Thus we begin the Fourth Book of Psalms. The psalms that follow are generally liturgical in nature, as are those of the Fifth Book. Perhaps it’s divided between 106 and 107 only for convenience in terms of size, because the nature and style of the songs do not change.
This song is ascribed to Moses who led the Exodus. When we read of all the carping, whining and resistance he faced from Israel, we hardly wonder at the subject matter here. At the same time we notice how it resembles much of Ecclesiastes. For Solomon, this style of writing emulates the very best of classical Ancient Near Eastern Wisdom Literature. It’s easy to forget how Moses was educated in Pharaoh’s courts, and then at the hand of his father-in-law who was also hardly a country bumpkin. Thus, the message here is more subtle than might seem obvious from the words alone. This is dramatic oratory meant to draw us along a path of ancient Eastern logic, and we are obliged to read between the lines if we expect to see where it goes.
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