Psalms 106:28 MEANING

Psalm 106:28
(28-31) The licentious character of the cult of Baal-peor in Numbers 25 is expressed in the word "joined," better, yoked. LXX. and Vulg., "were initiated," i.e., by prostitution.

(28) Ate the sacrifices of the dead--i.e., the sacrifices of a dead divinity. Numbers 25:2, "and they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods," shows that here we must not see any allusion to necromantic rites, such as are referred to in Deuteronomy 18:11; Isaiah 8:19, and the parallelism shows that the "god" in question is Baal-peor.

Carcases of idols.--This phrase is actually used in Leviticus 26:30; here no doubt the plural is used poetically for the singular.

Verse 28. - They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor (see Numbers 25:3). The exact expression used in the Pentateuch is repeated. It signifies a mystic union, such as was supposed to exist between a heathen god and his worshippers, and to be kept up by sacrificial meals and the like. "Baal-peor" - i.e. "the Lord of Pehor" - is probably identified with Chemosh. And ate the sacrifices of the dead. The corresponding phrase in Numbers (Numbers 25:2) is, "the sacrifices of their gods," who were "dead," as opposed to the true living God.

106:13-33 Those that will not wait for God's counsel, shall justly be given up to their own hearts' lusts, to walk in their own counsels. An undue desire, even for lawful things, becomes sinful. God showed his displeasure for this. He filled them with uneasiness of mind, terror of conscience, and self-reproach. Many that fare deliciously every day, and whose bodies are healthful, have leanness in their souls: no love to God, no thankfulness, no appetite for the Bread of life, and then the soul must be lean. Those wretchedly forget themselves, that feast their bodies and starve their souls. Even the true believer will see abundant cause to say, It is of the Lord's mercies that I am not consumed. Often have we set up idols in our hearts, cleaved to some forbidden object; so that if a greater than Moses had not stood to turn away the anger of the Lord, we should have been destroyed. If God dealt severely with Moses for unadvised words, what do those deserve who speak many proud and wicked words? It is just in God to remove those relations that are blessings to us, when we are peevish and provoking to them, and grieve their spirits.They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor,.... Or to the idol Peor, as the Targum. Baal, which signifies Lord or master, was a common name for an idol in many countries; wherefore, to distinguish one from another, an additional name was used. Baalzephon was the god of the Egyptians; Baalzebub the god of the Ekronites; and here Baalpeor the god of the Moabites: for the fact referred to was committed when the children of Israel were on the borders of Moab, and when Balak sent for Balaam to curse them; who at last advised him to draw them to commit fornication with the daughters of Moab; who might then prevail upon them to commit idolatry, which would bring the wrath of God upon them. And in this he succeeded. The above idol had its name of Peor either from the obscene actions done in the worship of it, too filthy to be related, and which, it is thought, are referred to in Hosea 9:10. It seems to be the Priapus of the Heathens. Or, as others, from a mountain of this name, where was the house or temple in which it was worshipped: hence we read of Mount Peor, and of Bethpeor, Numbers 23:28. So Suidas (t) says, Baal is Saturn, and Peor the place where he was worshipped. Or else from some great man of this name, Lord Peor; who being of great fame and note among the Moabites, for some extraordinary things done by him, was deified and worshipped after his death; as was common among the Heathens. To this idol the Israelites joined or "yoked" themselves, as the word (u) signifies: they withdrew themselves from the yoke of the true God, whose yoke is easy, and put their necks under the yoke of an idol; which was to be unequally yoked: or they were tempted unto it; they committed spiritual whoredom with it, which is idolatry; they left their first and lawful husband, to whom they were married, and joined themselves to an idol, and cleaved to it. The phrase is expressive of their fellowship with it, and with the idolatrous worshippers of it; they devoted and gave up themselves to the worship of it; just as the true worshippers of God are said to join themselves to him, Jeremiah 50:6, they were, as the Septuagint renders it, initiated into the rites and mysteries of this idol.

And ate the sacrifices of the dead; which were offered up to this lifeless statue. So idols are called the dead, in opposition to and distinction from the living God, Isaiah 8:19. Or they partook of the feasts which were kept in honour of their dead deified hero, Lord Peor; see the history in Numbers 25:1. These were sacrifices offered to the Stygian Jupiter, or Pluto, called by the Phoenicians Mot (w), the same with Chemosh, the god of the Moabites; and who also was Baalpeor, according to Jerom (x).

(t) In voce (u) "conjugati sunt", Vatablus; "subdiderunt sese jugo", Gejerus. (w) Sanchoniatho apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 38. Vid. Castell. Annot. Samar. p. 13. in vol. 6. Lond. Polyglott. (x) Comment. in Esaiam, fol. 26. H.

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