Psalm 104

Psalm 104:1–35

God’s Intelligent Creation

Outline of Chapter 104


       vv.    1–4        The habitation of God


       vv.    5–13      The waters of the earth


       vv.   14–18      The earth


       vv.   19–23      The seasons—the days and the nights


       vv.   24–30      God’s sustenance of those on the earth


       vv.   31–35      Praise to God because of His power and glory

Alternate Outline of Chapter 104


       vv.    1–4        God’s Habitation”Let there be light, and light was.” The first day.

       vv.    5–10      The waters of the earth are divided”Let there be an atmosphere in the midst of the waters.” Day two.

       vv.   11–18      The vegetation of the earth”Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit.” Day three.

       vv.   19–23      The seasons, the days and the nightsAnd God made the two great lights...the stars also. Day four.

       vv.   24–26      The sea creaturesAnd God created the great sea creatures...and every winged bird. Day five.

       vv.   27–30      God’s sustenance of all His creatures”Look, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it is food for you.” Day six.

       vv.   31–35      Praise be to GodThen God blessed the seventh day and set it apart because in it, He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Day seven.

Charts and Maps

       Introduction    Various Outlines for Psalm 104

       Introduction    Alternate Outline of Chapter 104

I ntroduction: It is difficult to know where to place Psalm 104 in terms of where it should be taught. The material covered deals, in part, with the creation of the earth and the tremendous power of God; therefore, it belongs soon after the first couple of chapters of Genesis. However, this psalm appears to be part of a quadruplet of psalms, probably all written by David, Psalms 103–106. Psalm 103 deals with the character of God and is undisputably David’s work, and therefore should be taught sometime during the teaching of his life. However, Psalm 104 centers on creation, whereas Psalms 105–106 deal with the history of Israel up to the time of Moses and slightly beyond. In this Psalm Addendum, I will keep this in the same order as it is found in the Psalms, but I will teach Psalm 104 after chapter 2 of Genesis.

As was mentioned, this psalm was likely written by David. The first of these quadruplet of psalms lists David as the author. Psalm 103 is enclosed by the words Bless Yehowah, O my soul; and so is Psalm 104. I don’t think that this is merely a similarity of styles of two separate psalmists, but a device to connect these two psalms to one another. In fact, it is probably more difficult to tie Psalms 104 and 105 together than it is to tie this psalm and the one immediately previous. After giving my opinion that this was a psalm of David, I found that Barnes’ Notes wrote: This psalm in the Syriac, the arabic, the Greek and the Latin versions, is ascribed to David, but on what authority is now unknown. In the Hebrew, it has no title. Footnote So that you know there are other views, the NIV Study Bible expresses the thought that the first line and the last two lines of this psalm were added by a later editor. My guess is that their justification is that these three lines are not an integral whole with the rest of the psalm, and therefore must have been added. I personally think that this framing was done by David to identify this quadruplet of psalms as his.

We do not know the occasion of this psalm—i.e., why or when it was written. As Barnes points out, there is no time period to which it must be affixed (other than David’s) and it would not be inappropriate at any given ceremony or celebration. It is such a psalm as might be composed at any period of the world, or in any country, where there was an intelligent view and a careful observation of the works of God. It implies, indeed, such a knowledge of the fact that God made the world as could be obtained only be revelation; but it evinces also a power of close observation; a large acquaintance with the creation aroundus; a relish for the scenes of nature; as well as a rich poetic faculty, and a power of description, adapted to place such scenes before the mind as realitites, and to make us feel, in reading it, that we are in the very midst of the things which are described,—so that they seem to live and move before our eyes. Footnote

In placing this psalm topically with Genesis, I found that Barnes, obviously a brilliant man, and I agree. The psalm was probably founded on the record of the creation in gen.i., with a design to show that the order of the creation, as there described, was adapted to the purposed which were inteneded, and was carried out in the providential arrangements now existing on the earth; or, that, taking the order of the creation as described there, the exisitng state of things furnished an illustration of the wisdom and benevolence of that order. Accordingly, in the psalm, it was convenient for the writer to follow substantially the order observed in gen. i. in narrating the creation of the world; and he states, under each part, the acting out of that order in existing things;—creation in its being actually carried out, or in its results—the creation developing itself in the varied and wonderful forms of being—of vegetable and animal life—of beauty, of harmonious movement, of ceaseless activity,—on the land, in the air, and in the waters. Footnote This psalm makes mention of the angelic world possibly in v. 4 and man himself is only mentioned in passing. What is in full view is the visible creation of God all around the psalmist.

