Psalm cv. (Confitemini Domino.)
Notes & Commentary:
Alleluia. The word is repeated in some copies. (St. Jerome) --- But Hebrew has only one at the end of the preceding
psalm: of which this appears to be a sequel. As in the former, God's favours were specified, so here the ingratitude of his
people is acknowledged. (Calmet) --- It may refer to the Jews during, (Eusebius; Vatable) or after the captivity, (Calmet)
and to all in the state of sin. (St. Jerome) (Berthier) --- The 47th and 48th verses agree with the three last, which were
sung at the translation of the ark, 1 Paralipomenon xvi. 34. (Haydock) --- Hence that canticle now makes a part of our Psalm
civ., xcv., and cv., with various alterations made by the prophet. (Berthier) --- Give glory. Literally, "confess"
(Haydock) your sins, to obtain mercy, (St. Chrysostom) or rather praise God, (Theodoret) who is the source of all good.
(Worthington) --- This was the usual prayer of the Israelites, in ceremonies of thanksgiving, 2 Paralipomenon v. 13. (Calmet)
Powers. See Ecclesiasticus xliii. 29. No one can sufficiently praise God's power or mercy. (Berthier)
Times. He only who perseveres to the end shall be crowned, Matthew xxiv. 13., and Ezechiel xxxiii. (Haydock)
--- Such as these can alone worthily sound forth God's praises, (Berthier) being so happy as to preserve their innocence,
or at least to repent. (Worthington)
Us. Hebrew, "me." But Aquila, Syriac, &c., agree with the Septuagint. Some of the Jews were already returned, and
pray for the liberation of their brethren. (Calmet) --- The Fathers explain it of Christian converts. (St. Chrysostom) ---
People. According to thy gracious promises, that we may enjoy the blessings of thy elect. (Worthington)
Sinned. Here commences the confession of sins. The just man first accuses himself, Proverbs xviii. 17. (Calmet) ---
The same prayer is repeated, Judith vii. 19., and Daniel ix. 5., as it might be applicable to the captives. (Berthier) ---
We have injured ourselves, our neighbours, and our God. (Worthington)
Going up. Or proceeding. The banks of the sea were more elevated than the country from which the Israelites came, (Calmet)
and the land of Chanaan was still higher. See Psalm cvi. 23., and Genesis xii. 9. (Haydock) --- Sea even. Is not in
the Septuagint. (Calmet)
Known. Isaias lxiii. 12. He might justly (Worthington) have abandoned them to the Egyptians, Exodus xiv. 11.
Rebuked. Commanding with power, Nahum i. 4. (Calmet) --- Wilderness. Or plain country. (Haydock)
Redeemed. What price was given? This is a figure of baptism, in which the fruits of Christ's blood are applied to our
souls. All sins are there destroyed, as the Egyptians were in the Sea. (St. Augustine, Ser. xlii. de Temp.) (Worthington)
Left. Manetho and Lorin assert, that Pharao reigned afterwards. But this is contrary to the Scripture. All who came
to attack Israel perished. (Calmet) --- They supposed that the waters were enchanted. (St. Irenĉus iv. 48.)
Words. And Moses his servant, Exodus xiv. 31., and xv. 1.
Counsel. Three days after the passage of the sea, God laid injunctions upon them at Mara, which they would not observe,
Exodus xv. 22. (Calmet) --- They coveted unnecessary things. (Worthington)
Desire. Or they greedily sought for flesh meat, (Haydock) at Sin, or Pharan, Exodus xvi. 13., and Numbers xi. 31. Chronological
order is not observed. (Calmet)
Fulness. Or disgust: plesmone. Septuagint probably read zore, (as Numbers xi. 20.) instead of
razon. Hebrew, "leanness," (Calmet) which is a natural consequence of immoderate repletion. (Haydock)
Holy one. By his function (Worthington) of priest. Core wished to take his place, as the rest did to supplant Moses
in the civil government, Numbers xvi. (Calmet)
Abiron. With Core, though his children were preserved. (Calmet) --- God presently resented the injury done to his ministers.
Wicked. Two hundred and fifty accomplices, (Numbers xv. 35.; Calmet) and fourteen thousand seven hundred murmurers.
Graven. Hebrew, "molten." The image must first be graven. (Berthier) (Exodus xxxii. 3.)
Grass. This enhances their folly. God is often styled the glory of his people. (Calmet) --- Osee (x. 5.) contemptuously
calls the golden calf, the glory of Samaria. (Haydock) --- This idolatry was truly blameable, (Romans i. 23.) and not
the veneration paid by Catholics to the images of Christ, &c. (Worthington) --- Those who pretend that the Hebrews meant
to adore the true God, and not the idol Apis, are here clearly refuted; they forgot God, &c., Acts vii. 40. (Berthier)
Breach. Like a valiant captain, (Calmet) or pastor. (Haydock) --- God complains of those who neglected this duty, Ezechiel
xiii. 5., and xxii. 30. The psalmist alluded to the conduct of Moses, after the people had adored the calf, (Exodus xxxii.
