Psalms 106:33 MEANING

Psalm 106:33
(33) They provoked his spirit.--The natural interpretation is to take this of Moses' spirit. So LXX. and Vulg., "they embittered his spirit." The usage of the phrase is, however, in favour of referring the words to the temper of the people towards God," they rebelled against His spirit."

Spake unadvisedly.--Compare the same verb with the same addition, "with the lips," in Leviticus 5:4. This interpretation of the fault of Moses is partial. A comparison of all the historical narratives shows that it was rather for a momentary lapse into the despairing spirit of the people, than for addressing them as rebels, that Moses was excluded from the Promised Land.

Verse 33. - Because they provoked his spirit, so that he spake unadvisedly with his lips. One man's sin often leads to another's, but does not necessitate it. The people "provoked Muses' spirit" by their murmurs and reproaches (Numbers 20:3-5). Moses, being provoked, made his rash utterance (Numbers 20:10). He was vexed, impatient, carried away by a gust of passion, and made the unfitting speech, "Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of the rock?" speaking as if the power were his own.

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.Because they provoked his spirit;.... Though he was a very meek man, meeker than any upon the face of the earth, Numbers 12:2, yet, being greatly provoked, let fall some passionate and undue expressions: and this was not only his sin, but the fault of those also that provoked him, and with this view it is mentioned. The Targum is,

"for they rebelled against his Holy Spirit;''

the Holy Spirit of God, as in Isaiah 63:10. Jarchi interprets it of Moses and Aaron provoking the Spirit of God; which sense is mentioned, by Aben Ezra and Kimchi; though they seem to prefer the former, and which seems best. Some interpret it of the Israelites, that they caused Moses and Aaron to provoke his Spirit.

So that he spake unadvisedly with his lips; that is, Moses spake,

saying, Hear now, ye rebels, must we, or "can we",

fetch you water out of this rock? Which words were spoken in an angry passionate way, calling them rebels, and expressing diffidence about getting water out of the rock; which was the thing that was so displeasing to God, because they did not believe him to sanctify him in the eyes of the children of Israel, Numbers 25:10. Jarchi, as before, understands this of God, of his speaking, pronouncing, and declaring, that Moses and Aaron should not bring the congregation into the land of Canaan, Numbers 25:18, and so the word "unadvisedly" may be left out, and only read, "he spake with his lips"; but the other sense is to be preferred.

Courtesy of Open Bible