With respect to the outline, after looking over this psalm for several minutes, I decided to see what others have done. Several Bibles break these up into poetic paragraphs, and I have printed a chart of those on the next page.

Various Outlines for Psalm 104




















































Barnes equates it with Gen. 1 and creation, following along day by day, and, at first, this correlation seemed forced to me. Don’t get me wrong—when reading the introduction of Barnes, I wanted this idea to work; I liked the idea of this psalm falling into 7 neat sections, but that did not seem to occur because I wanted this psalm to be about creation, but it is not—not exactly. Footnote This psalm parallels creation and occasionally alludes to creation and that is where we get our correlation; that is, while writing this psalm, the author had one eye on the first chapter of Genesis and the other eye on the subject matter of the psalm. Whereas Ge 1 recounts creation as God’s first work at the beginning, this poet views the creation displayed before his eyes and sings the glory of its Maker and Sustainer. Footnote This is therefore, from whence we build our outline. There is mention of light in the first four verses and God created light on the first day. There are boundaries set for the waters of the earth in vv. 5–9 and God divided the waters in heaven from the waters of the earth on the second day. In Genesis, on the third day, God caused the waters to gather together and for dry land to appear. The geological occurrence here would have been earthquakes and volcanoes the second time it occurred; I am not completely clear on how it occurred on the third day of restoration. I personally believed that occurred twice; once on the third day and once after the flood. Also on that third day, God caused the earth to sprout vegetation and vv. 10–18 mention the sprouting of grass, plants and the cedars of Lebanon. On the fourth day, God saw to the lights of the skies, which would be used to calculate days and seasons and years. In vv. 19–23, we have mention of the sun and the moon, the day and the night. God created the creatures of the seas on the fifth day and these creatures are mentioned in vv. 25–26.

At this point, Barnes no longer sees a correlation; however, I do. On the sixth day, God created the creatures of the earth and of the sky, and then He created man. Back in v. 24, animals in general are mentioned. In Genesis, God points out to man how He has provided for man—before man even existed, God had everything in order for man’s sustenance. After created man on the sixth day, God explains this to the first man. The psalmist points out that all the creatures of the earth look to God for their food and for their very breath in vv. 27–29. On the seventh day, God had finished with all of His labors and so He rested—and, as Thieme often pointed out, not because He was tired but because He was finished. The seventh day was set aside primarily for rest and worship to God. Man paused from his hectic schedule and recognized and glorified his Creator. This psalm ends with the psalmist singing praise to God all of his life; and then the psalmist speaks of the end times. Therefore, I ended up doing two outlines, which I am essentially happy with, but they are not anything which I feel married to.

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The Habitation of God



Smoother English rendering:

Bless, O my soul, Yehowah

O Yehowah my God, You are very great.

You are clothed with honor and majesty.

Psalm 104:1

Bless, O my soul, Yehowah

O Yehowah my God, You are very great.

You are clothed with honor and majesty.


To begin the translate this verse is difficult. Most English translations are correct. It begins with the 2nd person, Piel imperative of bless. At first it would appear as though the writer is telling God to bless his soul; however, the verb bless is also in the feminine singular, making his soul (a feminine singular) the object of the imperative. He is telling his own soul to bless God. The Hebrew word for bless is bârake (׃ך ַר ָ) [pronounced baw-RAHKe] and this word is found nearly 350 times in the Bible. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can conceive of being blessed by God; that is, it is easy for me to comprehend God giving me great wealth (I am not speaking only of material wealth here); but I have a more difficult time related to the idea of me blessing God. However, in a situation like this, our very lives are a blessing to God. Now this is an anthropopathism, to be sure, where our concept of being blessed is placed upon God. But the reality of the situation is that, by our lives, by the doctrine in our soul, by the integrity of our day-to-day walk, we are a blessing to God. That is, we glorify Him and His wisdom. Strong’s #1288 BDB #138. As was mentioned, the previous psalm began and ended with Bless Yehowah, O my soul; indicating that these two psalms were written to stand together as two chapters of a book.

