjection.


Many times did he rescue them, but they kept rebelling and scheming and were brought low by their own guilt.


Still God had regard for their affliction when he heard their wailing.


For their sake he remembered his covenant and relented in his abundant love,


Winning for them compassion from all who held them captive.


Save us, LORD, our God; gather us from among the nations That we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in praising you.


5 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Let all the people say, Amen! Hallelujah!



1 [Psalm 106] Israel is invited to praise the God whose mercy has always tempered judgment of Israel ( Psalm 106:1-3). The speaker, on behalf of all, seeks solidarity with the people, who can always count on God's fidelity despite their sin ( Psalm 106:4-5). Confident of God's mercy, the speaker invites national repentance ( Psalm 106:6) by reciting from Israel's history eight instances of sin, judgment, and forgiveness. The sins are the rebellion at the Red Sea ( Psalm 106:6-12; see Exodus 14-15), the craving for meat in the desert ( Psalm 106:13-15; see Numbers 11), the challenge to Moses' authority ( Psalm 106:16-18; see Numbers 16), the golden calf episode ( Psalm 106:19-23; see Exodus 32-34), the refusal to take Canaan by the southern route ( Psalm 106:24-27; see Numbers 13-14 and Deut 1-2), the rebellion at Baal-Peor ( Psalm 106:28-31; see Numbers 25:1-10), the anger of Moses ( Psalm 106:32-33; see Numbers 20:1-13), and mingling with the nations ( Psalm 106:34-47). The last, as suggested by its length and generalized language, may be the sin that invites the repentance of the present generation. The text gives the site of each sin: Egypt ( Psalm 106:7), the desert ( Psalm 106:14), the camp ( Psalm 106:16), Horeb ( Psalm 106:19), in their tents ( Psalm 106:25), Baal-Peor ( Psalm 106:28), the waters of Meribah ( Psalm 106:32), Canaan ( Psalm 106:38).

2 [23] Withstood him in the breach: the image is that of Moses standing in a narrow break made in the wall to keep anyone from entering.

3 [32] Moses suffered because of them: Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land because of his rash words ( Numbers 20:12). According to Deut 1:37, Moses was not allowed to cross because of the people's sin, not his own.

4 [37] The gods: Hebrew shedim, customarily translated "demons," occurs in parallelism with "gods" in an important inscription from Transjordan and hence is translated "gods."

5 [48] A doxology ending Book IV of the Psalter. It is not part of the psalm.

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