Psalms 104

1 Praise the LORD, my soul. LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2 The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,[a]flames of fire his servants.
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening.
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.
29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the LORD, my soul. Praise the LORD.[b]

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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.

Cross References 75

  • 1. S Psalms 103:22
  • 2. S Job 40:10
  • 3. Isaiah 49:18; Jeremiah 43:12; Daniel 7:9
  • 4. Psalms 18:12; 1 Timothy 6:16
  • 5. Job 9:8; Jeremiah 51:15
  • 6. Job 37:18; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 44:24; Zechariah 12:1
  • 7. S Psalms 19:4
  • 8. Amos 9:6
  • 9. S Psalms 24:2
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 33:26; Isaiah 19:1; Nahum 1:3
  • 11. S 2 Kings 2:11
  • 12. Psalms 18:10
  • 13. Psalms 148:8; Hebrews 1:7*
  • 14. Genesis 3:24; 2 Kings 2:11
  • 15. Exodus 31:17; Job 26:7; Psalms 24:1-2; Psalms 102:25; Psalms 121:2
  • 16. S 1 Samuel 2:8
  • 17. Genesis 7:19
  • 18. S Genesis 1:2
  • 19. 2 Peter 3:6
  • 20. S Psalms 18:15
  • 21. S Exodus 9:23; Psalms 29:3
  • 22. Psalms 33:7
  • 23. S Genesis 1:9; S Psalms 16:6
  • 24. Psalms 107:33; Isaiah 41:18
  • 25. ver 13
  • 26. S Genesis 16:12; Isaiah 32:14; Jeremiah 14:6
  • 27. ver 17; Matthew 8:20
  • 28. Matthew 13:32
  • 29. Psalms 135:7; Psalms 147:8; Jeremiah 10:13; Zechariah 10:1
  • 30. S Leviticus 26:4
  • 31. Amos 9:6
  • 32. S Job 38:27; Psalms 147:8
  • 33. S Genesis 1:30; S Job 28:5
  • 34. S Genesis 14:18; S Judges 9:13
  • 35. Psalms 23:5; Psalms 92:10; Luke 7:46
  • 36. S Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 6:11
  • 37. Genesis 1:11
  • 38. S Psalms 72:16
  • 39. ver 12
  • 40. S Deuteronomy 14:5
  • 41. Proverbs 30:26
  • 42. S Genesis 1:14
  • 43. Psalms 19:6
  • 44. Isaiah 45:7; Amos 5:8
  • 45. Psalms 74:16
  • 46. S Psalms 50:10
  • 47. Amos 3:4
  • 48. Job 38:39; Psalms 145:15; Joel 1:20; S Matthew 6:26
  • 49. S Job 37:8
  • 50. S Genesis 3:19
  • 51. Judges 19:16
  • 52. Psalms 40:5
  • 53. S Genesis 1:31; Proverbs 3:19
  • 54. Psalms 24:1; Psalms 50:10-11
  • 55. Psalms 69:34
  • 56. Ezekiel 47:10
  • 57. Psalms 107:23; Ezekiel 27:9; John 1:3
  • 58. S Job 3:8; Job 41:1
  • 59. Job 40:20
  • 60. S Genesis 1:21
  • 61. Job 36:31; Psalms 136:25; Psalms 145:15; Psalms 147:9
  • 62. Psalms 103:5; Psalms 145:16; Isaiah 58:11
  • 63. S Deuteronomy 31:17
  • 64. S Job 7:21; Job 34:14; Ecclesiastes 12:7
  • 65. S Genesis 1:2
  • 66. Exodus 40:35; Psalms 8:1; S Romans 11:36
  • 67. S Genesis 1:4; Genesis 1:31
  • 68. S Psalms 97:4
  • 69. S Exodus 19:18
  • 70. Psalms 144:5
  • 71. S Exodus 15:1; Psalms 108:1; Psalms 63:4
  • 72. S Psalms 2:11; Psalms 9:2; Psalms 32:11
  • 73. Psalms 37:38
  • 74. S Job 7:10
  • 75. Psalms 28:6; Psalms 105:45; Psalms 106:48

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "angels"
  • [b]. Hebrew "Hallelu Yah" ; in the Septuagint this line stands at the beginning of Psalm 105.

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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