The psalmist recognizes the character of God by saying He is clothed with honor and majesty. God order Job to do the same in Job 40:10: “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity and clothe yourself with honor and majesty.” Paraphrasing Barnes: As a king is arrayed in royal robes, creation is the garment with which God has vested Himself. Footnote

Covering [with] lights like the garment;

stretching out the heavens like the [tent] curtain;

Psalm 104:2

the One enveloping all with light like a garment;

the One stretching out the heavens like the curtain of a tent;

In this psalm, we will encounter some of the more difficult poetical language, making the interpretation difficult. Let me give you what other translators have done with this verse:


The Amplified Bible               Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who has stretched out the heavens like a curtain or a tent,...

The Emphasized Bible           Putting on light, as a robe, stretching out the heavens as a curtain;

KJV                                       Who covereth thyself with light as with a garment; who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain;

NAB                                       ...robed in light as with a cloak. You spread out the heavens like a tent;

NASB                                    Covering Thyself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heavens like a tent curtain.

NEB                                       ...and wrapped in a robe of light. Thou hast spread out the heavens like a tent...

NJB                                ...wearing the light as a robe! You stretch out the heavens like a tent,...

Young's Lit. Translation Covering himself with light as a garment, Stretching out the heavens as a curtain,...


One of the reasons I include the KJV in these translations, is that it takes itself so seriously as a translation that when a word is italicized, that means that it was added by the translators to help make sense of the sentence, but is not found in the Hebrew. It is unfortunate that more translations do not do this. However, all translations run into the same problem which I did originally—just how literal do you want to be if the meaning of the verse is lost? Conversely, just how much interpretation do you want to include in the translation. For The Living Bible and the somewhat more erudite New English Bible, interpretation is everything. For The Emphasized Bible or Young’s Literal Translation, translation is everything. Most all other Bibles are in the middle and sacrifice one for the other. There is no Thyself, Himself, or Yourself to be found in this verse. In fact, what we have in this verse and the next two verses is a series of eight participles, most of them Qal active participles. A Qal active participle chiefly takes a verb and uses it as a noun, although it may also function as a verb or as an adjective. Our participle is similar; generally to a verb, we add the ending -ing and it becomes a participle. However, the usage is somewhat different. Here, it can refer to someone in particular. That is, this could be rendered the one covering; this is why many translations read: Who covers. The first verb is the Qal active participle of ׳âţâh (ה ָט ָע) [pronounced ģaw-TAWH] and it means to wrap oneself, to cover, to envelop, to conceal, to envelop oneself, to cover with something. This word is found only 17 times in the Old Testament, generally in the poetry or in the prophets (which are often poetical). It is found only twice in another form of writing (Lev. 13:45 I Sam. 28:14). There are times when adding oneself and with confuse the meaning more than clarify it, e.g., Jer. 43:12. A suffix can be added to the participle to indicate that something or someone is being covered, as is done in Isa. 22:17. A subject may be affixed by giving the participle gender and number as is done in Psalm 71:13. However, the idea of being wrapped with or in something does not require a preposition (e.g., I Sam. 28:14). Therefore, adding the with or in here is not out of line. Strong’s #5844 BDB #741. We could render this as covering with light or light covering. Paul wrote to Timothy: The King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone posses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him honor and eternal dominion! Amen! (I Tim. 6:15b–16).

