Psalm cvi. (Confitemini Domino.)
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Alleluia. St. Augustine repeats this word. But it occurs in the Hebrew, &c., at the end of the preceding psalm, of which this is a continuation, shewing how God pardoned his people, and delivered them from captivity, (Calmet) and mankind from sin. (Haydock) (Fathers) (Berthier) — Glory. Literally, “confess” your sins, thay you may praise God, (Psalm cv.; Haydock) and adore his mercy and providence. (Worthington)
Ver. 2. Countries. The Jews from Babylon, and all who were redeemed by Christ. (Calmet) — He was promised immediately after the fall. [Genesis iii. 15.] (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Sea. Hebrew miyam, for which we should read imim “the right,” denoting the south. (Calmet) — But the sea, or ocean, is properly used in the same sense. (Berthier) — The Ammonites, Philistines, Syrians, and Idumeans, from these four quarters, often reduced the Israelites to servitude, under the judges. (Houbigant) — From all parts, the Jews of the ten tribes returned in the reigns of Darius and Alexander. (Calmet, Diss.) — But the texts which are applied to this event speak rather of the conversion of the Gentiles, which the prophet has here in view. (Berthier) — None are excluded from the benefits of this redemption, but by their own fault. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Habitation. So were the Jews distressed at Babylon, (Calmet) as many are forced to wander in the world, and all are involved in sin. (Worthington)
Ver. 5. Hungry. As both Jews and Gentiles were for the word of God, (Amos viii. 11.) when Christ appeared. (Haydock) — Their wants cried aloud, (St. Augustine) though they sought him not, Isaias lxv. 1. (Berthier) — Those who call upon God are relieved by him, in the manner which is most for their welfare. (Worthington)
Ver. 8. Mercies. We are unworthy to open our mouths. This chorus is repeated, (ver. 15, 21, 31.) by the people, after the Levites had sung the intermediate sentences. (Calmet) — The ver. 6, 13, 19., are of the same nature, and refer to different sorts of calamities. (Berthier) — All the benefits of God, proceeding from his mercy, and not from man’s deserts, praise him. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Darkness. This second allegory represents the condition of the captives, and of mankind, before Christ’s coming. (Calmet) — The former enjoyed some liberty, Jeremias xxix. 5. — But the latter were most miserable, (Matthew ix. 15., and Luke iv. 18.) and of these the words are most naturally explained. (Berthier)
Ver. 11. Exasperated. Hebrew, “changed, or frustrated.” This is the source of all misery, (Calmet) as calamities are commonly inflicted on account of sin. (Worthington)
Ver. 12. Labours. There were slaves of various descriptions: some were confined to hard labour, and chained down at night. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Bonds. Of their passions. See St. Augustine, Conf. viii. 11. (Haydock)
Ver. 17. Iniquity. Making them alter their conduct. Hebrew seems less correct: “they are foolish on account of their way, and they,” &c. Illness is sent to punish sin, Job xxxiii. 19., Matthew ix. 2., and John v. 14. (Calmet)
Ver. 20. Word. Jesus Christ, according to the prophetical sense, adopted by the Fathers, (St. Athanasius, or. 3., &c.) though it literally implies, that at God’s command the sick were healed, Matthew viii. 7. — This allegory again represents the state of captivity. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Praise. Instead of victims, Psalm xxvi., &c.
Ver. 23. Down to the sea, &c. Captivity is here compared to a tempest. (Calmet) — The apostles carry the tidings of salvation to all places. Persecutions are raised; but God grants peace to his Church under Constantine. (Eusebius)
Ver. 24. Deep. The fury of tempests. Various nations, and the treasures of the deep. (Menochius)
Ver. 26. Heavens. So Virgil says:
Tollimur in cælum curvato gurgite & iidem
Subducta ad Manes imos descendimus unda. (Æneid iii.)
Ver. 27. Up. They knew not how to proceed. Ambiguis ars stupet ipsa malis. (Calmet)
Ver. 29. Breeze. Hebrew, “silence, or calm.”
