B2 A 1-7. Mosaic Institution. Giving of the Law. B D 8. Provocation. General. E 9. Turning Back. F 10,11. Forgetfulness. G 12. Wonders in Egypt and Zoan. H 13-16. "Led" with mercies in wilderness. J 17-20. Provocation in wilderness. K 21. Wrath in wilderness. C 22-33. Unbelief in spite of wrath. C 34-39. Insincerities in spite of mercies. B D 40. Provocation. General. E 41. Turning Back. F 42. Forgetfulness. G 43-51. Wonders in Egypt and Zoan. H 52-55. "Led forth" from Egypt in wilderness. J 56-58. Provocation in the land. K 59-64. Wrath in the land. A 65-72. Davidic Institution. Giving of Temple and monarchy.
A N r 1,2. The Law. s 3. Taught us by our fathers. t 4. To be taught by us. N r 5-. The Law. s -5. Taught us by our fathers. t 6,7. To be taught by us.
(Asaph was a "seer" or prophet [2 Chron. 29:30]. This Psalm is concerning the choosing a site for the Sanctuary.)
1 Give ear, O my people, to my law:
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable:
I will utter dark sayings of old: (This Psalm has a moral; showing that Divine history contains more than appears on the surface. It will be dark to some, but not to those who have eyes to see. Quoted in Matt. 13:35.)
3 Which we have heard and have come to know,
And our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their sons,
Recounting to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength, and His wonders spoken on Pentecost Day that He has done.
5 For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel,
Which He commanded our fathers, (Cp. Ex. 10:2; 12:26,27; 13:8-10,14,15. Deut. 4:9; 6:7,20&c.)
That they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the sons which should be born;
Who should arise and declare them to their sons:
7 That they might set their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments:
8 And might not be as their fathers,
A stubborn and rebellious generation; (Cp. Deut. 9:24; 31:27)
A generation that set not their heart aright,
And whose spirit was not steadfast with God. (They don't learn from their mistakes.)
9 The son of Ephraim (the mention of Ephraim is not "perplexing". See explanation in next verse, and in the events of Judges 12:1-6; 17, and 18: viz. the introduction of idolatry. It is the sin which is spoken of.), being armed, and carrying bows, (I.e. though equipped as a bowman, yet were faithless. This is transferred to the moral application.)
Turned back in the day of battle. (Like rabbits, they lack faith.)
10 They kept not the covenant of God,
And refused to walk in His law;
11 And forgot His works,
And His wonders that He had showed them. (If you forget them, you're out, no blessings.)
12 Marvelous things did he in the sight of their fathers,
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He divided the sea (cp. Ex. 14:21), and caused them to pass through;
And He made the waters to stand as an heap. (Cp. Ex. 14:22; 15:8.)
14 In the daytime also He led them with a cloud, (Cp. E.x 13:21; 14:24)
And all the night with a light of fire.
15 He clave (repeated cleaving) the rocks in the wilderness,
And gave them drink as out of the great depths.
16 He brought streams also out of the rock,
And caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 And they sinned yet more against Him
By provoking the Most High (Elyon) in the wilderness.
18 And they tempted God in their heart
By asking meat for their soul.
19 Yes, they spoke against God;
They said, "Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? (Cp. Num. 11:4-6.)
20 Behold, He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out,
And the streams overflowed;
Can He give bread also?
Can e provide flesh for His people?"
21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth:
So a fire was kindled against Jacob,
And anger also came up against Israel;
C l1 22. Israel. Sin. Unbelief. m1 22-28. Yahaveh. Mercies. l2 29,30-. Israel. Sin. Lust. m2 -30,31. Yahaveh. Wrath. l3 32. Israel. Sin. Unbelief. m3 33. Yahaveh. Wrath.
22 Because they believed not in God,
And confided not in His salvation:
23 Though he had commanded the skies from above,
And opened the doors of heaven, (Cp. Gen. 7:11.)
24 And had rained down manna (Bread; not "the drop of the tarfu or tamarisk tree", as alleged; not from treas) upon them to eat,
And had given them of the corn of heaven.
25 Man did eat bread of the angels:
He sent them meat to the full.
26 He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven:
And by His power He brought in the south wind.
27 He rained flesh also upon them as dust,
And feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea:
28 And He let it fall in the midst of their camp,
Round about their habitations.
29 So they did eat, and were well filled:
For He gave them their own desire;
30 They were not turned away from their lust. (What they had longed for.)
But while their meat was yet in their mouths,
31 The wrath of God came upon them, (Cp. John 3:36. Eph. 5:6. Col. 3:6.)
And slew the fattest of them,
And smote down the chosen men of Israel.
32 Amid all this they sinned still,
And believed not for His wondrous works.
33 Therefore their days did He consume in a breath, (I.e. the whole generation of men quickly died out.Cp.um. 14:29,35; 26:64,65.)
And their years in trouble.
C L n 34. Repentance of Israel. o 35. Remembrance of Israel. M p 36-. Mouth. Positive. q -36. Land. " M p 37-. Heart. Negative. q -37. Unsteadfast. " L n 38. Repentance of Yahaveh. o 39. Remembrance of Yahaveh.
