Psalm 106:34
They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
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(34-39) The national sin after the settlement in Canaan.

Psalm 106:34-39. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom — Concerning whose destruction, the Lord commanded them — For when the iniquity of the Canaanites was full, it was God’s will to extirpate their race, and Israel was commissioned to execute upon them the vengeance determined. But were mingled among the heathen — In their habitations and negotiations, as also in marriages. And they served their idols — Which idols were an occasion of their falling both into further and greater sins, as it follows, Psalm 106:37-38, and into utter ruin. They sacrificed their sons and daughters — Of which heathenish practice, see the notes on Leviticus 18:21. Unto devils — By which expression he informs them that they did not worship God as they pretended, but devils in their idols; and that those spirits that were supposed by the heathen idolaters to inhabit their images, and which they worshipped in them, were not good spirits, as they imagined, but evil spirits or devils. And shed innocent blood — The blood of their children, who, though depraved before God, yet were innocent as to them, from any crime deserving such barbarous usage from them. Thus were they defiled with their own works — And rendered abominable in the sight of a holy God; and went a whoring with their own inventions — Committed spiritual whoredom, by worshipping those idols which were but human inventions, and that in such an unnatural and bloody manner as they had devised.

106:34-48 The conduct of the Israelites in Canaan, and God's dealings with them, show that the way of sin is down-hill; omissions make way for commissions: when they neglected to destroy the heathen, they learned their works. One sin led to many more, and brought the judgments of God on them. Their sin was, in part, their own punishment. Sinners often see themselves ruined by those who led them into evil. Satan, who is a tempter, will be a tormentor. At length, God showed pity to his people for his covenant's sake. The unchangeableness of God's merciful nature and love to his people, makes him change the course of justice into mercy; and no other change is meant by God's repentance. Our case is awful when the outward church is considered. When nations professing Christianity, are so guilty as we are, no wonder if the Lord brings them low for their sins. Unless there is general and deep repentance, there can be no prospect but of increasing calamities. The psalm concludes with prayer for completing the deliverance of God's people, and praise for the beginning and progress of it. May all the people of the earth, ere long, add their Amen.They did not destroy the nations - The Canaanites, Hivites, Jebusites, etc.; the nations that inhabited the land of Canaan.

Concerning whom the Lord commanded them - The command on this subject was positive; and it was to destroy them, to spare none of them. Numbers 33:52; Deuteronomy 7:5, Deuteronomy 7:16.

34-39. They not only failed to expel the heathen, as God

commanded—(Ex 23:32, 33), literally, "said (they should)," but conformed to their idolatries [Ps 106:36], and thus became spiritual adulterers (Ps 73:27).

34 They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them:

35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.

36 And they served their idols; which were a snare unto them.

37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,

38 And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.

39 Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.

4o Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.

41 And he gave them into the hands of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them.

42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand.

43 Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.

Psalm 106:34

"They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them." They were commissioned to act as executioners upon races condemned for their unnatural crimes, and through sloth, cowardice, or sinful complacency-they sheathed the sword too soon, very much to their own danger and disquietude. It is a great evil with professors that they are not zealous for the total destruction of all sin within and without. We make alliances of peace where we ought to proclaim war to the knife; we plead our constitutional temperament, our previous habits, the necessity of our circumstances, or some other evil excuse as an apology for being content with a very partial sanctification, if indeed it be sanctification at all. We are slow also to rebuke sin in others, and are ready to spare respectable sins, which like Agag walk with mincing steps. The measure of our destruction of sin is not to be our inclination, or the habit of others, but the Lord's command. We have no warrant for dealing leniently with any sin, be it what it may.

Psalm 106:35

"But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works." It was not the wilderness which caused Israel's sins; they were just as disobedient when settled in the land of promise. They found evil company, and delighted in it. Those whom they should have destroyed they made their friends. Having enough faults of their own, they were yet ready to go to school to the filthy Canaanites, and educate themselves still more in the arts of iniquity. It was certain that they could learn no good from men whom the Lord had condemned to utter destruction. Few would wish to go to the condemned cell for learning, yet Israel sat at the feet of accursed Canaan, and rose up proficient in every abomination. This, too, is a grievous but common error among professors: they court worldly company and copy worldly fashions, and yet it is their calling to bear witness against these things. None can tell what evil has come of the folly of worldly conformity.