The verb is followed by the preposition as or like and the definite article and the word for robe, garment. What is quite helpful with the other translations is the idea that the first participle specifically goes with v. 1 and that the second participle goes with the next few verses; and that would be a valid concept, if the next verse had a main verb in it, but it does not. As I mentioned, the next few verses are a series of participles, all of which refer back to God in v. 1; therefore, these participles are bettered rendered as the one doing this or that. The reason that we need to determine whether or not there should be a split in this verse is that contextually tells us what is covered or enveloped by light. If v. 2a belongs strictly with v. 1 and if v. 2b belongs srictly with what follows, then the rendering covering Thyself would be apt, as v. 1 deals with poetical attire (Honor and majesty You have put on). However, the series of participles means that which is enveloped is not God but what He has created—the earth and the universe. Since God is light, everything which God comes into contact with is enveloped in light or covered with light.


The second verb is the Qal active participle of nâţâh (ה ָט ָנ) [pronounced naw-TAWH], which means to stretch out, to spread out, to extend. Except for the beginning of the word, this sounds just like the previous verb, which is no doubt done, in part, for poetical reasons. Strong’s #5186 BDB #639. What is being stretched out or extended is heavens. It is theorized that they continue to be stretched out even today—that is, that heaven is expanding at an incredible rate of speed. This fits in with the language of the Bible. Footnote It is possible that few if any of the authors of Scripture had any true concept as to how vast and infinite were the heavens; however, what they wrote was always in keeping with the idea of a universe which is infinite, for all intents and purposes. This covering of the earth by the stretching out of the heavens is a complete envelopment. Isaiah used the same sort of language: It is He Who is enthroned above the sphere of the earth and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in (Isa. 40:19). He made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom and by His understanding, He stretched out the heavens (Jer. 51:15; see also Job 9:8 37:18 Isa. 42:5 44:24 Zech. 12:1).


The next noun is the feminine singular of yerîy׳âh (ה ָעי ̣ר  ׃י) [pronounced yeree-ĢAWH] and this is the curtain of a tent, most often found as the curtains of the tabernacle. Strong’s #3407 BDB #438. Although it is not stated in this verse, it appears as though what is referred to primarily in this context is the earth, God’s creation.

The One installing [the rafters] in the waters His roof-chambers;

the One making clouds His chariot;

the One walking upon wings of wind.

Psalm 104:3

The One installing the rafters of His second-floor room in the waters;

the One making clouds His chariot;

the One walking upon wings of wind.

Both v. 2 and v. 3 are filled with participles. However, you will notice that I have rendered the participles in v. 3 with the One doing this or that. That is because each participle in this verse is preceded by the definite article, meaning that it refers to a particular person (or thing) that performs the action of the verb.


The first verb is the Piel participle of qârâh (ה ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAWH], which means to lay wooden rafters, to furnish with beams, to install rafters. The noun for beams or rafters does not have to occur here. The corresponding noun means rafters, beams. Strong’s #7136 BDB #900.


The rafters which are being placed are those of His ׳ălîyyâh (ה ָ  ̣ל ֱע) [pronounced ga-lee-YAWH], which means roof-chambers; it is an enclosed area built upon a roof. I am envisioning a man’s study, or rec room or garage, if you will. That is, he’s got the whole house built and then he decides he needs a place just for himself, so he adds on a room on the roof. This comes directly from BDB, which reads: chamber on roof, cool and secluded. Footnote Strong’s #5944 BDB #751.

My first impression from the use of waters was the oceans; however, this is not what is being referred to, as v. 13 will clearly point out (He waters the mountains from His roof chambers); the psalmist is making reference to the waters in the skies; to the water vapor. This is where the beams for the second floor room for God have been installed. Obviously, this is metaphorical, as is the rest of the verse. The concept being presented is the omniscience and omnipresence of God.


The next verb is the Qal active participle of sîym (םי ̣) [pronounced seem] which generally means to put, to place, to set. It also can mean to make, to transform into. The participle is preceded also by a definite article, so it should be translated the One making, since we do not have the bêyth preposition for clouds as we do for waters. Strong's #7760 BDB #962.

All of these three participles place God in the heavenlies, traveling throughout our immediate universe.

Making the winds His messengers;

His minstering ones a flaming fire.

Psalm 104:4

Making the winds His messengers;

and lightning His minsters.