34 When He slew them, then they sought Him:
And they returned and inquired early after God.
35 And they remembered that God was their rock,
And The High GOD ('El'Elyon) their redeemer (see Ex. 6:6; 13:13).
36 Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth,
And they lied to Him with their tongue.
37 For their heart was not right with Him,
Neither were they steadfast in His covenant.
38 But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and laid waste them not:
Yes, many a time turned He His anger away,
And did not stir up all His wrath.
39 For He remembered that they were but flesh; (Cp. 6:3; 8:21. Ps. 103:14-16.)
A wind that passes away, and comes not again.
40 How oft (10 times at least in the first 2 years [Num. 14:22]) did they provoke Him in the wilderness,
And grieve Him in the desert!
41 Yes, they turned back (i.e. again and again) and tempted God,
And limited (Heb. tavah, to set a mark) the Holy One of Israel.
42 They remembered not His hand,
Nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy.
43 How He had wrought His signs in Egypt,
And His wonders in the field of Zoan.
44 And had turned their rivers into blood; (The 1st plague [Ex. 7:17,&c.)
And their floods, that they could not drink.
45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them (the 4th plague [Ex. 8:21]), which devoured them;
And frogs (the 2nd plague [Ex. 8;5,6), which destroyed them.
46 He gave also their increase to the corn locust ([Ex. 10:1-20. Cp. Joel 1:4; 2:25],
And their labor (put for fruit of labor) to the locust.
47 He killed their vines with hail, (The 7th plague [Ex. 9:18].)
And their sycamore trees with hailstones.
48 He gave up their cattle also to the hail,
And their flocks to hot thunderbolts (or lightnings [Ex. 9:23]).
49 He cast upon them the fierceness of His anger,
Wrath, and indignation, and trouble,
By letting loose evil angels among them. (In distinction from "demons". Cp. 1 Tim. 4:1, where both are mentioned. Cp. Ex. 12:23. 2 Sam. 24:16)
50 He pondered (or weighed. Cp. Prov. 4;26; 5:6,21. Contrast Isa. 26:7) a way to His anger;
He spared not their soul from death,
But gave their life over to the pestilence;
51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt;
The chief of their strengths (manly vigor, put for firstborn. Cp. Gen. 49:3. Deut. 21:17. Ps. 105:36) in the tents of Egypt: (Cp. 105:23,27; 106:22.)
52 But made His own people to go forth like sheep,
And guided them in the wilderness like a flock. (Cp. Isa. 63;11-14.)
53 And he led them on safely, so that they feared not:
But the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And He brought them to the border of His sanctuary, (I.e. Zion.)
Even to this mountain, which His right hand had purchased.
55 He cast out the nations also before them,
And divided them an inheritance by line, (Put for the inheritance itself which was measured off by it. Cp. Ps. 19:4.)
And made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56 Yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God ('eth 'Elohim 'Elyon),
And kept not His testimonies:
57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers:
They were turned aside like a deceitful bow (disappointing the bowman. Cp. Hos. 7:16).
58 For they provoked Him to anger with their high places,
And moved Him to jealousy with their graven images. (Same word as Deut. 7:6. Includes all images, whether carved, graven, or molten.)
59 God heard this, and He was wroth,
And greatly abhorred Israel:
60 So that He forsook the habitation of Shiloh, (Cp. Judg. 18:1,31. 1 Sam. 4:3.)
The tent which He placed among men;
61 And delivered His strength (one of the names for the Ark of the Covenant. See Ex. 25:22. 1 Chron. 13:3) into captivity,
And His glory (another name for the Ark [1 Sam. 4:22]) into the enemy's hand.
62 He gave His people over to the sword (cp. 1 Sam. 4:10);
And was wroth with His inheritance.
63 The fire consumed their young men;
And their maidens were not not praised (i.e. had no marriage song).
64 Their priests (cp. 1 Sam. 4:11) fell by the sword;
And their widows made no lamentation.
65 Then the LORD awaked as one [awakes] out of sleep,
And like a mighty man that shouts by reason of wine.
66 And He smote His enemies in the rear (or backward):
He put them to a perpetual reproach.
67 Moreover He refused the tabernacle of Joseph,
And chose not the tribe of Ephraim: (Ephraim did not lose inheritance, but lost precedence, which was transferred to Judah.)
68 But chose the tribe of Judah,
The mount Zion which He loved. (The proof of which was the removal of the Ark to Zion.)
69 And He built His sanctuary like high palaces,
Like the land which He has established for ever.
70 He chose David also His servant, (Cp. 1 Sam. 16:11,12. This is the climax of the Psalm.)
And took Him from the sheepfolds:
71 From following the ewes great with young He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. (Note the 2 names: Jacob, the natural seed; Israel, the spiritual seed. See Gen. 32:28; 43:6; 45:26,28.)
72 So He fed them according to the integrity of His heart;
And guided them by the discernment (or understanding) of His hands.