Concerning whom, i.e. concerning whose destruction or rather, which thing to wit, to destroy those Canaanitish nations; for in the Hebrew there is nothing but asher, which signifies only either whom or which.

They did not destroy the nations,.... Here begins an account of their sins and provocations, after they were settled in the land of Canaan. They did not destroy the inhabitants of the land, of the seven nations; whose land was given to them as an inheritance, and of which the Canaanites were dispossessed for their sins, and to be destroyed.

Concerning whom the Lord commanded them; that they should destroy them; the command is in Deuteronomy 7:1. God's commands are to be obeyed; they are neither to be added to, nor diminished from; his commands are transgressed and violated by sins of omission or commission; the Israelites might plead mercy, but this was no excuse to an express command: the same sin Saul was afterwards guilty of, with respect to one of these nations, 1 Samuel 15:2. Those spiritual Canaanites, the sinful deeds of the body, are to be mortified, and not indulged and spared, Colossians 3:5.

They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
34. They did not destroy the peoples,

As Jehovah had commanded them.

For the command so often repeated see Exodus 23:32-33; Exodus 34:12 ff.; Deuteronomy 7:2 ff.: and for the neglect of it, Jdg 1:21; Jdg 1:27; Jdg 1:29 ff., Jdg 2:1 ff.

34–39. The continued disobedience of Israel even after the Entry into Canaan. Neglecting the command to exterminate the Canaanites they became infected by their abominations.

Verse 34. - They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them. This is reckoned as another sin. Israel, once comfortably settled in Palestine, with sufficient room for its numbers, did not carry out the Divine command to "destroy," or "cast out," the Canaanitish nations, but was content to share the land with them. "The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem" (Judges 1:21); "neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns; nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns" (Judges 1:27); "neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer" (Judges 1:29); nor "Zebulon the inhabitants of Kitten, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol" (Judges 1:30); "neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho" (Judges 1:31); nor "Naphtali the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath" (Judges 1:33); nor Dan the Amorites, who "would dwell in Mount Heros in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim" (Judges 1:35). It was not compassion that restrained them, but love of ease, idleness, one of the seven deadly sins; and the results were those described in the next verse. Psalm 106:34The sins in Canaan: the failing to exterminate the idolatrous peoples and sharing in their idolatry. In Psalm 106:34 the poet appeals to the command, frequently enjoined upon them from Exodus 23:32. onwards, to extirpate the inhabitants of Canaan. Since they did not execute this command (vid., Judges 1:1), that which it was intended to prevent came to pass: the heathen became to them a snare (mowqeesh), Exodus 23:33; Exodus 34:12; Deuteronomy 7:16. They intermarried with them, and fell into the Canaanitish custom in which the abominations of heathenism culminate, viz., the human sacrifice, which Jahve abhorreth (Deuteronomy 12:31), and only the demons (שׁדים, Deuteronomy 32:17) delight in. Thus then the land was defiled by blood-guiltiness (חנף, Numbers 35:33, cf. Isaiah 24:5; Isaiah 26:21), and they themselves became unclean (Ezekiel 20:43) by the whoredom of idolatry. In Psalm 106:40-43 the poet (as in Nehemiah 9:26.) sketches the alternation of apostasy, captivity, redemption, and relapse which followed upon the possession of Canaan, and more especially that which characterized the period of the judges. God's "counsel" was to make Israel free and glorious, but they leaned upon themselves, following their own intentions (בּעצתם); wherefore they perished in their sins. The poet uses מכך (to sink down, fall away) instead of the נמק (to moulder, rot) of the primary passage, Leviticus 26:39, retained in Ezekiel 24:23; Ezekiel 33:10, which is no blunder (Hitzig), but a deliberate change.
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