The participle beginning this verse is the very common verb ׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH] which means to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form. Strong's #6213 BDB #793. God is the One Who takes the winds and the lightning and makes these things into the things which communicate to us. Messengers is our typical word also rendered angels; in the human realm, this can refer to a prophet (Isa. 42:19 44:26) or, more rarely, to a priest (Mal. 2:7). Strong’s #4397 BDB #521. Ministering ones is the participle of the verb shârath (ת ַר ָש) [pronounced shaw-RAHTH], which means to serve, to minister. Strong’s #8334 BDB #1058. There is no definite article, as God uses many different things as His ministers.

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The Waters of the Earth

He founded [the] earth upon its foundations;

it should not be shaken age and perpetuity.

Psalm 104:5

He founded the earth upon its foundations

so that it should not be shaken to all eternity.


In this verse, we have our first finite verb since v. 1 (until now, every verb has been a participle, standing for the one performing the action rather than acting as a verb for the subject of the sentence. This is the verb yâçar (ר ַס ָי) [pronounced yaw-SAHR], and it means to establish, to found, to fix, to lay a foundation. Strong’s #3245 BDB #413. It is the earth which is founded or established. It is place upon its mâkôwn (ןכ ָמ) [pronounced maw-KOWN], which means fixed, established place, foundation. Strong’s #4349 BDB #467.

The next main verb means to be shaken, moved, dislodged, thrown into disorder or disarray and it is found in the Niphal imperfect. Strong’s #4129 & 4131 BDB #556.


Then we have the word ׳ôwlâm (ם ָלע) [pronounced ģoh-LAWM], which means long duration, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity. Strong’s #5769 (& #5865) BDB #761. This is followed by the wâw conjunction and the masculine singular of ׳ad (ד ַע) [pronounced ģahd], which means perpetuity. Strong’s #5704 BDB #723. This phrase has been translated to the age and forever (Young), to times age-abiding and beyond (Rotherham), forever and ever (NASB, NJB), never (this is with the negation in the NAB, REB, NIV and NRSV), and forever (The Amplified Bible).

The deep as the garment You covered it

above the mountains, stood the waters.

Psalm 104:6

You covered the earth with the ocean as you would cover it with a garment;

the waters stood above the mountains.

Let’s looks at a few other translations:


The Amplified Bible               You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains

The Emphasized Bible           With the resounding deep—as a garment hast thou covered it, Above the mountains stand the waters;

KJV                                       Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

NKJV                                     You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains.

NAB                                       The ocean covered it like a garment; above the mountains stood the waters.

NJB                       covered it with the deep like a garment, the waters overtopping the mountains.

NRSV                                    You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.

REB                                       The deep covered it like a cloak, and the waters stood above the mountains.

Owen's Translation               The deep as with the garment thou didst cover it; above the mountains stood the waters.

Young's Lit. Translation The abyss! as with clothing Thou hast covered it, Above hills do waters stand. Footnote

