Psalms 104:26

26 There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

Psalms 104:26 in Other Translations

26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
26 There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
26 See the ships sailing along, and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
26 Ships plow those waters, and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
26 There the ships move about, and Leviathan, which You formed to play there.

Psalms 104:26 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 104:26

There go the ships
From place to place, from one end of the world to the other, for the sake of merchandise F18; this is one of the four things that were too wonderful for Solomon, "the way of a ship in the midst of the sea", ( Proverbs 30:19 ) though navigation was improved in his times indeed not so much as it is now. The original of ships was doubtless Noah's ark, so that they owe their first draught to God himself. They seem to be an emblem of the church and people of God passing through the sea of this world to the haven of eternal rest. The ship is but a small vessel, and takes up but a small room in comparison of the vast ocean on which it is; and so the church of Christ is but small, a little city, and few men in it, a little flock, a small remnant: a ship is unfixed and unsettled, sometimes here and sometimes there; so the church of Christ is sometimes in one place, and sometimes in another; nor is this world the rest of God's people, nor have they any continuing city here; for, as a ship is tossed with tempests, so are they with the waves of afflictions, the temptations of Satan, and the persecutions of men; and sometimes, like Paul, and the mariners with him, have no sight of sun and stars for many days, of the sun of righteousness, or of the stars, the ministers of the word; when sailing is dangerous it bodes perilous times, through the impure lives of professors, and impious doctrines of false teachers, whereby many suffer shipwreck; yet all the Lord's people get safe ashore, having a good pilot, Christ, to conduct them; and the good anchor of hope, sure and steadfast.

There is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein;
the Targum adds,

``for the righteous at the feast of the house of his habitation.''

Of this creature there is an account in ( Job 41:1-10 ) . Some take it to be the crocodile, which is both a sea and river fish; the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, and Arabic versions, and so Apollinarius, call it the dragon; it is more generally thought to be the whale; Aben Ezra says it is the name of every great fish; it is a sportive creature, tumbles about in the great sea, and plays with the waters of it, which it tosses up in great quantities; and with the fishes of the sea, which it devours at pleasure; and laughs at the shaking of the spear; and to which mariners throw out their empty casks to play with, when near them, and they in danger by it; see ( Job 41:5 Job 41:29 ) . This creature is generally reckoned by the ancients a figure of Satan, it being king over all the children of pride, ( Job 41:34 ) as he is the prince of the power of the air, and god of this world; who has been playing his tricks in it from the beginning of it, not only deceiving our first parents, but all the nations of the world; nor are saints ignorant of his devices. It sometimes describes a tyrannical prince, as the kings of Babylon and of Egypt, ( Isaiah 27:1 ) ( Ezekiel 32:2 ) and is a true picture of antichrist, the beast which rose out of the sea; nor is there any like him on earth; see ( Revelation 13:1 Revelation 13:4 ) ( Job 41:33 )


F18 So Homer calls ships (nhav pontuporouv) , Iliad. 3. v. 46.

Psalms 104:26 In-Context

24 How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27 All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Psalms 107:23; Ezekiel 27:9; John 1:3
  • 2. S Job 3:8; Job 41:1
  • 3. Job 40:20
  • 4. S Genesis 1:21
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