10.) or when they had joined with Core, Numbers xvi. 44. (Calmet) --- The intercession of the saints is useful, (St. Augustine)
still more after their victories. (St. Jerome ad Vig. ii.) (2 Machabees xv. 14.) (Berthier) --- God spared the people for
the sake of Moses. (Worthington)
Word. Which Moses, Josue, &c., announced, Numbers xiii., and xii. 29. (Calmet)
Over them. Swearing (Calmet) to destroy them, (Haydock; Ezechiel xx. 23.) and scatter them, as they now experienced,
Leviticus xxvi. 31., and Deuteronomy xxviii. 36, 64.
Dead idols, without life, (Challoner) particularly Adonis (Calmet) whose death is bewailed by the poets, &c.
(Haydock) --- Idols kill their votaries. (Worthington)
Multiplied. All who had murmured perished, or this may relate to the 24,000, Numbers xxv. 9. (Calmet) --- Ezechiel
xx. 23. St. Paul (1 Corinthians x. 8.) speaks of those 23,000 slain by the Levites. The Hebrew which has only 3,000 must be
inaccurate. Temporal chastisements were intended to prefigure those which are eternal, as the Jews knew that such rewards
and punishments were to be considered (Matthew xix. 16.; Berthier) as the spiritual sense of the law. (Grotius, Jur.
ii. 20, 39.)
Evermore. Phinees thus by his pious zeal, merited (Worthington) God's favour, and the high priesthood (Numbers xxv.
13.; Calmet) for his posterity, for 900 years, though the latter promise seems to have been conditional. (Berthier)
He distinguished with his lips. Moses, by occasion of the people's rebellion and incredulity, was guilty of distinguishing
with his lips; when, instead of speaking to the rock, as God had commanded, he said to the people, with a certain hesitation
in his faith, Hear ye rebellious and incredulous: Can we from this rock bring out water for you? Numbers xx. 10. (Challoner)
--- For thus doubting of God's will, he was temporarily punished, Deuteronomy i. 37. (Worthington) --- The death of his sister,
and the ingratitude and rebellion of the people disturbed him. (Theodoret) See Isaias lxiii. 10. Houbigant follows the Arabic,
"he delayed or hesitated." Yebatte means, "he spoke rashly." Some refer this, (Berthier) to God. "He reproached....that
they," &c., (Menochius) which is not necessary, (Berthier) or he sentenced Moses to die. (Kimchi)
Them. Commanding no idolatrous government to be left in the land, nor any Chanaanite to be permitted to live, who should
make opposition. The law of extermination must probably be thus restricted. The Jews neglected these ordinances, and hence
became so often infected with idolatry, (Berthier) even to the end of the republic, when many still adored the sun. (Josephus,
Jewish Wars ii. 8.) (Exodus xxiii. 32., and Josue xiii. 13.)
Chanaan. These unnatural sacrifices were perhaps practised under the judges, or at least under the kings. (Worthington)
--- Some pretend that the children were only made to pass over or between fires. But this is refuted by facts, Leviticus xviii.
21., and 4 Kings xvi. 3., and Jeremias vii. 30 --- Polluted. Infecta: ephonoktanethe is used by Septuagint,
in this sense, though it signifies also, "was slain;" interfecta, as most Latin Bibles and Fathers read, before the
correction of Clement VIII. The former expression is more natural and conformable to the Hebrew. (Calmet)
And was. Hebrew, "and they were defiled." (St. Jerome) --- Inventions. Idols of their imaginations, (Haydock)
and lusts. (Calmet)
Repented. Ceased to punish, (Eusebius) when the people repented. (St. Jerome) --- God then regarded them in mercy,
having given them grace to repent. (Worthington)
Mercies. He inspired their enemies with pity for them. Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes shewed them favour, Psalm lxxxiii.
Save. These verses, which may be well recited in times of schism, (Worthington) occur, 1 Paralipomenon xvi., being
probably inserted by Esdras, or some other prophet. But here they are in their proper place, as many of the Israelites are
still in captivity. (Calmet) --- Yet as this is only a system, we may rather suppose, that David wrote this conclusion. He
had to encounter various nations, who might have made captives; and he may beg that all may be united in the same faith, and
avoid the society of the wicked. (Berthier)
So be it. The second Amen occurs not in Hebrew. But Alleluia is placed instead, which the Vulgate makes
the title of the next psalm. (Haydock) --- This conclusion of the fourth book seems to be added by the collector, Psalm xl.
(Calmet) --- Yet this is uncertain. (Haydock)