Surprisingly, only Owen’s makes note of the definite article for garment. At this point, I only have a very reasonable hypothesis. In a world-wide flood, where the water stands above all of the mountains (and this is one of the few passages which more clearly represents that view), we are dealing with an incredible amount of water. Most fundamentalists don’t really give this much thought, as the easy explanation is God can do anything, but every time the amount of water over the entirety of the earth is raised by, say, a foot, that is an incredible amount of water. I cannot locate the author who dealt with the flood from a scientific standpoint (several have), but the problem is where did all the water come from and where did it go? The two most common explanations is that it came out from the earth and from rain and it retreated into to earth and back into the sky as water vapor. This is all very Biblical, as this is what the Bible teaches us. However, there is no way that there is enough water in the earth to cover all of the mountains. Let’s just say that the earth was solid water. Given that the earth has a radius of 3950 miles, that means its volume is 8.2 x 1010 cubic miles. The highest mountain is 29,000 feet, or 5.5 miles above sea level. Therefore, the volume of the water necessary to cover the highest mountain would be the volume of a sphere with a 3955.5 Footnote mile radius minus the volume of the earth, or 8.2517 x 1010 – 8.2173 x 1010 = 3.44 x 108 cubic miles of water. Our largest ocean, the Pacific Ocean, an area in which all the continents could fit, has approximately 1.69 x 108 cubic miles of water. So, what we would need is roughly the equivalent of two Pacific Oceans of additional water in order to cover the entire earth. I just don’t believe that we have the much water in the atmosphere or under the earth. As I said, the easy answer is that God created the majority of the flood waters and then made them disappear. Unfortunately, that answer is not necessarily Biblical. Now, certainly you are thinking that God is capable of doing anything, within the confines of His perfect character. Footnote And, although I agree with you on that point, the Bible nowhere states that God created this water as a separate part of creation. In fact, a very good argument could be made against that, as we have six days of creative activity, after which God rested. Not only that, but the oceans were all created even prior to these six days of restoration and creation. There is no Biblical indication that God woke up one day and said, “Oh, hell, I need some more water!” We are clearly given the source of the waters—the came from rain and from under the earth. But God remembered Noah and all the beast and all the cattle that were with him in the ark, and God caused a wind to pass over the earth and the water subsided. Also, the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained (Gen. 8:1–2). What is nice, and God did not have to do this for us, but He did, is that He explains how this problem was dealt with and He does so in this Psalm. Prior to the great flood, the mountains were lower and the ocean depths were higher. Furthermore, there was likely a vaporous canopy above the earth much greater in water vapor volume than the amount of water which our atmosphere holds now (this is the theory of Henry Morris, who has written some fantastic books dealing with science and the Bible). Footnote

At your rebuke, they fled;

at the sound of thunder, they retreated.

Psalm 104:7

At your rebuke, they fled;

at the sound of thunder, they retreated.

The they spoken of in this verse is the flood waters of the previous verse; we know this not only because of context, but waters is in the masculine plural and they in this verse (actually, the verb in this verse) is also in the masculine plural.


The word kôwl (לק) [pronounced coal] means sound or voice. Strong’s #6963 BDB #876. When the thunder sounded, the water châphaz’ed (ז ַפ ָח) [pronounced khaw-fahz]; and it means to run away in fear, to retreat in alarm, to move away from out of trepidation. Here, in the Niphal, it means to simply retreat. Strong’s #2648 BDB #342. Water doesn’t have emotion, but it retreated at the voice of God (which is the thunder).

The mountains rose;

the valleys sank down

to the place which you appointed for them.

Psalm 104:8

The mountains rose;

the valleys sank down

to the place which you appointed for them.


The word for rose is the very common verb ׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH], which means to climb, to ascend, to rise. Strong's #5927 BDB #748. This describes what happened following the flood. The mountains, due to the tremendous amounts of water, and the ocean depths, all became more extreme. Whereas mountains may have only been, say one or two miles high (and I am simply pulling random numbers out of a hat here), the highest became 5.5 miles following the flood. Whereas the oceans may have had a maximum depth of, say two or three miles, it now has a depth of 6.86 miles at its deepest. There were tremendous earthquakes and volcanic activity which occurred simultaneously with the floods and soon thereafter. During this period of time, we saw great seismic activity and tremendous upheaval as never before or since. I just realized, God promised Himself (and, therefore, all mankind): “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth. And I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.” (Gen. 8:21b). He promised Noah: “And I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh and I will never again cause the water to become a flood as to destroy all flesh.” (Gen. 9:15). With the change of the earth’s surface as herein described, it has now become impossible to flood the entire earth again. This verse tells us that a scientist should be skeptical when it comes to a world-wide flood, because such a thing has become impossible.

All this was done according to God’s plan. He had so much water to deal with, which He didn’t just make appear and disappear; and the simple way to deal with it was to alter the landscapte to where the mountains became higher and the valleys and ocean beds became deeper. This allowed a place for the water to go to. Some of it, of course, returned to the underground streams, which is from whence we get our well-water.

The One sending forth springs in the valleys;

they flow between the hills.

Psalm 104:10

The One Who sends forth springs in the valleys;

which flow between the hills.

