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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 104

 

 

Verses 1-35

This is a Ps. of Nature, celebrating God's glory as seen in His works both inanimate and animate. It is an expansion of the closing vv. of Psalms 103, and like that Ps. begins and ends with the phrase, 'Bless the Lord, O my soul!' The two Pss. are probably the work of the same author. Psalms 104 follows to some extent the order of the creation-poem in Genesis 1, and may be compared also with Job 38-41. Psalms 104:5-9, Psalms 104:19 speak of the creation of the world, but the greater part of the Ps. describes its present condition and arrangements, which need not be analysed in detail. The closing vv. consist of an ascription of praise (Psalms 104:31-34), and a prayer for the destruction of the wicked (Psalms 104:35).

3. Chambers] lit. 'upper chambers': see Amos 9:6. The waters referred to are those above the firmament (Genesis 1:7; Psalms 148:4), which are the source of rain: see Psalms 104:13. Wings of the wind] see Psalms 18:10.

4. His angels spirits] read either, 'his angels winds,' or 'winds his messengers' (RV). The former rendering is the more natural, is parallel to that of the next clause, and is adopted in Hebrews 1:7, where the v. is quoted. The latter reading seems to give a simpler sense, but the other is quite intelligible also. As God manifests His own glory in the universe, so He manifests the power of His angels in the winds and the lightning.

7-9. These vv. are parallel to Genesis 1:9, Genesis 1:10. God's command to the waters is conceived as having been uttered in thunder (Psalms 104:7).

16. Full of sap] RV 'satisfied,' as in Psalms 104:13.

19. See Genesis 1:14-18.

22. Gather themselves together] RV 'get them away.'

25. So is this great and wide sea] RV 'Yonder is the sea, great and wide.' Things creeping, etc.] or, 'things moving,' etc.: see Genesis 1:21.

26. Leviathan] see Job 41, where the crocodile is referred to. Here a sea-monster is meant.

31. The glory.. shall endure.. the Lord shall rejoice] RV 'Let the glory.. endure.. let the Lord rejoice.'

34. My meditation of him shall be sweet] RV 'Let my meditation be sweet unto him': see Psalms 19:14.

35. The point of the Psalmist's prayer is that evil may be banished from the world, though he identifies sin with sinners, and seems to include their destruction in his wish. Praise ye the Lord] This sentence should probably be read as the beginning of the next Ps.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 104:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/psalms-104.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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