Psalms 104

Psalm 104

1 Let my whole being bless the LORD! LORD my God, how fantastic you are! You are clothed in glory and grandeur!
2 You wear light like a robe; you open the skies like a curtain.
3 You build your lofty house on the waters; you make the clouds your chariot, going around on the wings of the wind.
4 You make the winds your messengers; you make fire and flame your ministers.
5 You established the earth on its foundations so that it will never ever fall.
6 You covered it with the watery deep like a piece of clothing; the waters were higher than the mountains!
7 But at your rebuke they ran away; they fled in fear at the sound of your thunder.
8 They flowed over the mountains, streaming down the valleys to the place you established for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross so they'll never again cover the earth.
10 You put gushing springs into dry riverbeds. They flow between the mountains,
11 providing water for every wild animal— the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Overhead, the birds in the sky make their home, chirping loudly in the trees.
13 From your lofty house, you water the mountains. The earth is filled full by the fruit of what you've done.
14 You make grass grow for cattle; you make plants for human farming in order to get food from the ground,
15 and wine, which cheers people's hearts, along with oil, which makes the face shine, and bread, which sustains the human heart.
16 The LORD's trees are well watered— the cedars of Lebanon, which God planted,
17 where the birds make their nests, where the stork has a home in the cypresses.
18 The high mountains belong to the mountain goats; the ridges are the refuge of badgers.
19 God made the moon for the seasons, and the sun too, which knows when to set.
20 You bring on the darkness and it is night, when every forest animal prowls.
21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they gather together and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go off to their work, to do their work until evening.
24 LORD, you have done so many things! You made them all so wisely! The earth is full of your creations!
25 And then there's the sea, wide and deep, with its countless creatures— living things both small and large.
26 There go the ships on it, and Leviathan, which you made, plays in it!
27 All your creations wait for you to give them their food on time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled completely full!
29 But when you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to dust.
30 When you let loose your breath, they are created, and you make the surface of the ground brand-new again.
31 Let the LORD's glory last forever! Let the LORD rejoice in all he has made!
32 He has only to look at the earth, and it shakes. God just touches the mountains, and they erupt in smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I'm still alive.
34 Let my praise be pleasing to him; I'm rejoicing in the LORD!
35 Let sinners be wiped clean from the earth; let the wicked be no more. But let my whole being bless the LORD! Praise the LORD!

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Psalms 104 Commentary

Chapter 104

God's majesty in the heavens, The creation of the sea, and the dry land. (1-9) His provision for all creatures. (10-18) The regular course of day and night, and God's sovereign power over all the creatures. (19-30) A resolution to continue praising God. (31-35)

Verses 1-9 Every object we behold calls on us to bless and praise the Lord, who is great. His eternal power and Godhead are clearly shown by the things which he hath made. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. The Lord Jesus, the Son of his love, is the Light of the world.

Verses 10-18 When we reflect upon the provision made for all creatures, we should also notice the natural worship they render to God. Yet man, forgetful ungrateful man, enjoys the largest measure of his Creator's kindness. the earth, varying in different lands. Nor let us forget spiritual blessings; the fruitfulness of the church through grace, the bread of everlasting life, the cup of salvation, and the oil of gladness. Does God provide for the inferior creatures, and will he not be a refuge to his people?

Verses 19-30 We are to praise and magnify God for the constant succession of day and night. And see how those are like to the wild beasts, who wait for the twilight, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Does God listen to the language of mere nature, even in ravenous creatures, and shall he not much more interpret favourably the language of grace in his own people, though weak and broken groanings which cannot be uttered? There is the work of every day, which is to be done in its day, which man must apply to every morning, and which he must continue in till evening; it will be time enough to rest when the night comes, in which no man can work. The psalmist wonders at the works of God. The works of art, the more closely they are looked upon, the more rough they appear; the works of nature appear more fine and exact. They are all made in wisdom, for they all answer the end they were designed to serve. Every spring is an emblem of the resurrection, when a new world rises, as it were, out of the ruins of the old one. But man alone lives beyond death. When the Lord takes away his breath, his soul enters on another state, and his body will be raised, either to glory or to misery. May the Lord send forth his Spirit, and new-create our souls to holiness.

Verses 31-35 Man's glory is fading; God's glory is everlasting: creatures change, but with the Creator there is no variableness. And if mediation on the glories of creation be so sweet to the soul, what greater glory appears to the enlightened mind, when contemplating the great work of redemption! There alone can a sinner perceive ground of confidence and joy in God. While he with pleasure upholds all, governs all, and rejoices in all his works, let our souls, touched by his grace, meditate on and praise him.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or soul; also in 104:35

Chapter Summary


This psalm, though without a title, was probably written by David, since it begins and ends as the former does, as Aben Ezra observes; and to him the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, ascribe it. The inscription of the Syriac version is,

``a psalm of David, when he went to worship before the ark of the Lord with the priests; and as to us, it teaches us confession and prayer; and intimates to us the constitution of the beginning of the creatures; and declares some things concerning the angels.''

Some copies of the Septuagint version have it,

``a psalm of David concerning the constitution of the world;''

which indeed is the subject matter of it; for it treats of the creation of all things, of the heavens and the earth, and of all creatures in them; and of the providence of God in taking care of them. Christ is the divine Person addressed and described throughout the whole, as appears from the quotation of Ps 104:5 and the application of it to him in Heb 1:7.

\\Bless the Lord, O my soul\\ As for the blessings of grace and mercy expressed in the preceding psalm, so on account of the works of creation and providence, enumerated in this; in which Christ has an equal concern, as in the former.

\\O Lord my God, thou art very great\\; the Messiah, who is Jehovah our righteousness, Lord of all, truly God, and the God of his people; see Joh 20:28 and who is great, and very great, in his divine Person, being the great God, and our Saviour; great in all his works of creation, providence, and redemption; great in all his offices of Prophet, Priest, and King; a Saviour, and a great one; the great Shepherd of the Sheep; the Man, Jehovah's Fellow.

\\Thou art clothed with honour and majesty\\; being the brightness of his Father's glory, and having on him the glory of the only begotten of the Father, and a natural majesty in him as the Son of God and King of the whole universe; and, as Mediator, he has honour and majesty laid upon him by his Father, Ps 21:5, he has all the regalia and ensigns of royal majesty; he is on a throne, high and lifted up, even the same with his divine Father; he has a crown of glory on his head, he is crowned with glory and honour; he has a sceptre of righteousness in his hand, and is arrayed in robes of majesty; and, as thus situated, is to look upon like a jasper and sardine stone; or as if he was covered with sparkling gems and precious stones, Re 4:2,3 and, having all power in heaven and earth, over angels and men, honour and glory given him by both. 23531-950516-0908-Ps104.2

Psalms 104 Commentaries

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