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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 103:1

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Bless the Lord - He calls on his soul, and all its faculties and powers, to magnify God for his mercies. Under such a weight of obligation the lips can do little; the soul and all its powers must be engaged.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-103.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Bless the Lord, O my soul - The word “bless,” as applied to God, means to praise, implying always a strong affection for him as well as a sense of gratitude. As used with reference to people, the word implies a “wish” that they may be blessed or happy, accompanied often with a prayer that they may be so. Such is the purport of the “blessing” addressed to a congregation of worshippers. Compare Numbers 6:23-27. The word “soul” here is equivalent to mind or heart: my mental and moral powers, as capable of understanding and appreciating his favors. The soul of man was “made” to praise and bless God; to enjoy his friendship; to delight in his favor; to contemplate his perfections. It can never be employed in a more appropriate or a more elevated act than when engaged in his praise.

And all that is within me … - All my powers and faculties; all that can be employed in his praise: the heart, the will, the affections, the emotions. The idea is, that God is worthy of all the praise and adoration which the entire man can render. No one of his faculties or powers should be exempt from the duty and the privilege of praise.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-103.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

PSALM 103

PRAISING GOD FOR ALL OF HIS MERCIES

The superscription identifies this as a Psalm of David; and, "Nothing in it forbids the supposition that he was the author. However, nothing in the psalm or anywhere else enables us to determine the precise occasion on which it was written."[1]

This is a perfect psalm, suitable to all times and situations. Christians more frequently turn to this psalm than to any other. Its terminology has entered into the speech of all generations. This writer remembers from the prayers of his grandfather the employment of Psalms 103:10 verbatim as it appears in the King James Bible, and also an exclamation that, "The time and place that know us now, shall soon know us no more for ever," founded upon Psalms 103:16.

Some of the critical writers would assign this psalm to the times of the exile, or afterward, depending upon the occurrence of certain Aramaisms; but as Leupold observed, "Aramaisms are never a sure index of date."[2] As Paul T. Butler, a distinguished Christian Church scholar of Joplin, Missouri, wrote in 1968, "Aramaisms cannot be made a criterion for determining date, because they are found in both early and late Old Testament books. Also, the recently-discovered Ras Shamra texts reveal Aramaic elements (Aramaisms) dating back to 1500 to 1400 B.C."[3] This, of course, knocks the keystone out of the arch of critical devices for late-dating Old Testament writings.

Another unwarranted assumption that labels many psalms "liturgical" is also very untrustworthy. "Of course, it cannot be denied that liturgical use of many psalms could have been made, but it is equally correct that they are beautifully adapted to personal use."[4]

The organization of this psalm appears to be: (1) a self-exhortation to praise God (Psalms 103:1-5); (2) Israel exhorted to bless God (Psalms 103:6-13); (3) God's consideration for man's frailty (Psalms 103:14-18); and (4) all in God's kingdom to bless Him (Psalms 103:19-22).

Psalms 103:1-5

SELF-EXHORTATION

"Bless Jehovah, O my soul;

And all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Who forgives all thine iniquities;

Who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;

Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy desire with good things,

So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle."

Who is it who cannot make the spirit of this worship his own? Every mortal life has received countless benefits at the hand of the Lord, has been healed of many diseases, has received forgiveness of sins, has experienced the redemption of his life from destruction threatened by many dangers seen and unseen, and has enjoyed countless satisfactions from the good things which the Lord has provided.

"So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle" (Psalms 103:5). There was an ancient fable of the eagle renewing its youth in old age, similar to the fable of the Phoenix; but as Briggs noted, "It is doubtful whether there is any allusion here to the fable; but at all events it is the fulness of the life and vigor of the eagle that is thought of."[5]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/psalms-103.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Bless the Lord, O my soul,.... His better part, his soul, which comes immediately from God, and returns to him, which is immaterial and immortal, and of more worth than the world: God is to be served with the best we have; as with the best of our substance, so with the best of our persons; and it is the heart, or soul, which he requires to be given him; and such service as is performed with the soul or spirit is most agreeable to him; he being a Spirit, and therefore must be worshipped in spirit and in truth: unless the spirit or soul of a man, is engaged in the service of God, it is of little avail; for bodily exercise profiteth not; preaching, hearing, praying, and praising, should be both with the spirit, and with the understanding: here the psalmist calls upon his soul to "bless" the Lord; not by invoking or conferring a blessing on him, which as it is impossible to be done, so he stands in no need of it, being God, all sufficient, and blessed for evermore; but by proclaiming and congratulating his blessedness, and by giving him thanks for all mercies, spiritual and temporal:

and all that is within me, bless his holy name; meaning not only all within his body, his heart, reins, lungs, &c. but all within his soul, all the powers and faculties of it; his understanding, will, affections, and judgment; and all the grace that was wrought in him, faith, hope, love, joy, and the like; these he would have all concerned and employed in praising the name of the Lord; which is exalted above all blessing and praise; is great and glorious in all the earth, by reason of his works wrought, and blessings of goodness bestowed; and which appears to be holy in them all, as it does in the works of creation, providence, and redemption; at the remembrance of which holiness thanks should be given; for he that is glorious in holiness is fearful in praises, Psalm 97:12.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-103.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

"[A Psalm] of David." a Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name.