Ver. 30. For. Even to Jerusalem. (Calmet)
Ver. 31. Men. We must thank God for having enabled us to repent, ver. 8. (Worthington)
Ver. 33. Wilderness. God caused his people to pass through the Red Sea, and the Jordan, to possess the fruitful country of Chanaan, part of which had been cursed for the crimes of the Sodomites. (Haydock) — He has punished Babylon, (Jeremias xxv. 12.) made a straight road for his people, (Isaias xxxv. 8.) and enabled them to cultivate their country again, ver. 41. (Calmet) — The synagogue has been abandoned, and the Church chosen. (Berthier) — The power of God is displayed, who caused the land of promise to be more fertile for his people, which is now very barren. (Worthington)
Ver. 34. Barrenness. Or “saltness.” (Haydock) — He alludes to the environs of Sodom, Genesis xiii. 10., and xix. 24. (Worthington)
Ver. 37. Of birth. A plentiful crop, facient fruges germina. (St. Jerome) (Calmet) — Abundance of fruit shall grow in some places, while others are punished on account of sin. (Worthington)
Ver. 40. Princes. Jechonias was humbled, (Haydock) and exalted, with Daniel, &c., 4 Kings xxv. 27. Others explain it of Nabuchodonosor and Baltasar, who were reduced to the state of ignominy and death. (Calmet) — The Jews experienced the greatest miseries at the last siege of Jerusalem. (Berthier)
Ver. 41. Sheep. The Gentiles took the place of the obstinate Jews. (St. Augustine)
Ver. 42. Mouth. The psalmist saw Babylon before its ruin, (Calmet) at least in spirit. God’s judgments strengthen virtue, and repress the wicked. (Haydock) The propagation of the gospel put to silence the oracles of the pagans. (Berthier)
Ver. 43. Lord. This is the part of wisdom, and deserves our serious consideration, (Haydock) as Osee (xiv. 10.) and our Saviour admonish, Matthew xi. 15., and xiii. 9., and Mark iv. 9., &c.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
All are invited to give thanks to God for his perpetual providence over men.
Give glory to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 Let them say so that have been redeemed by the Lord, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy: and gathered out of the countries,
3 From the rising and from the setting of the sun, from the north, and from the sea.
4 They wandered in a wilderness, in a place without water: they found not the way of a city for their habitation.
5 They were hungry and thirsty: their soul fainted in them.
6 And they cried to the Lord in their tribulation: and he delivered them out of their distresses.
7 And he led them into the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
8 Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him: and his wonderful works to the children of men.
9 For he hath satisfied the empty soul, and hath filled the hungry soul with good things.
10 Such as sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death: bound in want and in iron.
11 Because they had exasperated the words of God: and provoked the counsel of the Most High:
12 And their heart was humbled with labours: they were weakened, and their was none to help them.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their affliction: and he delivered them out of their distresses.
14 And he brought them out of darkness, and the shadow of death; and broke their bonds in sunder.
15 Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him, and his wonderful works to the children of men.
16 Because he hath broken gates of brass, and burst iron bars.
17 He took them out of the way of their iniquity: for they were brought low for their injustices.
18 Their soul abhorred all manner of meat: and they drew nigh even to the gates of death.
19 And they cried to the Lord in their affliction: and he delivered them out of their distresses.
20 He sent his word, and healed them: and delivered them from their destructions.
21 Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him: and his wonderful works to the children of men.
22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifice of praise: and declare his works with joy.
23 They that go down to the sea in ships, doing business in the great waters:
24 These have seen the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep.
25 He said the word, and there arose a storm of wind: and the waves thereof were lifted up.
26 They mount up to the heavens, and they go down to the depths: their soul pined away with evils.
27 They were troubled, and reeled like a drunken man: and all their wisdom was swallowed up.
28 And they cried to the Lord in their affliction: and he brought them out of their distresses.
29 And he turned the storm into a breeze: and its waves were still.
30 And they rejoiced because they were still: and he brought them to the haven which they wished for.
31 Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him: and his wonderful works to the children of men.
32 And let them exalt him in the church of the people: and praise him in the chair of the ancients.
33 He hath turned rivers into a wilderness: and the sources of water into dry ground:
34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.
35 He hath turned a wilderness into pools of waters, and a dry land into water-springs.
36 And he hath placed there the hungry; and they made a city for their habitation.
37 And they sowed fields, and planted vineyards: and they yielded fruit of birth.
38 And he blessed them, and they were multiplied exceedingly: and their cattle he suffered not to decrease.
39 Then they were brought to be few: and they were afflicted through the trouble of evils and sorrow.
40 Contempt was poured forth upon their princes: and he caused them to wander where there was no passing, and out of the way.
41 And he helped the poor out of poverty: and made him families like a flock of sheep.
42 *The just shall see, and shall rejoice: and all iniquity shall stop her mouth.
43 Who is wise, and will keep these things: and will understand the mercies of the Lord?
42: Job xxii. 19.