Psalms 104:19

19 He made the moon to mark the 1seasons;[a] the sun knows its time for setting.

Psalms 104:19 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 104:19

He appointeth the moon for seasons
Or, "he made" F5; for the moon is the work of his hands, ( Psalms 8:3 ) as is likewise the sun. From the rain the psalmist passes to the luminaries; for this reason, as Aben Ezra thinks, because they are the cause of rain: the moon is taken notice of in the first place, because, as Kimchi observes, the night was before the day; and in the night of the fourth day were the sun, moon, and stars; but the sun rose in the morning. The moon was made for seasons as well as the sun, ( Genesis 1:16 ) or that times might be numbered by it, as the Targum, both months and years; one of its courses and revolutions making a month, and twelve of these a year; which lunar years were in use among some nations: as also it is supposed to have an influence on the ebbing and flowing of the tides; and served to regulate the festivals of the Jews, their set appointed times, as the word signifies, and is used of them, and which were governed by it. And this Jarchi takes to be the sense of the passage; though Aben Ezra more truly remarks, that it purely belongs to the work of creation, and the original design and use of this luminary. It was an emblem of the ceremonial law; which consisted, among other things, in the observation of new moons; which gave some light in the time of Jewish darkness, though but a dim one, in comparison of the Gospel; had its imperfections, was changeable, waxed old, and vanished away; and which the church is said to have under her feet, being abolished, ( Revelation 12:1 ) . Though some think the world is meant, which is changeable and fading. It was also an emblem of the church, ( Song of Solomon 6:10 ) which receives her light from Christ, the sun of righteousness; has its different phases and appearances; sometimes being in prosperity, and sometimes in adversity; has its spots and imperfections, and yet beautiful, through the grace of God and righteousness of Christ.

The sun knoweth his going down;
not the going down of the moon, which is the sense of some, according to Kimchi; but his own going down; and so he knows his rising, to which this is opposed, ( Psalms 50:1 ) and every revolution, diurnal or annual, he makes; and which he constantly and punctually observes, as if he was a creature endued with reason and understanding; see ( Psalms 19:5 Psalms 19:6 ) ( Job 38:12 ) . He knows the time of his setting, as the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic versions; and also the place where he is to set, at the different seasons of the year, and indeed every day. This luminary is an emblem of Christ, the sun of righteousness, ( Psalms 84:11 ) ( Malachi 4:2 ) the fountain of all light; the light of nature, grace, and glory; and of all spiritual life and heat, as well as fruitfulness. He arose at his incarnation, and set at his death, the time of both which he full well knew; and he has his risings and settings, with respect to the manifestation of himself to his people, or hiding himself from them, which depend on his pleasure.


F5 (hve) "fecit", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator

Psalms 104:19 In-Context

17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night, when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Genesis 1:14; Leviticus 23:4

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or the appointed times (compare Genesis 1:14)
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.