(a) He wakens his dulness to praise God, showing that both understanding and affections, mind and heart, are too little to set forth his praise.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/psalms-103.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalm 103:1-22. A Psalm of joyous praise, in which the writer rises from a thankful acknowledgment of personal blessings to a lively celebration of God‘s gracious attributes, as not only intrinsically worthy of praise, but as specially suited to man‘s frailty. He concludes by invoking all creatures to unite in his song.

Bless, etc. — when God is the object, praise.

my soul — myself (Psalm 3:3; Psalm 25:1), with allusion to the act, as one of intelligence.

all … within me — (Deuteronomy 6:5).

his holy name — (Psalm 5:11), His complete moral perfections.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-103.html. 1871-8.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Bless Jehovah, O my soul! The prophet, by stirring up himself to gratitude, gives by his own example a lesson to every man of the duty incumbent upon him. And doubtless our slothfulness in this matter has need of continual incitement. If even the prophet, who was inflamed with a more intense and fervent zeal than other men, was not free from this malady, of which his earnestness in stimulating himself is a plain confession, how much more necessary is it for us, who have abundant experience of our own torpor, to apply the same means for our quickening? The Holy Spirit, by his mouth, indirectly upbraids us on account of our not being more diligent in praising God, and at the same time points out the remedy, that every man may descend into himself and correct his own sluggishness. Not content with calling upon his soul (by which he unquestionably means the seat of the understanding and affections) to bless God, the prophet expressly adds his inward parts, addressing as it were his own mind and heart, and all the faculties of both. When he thus speaks to himself, it is as if, removed from the presence of men, he examined himself before God. The repetition renders his language still more emphatic, as if he thereby intended to reprove his own slothfulness.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-103.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 103:1 « [A Psalm] of David. » Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name.

A Psalm of David] Which he wrote when carried out of himself, as far as heaven, saith Beza; and therefore calleth not upon his own soul only, but upon all creatures, from the highest angel to the lowest worm, to set forth God’s praises.

Ver. 1. Bless the Lord, O my soul] Agedum animule mi, et intima men viscera. A good man’s work lieth most within doors; he is more taken up with his own heart than with all the world besides; neither can he ever be alone so long as he hath God and his own soul to converse with. David’s harp was not oftener out of tune than his heart, which here he is setting right, that he may the better make melody to the Lord. Music is sweet, but the setting of the strings in tune is unpleasing; so is it harsh to set our hearts in order, which yet must be done, and thoroughly done, as here.

And all that is within me] All my faculties and senses. The whole soul and body must be set awork in this service; the judgment, to set a right estimate upon mercies; the memory, to recognize and retain them, Deuteronomy 6:11-12; Deuteronomy 8:14; the will, which is the proper seat of thankfulness; the affections, love, desire, joy, confidence; all must be actuated, that our praises may be cordial, vocal, vital. In peace offerings God called for the fat and inwards.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-103.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 103.

An exhortation to praise God for his mercy, and for the constancy thereof.

A Psalm of David.

Title. לדוד ledavid This is one of the psalms of David, which it is supposed was written by him after his recovery from a great illness. See Delaney, book 4: chap. 7. It may be so; but, as we read of no illness that he had, it is by no means clear whether such was the occasion of it, or whether he composed it after a deliverance from some other calamity. It contains a thankful acknowledgment of the great and abundant mercies of God, especially that of pardoning sin, and not exacting the punishment due to it, and is an exquisite performance, very applicable to every deliverance: it may properly be said to describe the wonders of grace, as the following psalm describes the wonders of nature.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-103.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This Psalm is one continued hymn of praise, and includes a comprehensive view of the goodness of Jehovah, in all the great works of creation and redemption, providence and grace.

A Psalm of David.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/psalms-103.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

PSALM 103

THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm contains a thankful commemoration and celebration of God’s mercies to the psalmist himself, and to the people of Israel, and to all good men.

David stirreth up himself to bless God, Psalms 103:1,2; who forgiveth his sins, Psalms 103:3, redeemeth and satisfieth his soul, Psalms 103:4,5; for other manifold mercies to himself and the church, Psalms 103:6-14. He considereth the frailty of man, Psalms 103:15,16; and showeth God’s everlasting mercy to his covenanted ones, Psalms 103:17-19. He exhorteth all creatures to praise him, Psalms 103:20-22.

Let all my thoughts and affections be engaged, and united, and stirred up to the highest pitch in and for this work.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-103.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1. Bless the Lord, O my soul—To “bless the Lord” is to praise him by declaring his attributes and works, and offering thanksgiving. To “bless” an individual man is to invoke the favour of God upon him. See Numbers 6:22-27. “Soul,” here, cannot be taken as the intermediate, or psychical nature, between the mind and body, according to the Greek trichotomy, but the ego, the self, and is parallel to the all that is within me, or inward parts, in the next line; or, as we would say, my inmost soulthe depth of my being. It is to be a soul-work, not formal or lip service. David rouses himself to the sum total of all his higher powers in ascribing praise to God. The word “bless” occurs six times in the psalm.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-103.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Himself. Complutensian Septuagint adds, "a psalm of the creation," (Haydock) as this is the subject; but there is no title in the original. (Berthier) The psalm contains "a divine and natural philosophy," (Eusebius) respecting the creation and providence. Plato has written something similar in his Timæus, (Calmet) though this comparison is indecent. (Berthier) --- The imitation is no disparagement, however, to this divine word, and we may surely notice the concord between the inspired and profane writers. (Haydock) --- This psalm seems to be a continuation of the preceding one. (Calmet) --- Great. Literally, "magnified," in the same sense as we say, hallowed be thy name, [Matthew vi. 9.] praying that God may be honoured by all his creatures; (Haydock) though He cannot increase in holiness, &c. (St. Augustine) --- We become acquainted with his greatness, by considering his works. (Calmet) --- Praise. Literally, "confession," (Haydock) Hebrew, "glory." (Calmet) --- Thou art entitled to all praise. (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-103.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Title. of David: i.e. relating to the true David.

Bless. Figure of speech Apostrophe.

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. with "eth = Jehovah Himself.

my soul = me myself. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13.

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5.

name. See note on Psalms 20:1.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-103.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Psalms 103:1-22.-Bless Yahweh, my soul, for having saved body, soul, and life, and satisfying me with good things (Psalms 103:1-5); He is the righteous Redeemer of His oppressed people from Moses' days downward. Even oppressions he overrules to His people's good, chastising us less than our sins deserve (Psalms 103:6-10); God's mercy illustrated by the height of the heavens, the distance between east and west, and a father's pity for weak children (Psalms 103:11-14); His everlasting mercy to His own is our only refuge from our mortality (Psalms 103:15-18); His kingdom rules over all: let all, therefore, praise Him, especially the Psalmist (Psalms 103:19-22). This is the praise-song of Yahweh's mercy and judgment which David promised at the beginning of the trilogy (Psalms 101:1). David's ideal successor, and then Yahweh's people, whom he represents, is the speaker.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-103.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
A. M. 2970. B.C. 1034. Bless
22; 104:1; 146:1,2; Luke 1:46,47
all that
47:7; 57:7-11; 63:5; 86:12,13; 111:1; 138:1; Mark 12:30-33; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Philippians 1:9; Colossians 3:16
holy name
99:3; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-103.html.

Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible

Psalm 103:1

"Bless the Lord, O my soul—and all that is within me, bless his holy name." Psalm 103:1

As the Son has glorified the Father and the Father has glorified the Song of Solomon , so there is a people in whom both the Father and the Son will be glorified. He therefore said, "And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one" ( John 17:22); and again, "All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them." When, then, God"s goodness and mercy in the face of Jesus Christ are manifested to this people whom he has formed for himself that they might show forth his praise, then they give him back his glory. But how is this done? By praising and blessing his holy name for the manifestation of his goodness and mercy to their soul. We thus see in what a blessed circle this glory runs. The Father glorifies the Son; the Son glorifies the Father; both unite in glorifying his chosen and redeemed people; and they glorify Father and Son by giving them the glory due to their name. We therefore read that "the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy." But how? "Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people. Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and laud him, all you people" ( Romans 15:9-11).

This is beautifully developed in Psalm 103:1-22. It begins with blessing and praising God. "Bless the Lord, O my soul—and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits." Why was it that David called upon his soul to bless the Lord—yes, appealed to every faculty within him to unite in blessing his holy name? Why did he charge it upon his soul not to forget all God"s benefits, but bear them in perpetual remembrance? For this reason—that he might render unto God a tribute of thankful praise. Now by this God is glorified, for whoever offers praise glorifies him. We cannot add to his glory; for his glory is above the heavens. It is infinite, eternal, ineffable. No creature therefore can add to it or take from it; but he does permit poor worms of earth to glorify him by giving him a tribute of thankful praise. But this we can only do by believing in his dear Song of Solomon , receiving of his fullness grace for grace, and blessing and praising his holy name for the manifestation of his goodness, mercy, and love, as brought into our soul by his own divine power.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
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Bibliography
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on Psalms 103:1". Commentary by J.C.Philpot on select texts of the Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jcp/psalms-103.html.


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