A personal question of mine has always been why do we have freshwater in some areas and salt water in others. My educated guess is that in the changing of the land, God provided rain later, which filled up the valleys and they became lakes. The deeper and more original lakes would remain salt lakes. Those which are newer, those which have a depth which was the result of later heavy rains, are the freshwater lakes and springs. Some were filled by melting snow coming off the mountains every year, as the result of a freezing precipitation cycle.

They give drink to every animal of the field;

wild asses break their thirst.

Psalm 104:11

They provide water for every animal of the field;

wild asses assuage their thirst there.


They, refers to the springs of the previous verse. The first verb is the Hiphil imperfect of shâqâh (ה ָק ָש) [pronounced shaw-KAWH], which means to water, to irrigate in the Qal; to give drink to, to cause to drink in the Hiphil. Strong’s #8248 BDB #1052. The second verb is the Qal imperfect of shâbvar (ר ַב ָש) [pronounced shawb-VAR], which means to break, to break into pieces. Strong’s #7665 BDB #990. What is being broken si the thirst of the animals. God invented to concept of the necessity of water and provided that for all of the animals. One of the rarest forms of H2O in the universe is in its liquid state. The temperature range for water is rather narrow (we don’t have any concept of just how narrow that range is); wherever else water is in the universe, it is either frozen or it is in its gaseous form. Furthermore, it is a rare compound of the universe. But on earth, it is absolutely necessary to our very existence and to the existence of the animals, and God has provided our earth with an incredible amount of water.


We also have the word kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kole] which means the whole, all of, the entirety of, all, every. When in the construct and accompanied by a plural noun, kôl should be rendered all of; and when kôl is with a singular noun, it should be rendered every. Strong's #3605 BDB #481

Because of them a bird of the heavens resides

out from among branches he gives [out] a voice.

Psalm 104:12

Because of these waters the birds of the sky reside on earth;

from the midst of the branches they sing.


Shakan (ן ַכ ָש) [pronounced shaw-KAHN] means to tabernacle also means to pitch a tent. By application, it means to dwell, to reside, to live in, to domicile at. Strong’s #7931 BDB #1014.


In the midst of this verse, we have the preposition bêyn (ןי ֵ) [pronounced bane], which means in the midst of, between, among. It is often found in conjunction with other prepositions. Here, it is found with the min (ן  ̣מ) [pronounced min] preposition, so it means out from among, from between, from the midst of. Strong's #996 BDB #107. In the second line, the birds put out, give forth their voice. That is, they sing. The birds do not come out from among the branches to sing; their voice come out from the midst of the branches. I recall this incredible experience one day when I returned from work. It was early—maybe four or five in the afternoon—and, apparently, there were birds migrating through and they were extremely vocal—almost to a point that it was a surreal experience. It was not loud enough to completely drown out a conversation, but it would have been competitive in that regard. Not being one to relax easily, I immediately went outside again to listen, it was so incredible. And, within a minute or two, the bird visiting stopped. I didn’t see fewer birds (in fact, I didn’t see many birds to begin with); I just heard their incredible voices coming out from among the branches.

Watering the mountains from His upper chambers;

the earth is satisfied with [the] fruit of Your work.

Psalm 104:13

He Waters the mountains from His upper chambers;

and the earth is satisfied with your provision of water.

The psalmist recognizes that God has control of the weather and his system of irrigation and watering and the entire water cycle is the proper amount for the earth. If you took a group of scientists who had to design an abode for man and beast, even in their great wisdom, they could not have improved upon the necessary provisions of the earth. God saw that our life on earth would be sustained by water for thousands of years. I don’t know the parameters within which God works, but it is my guess that an increase or decrease of say 10% of the water on this planet would drastically change our lives. God has set up the ratio of water to land in such a way that the earth is completely satisfied with the amount of water provided for her.


Back in v. 3, we saw the word ׳ălîyyâh (ה ָ  ̣ל ֱע) [pronounced ga-lee-YAWH], which means roof-chambers, upstairs study, upstairs abode. Strong’s #5944 BDB #751. This is an anthropopathism, where God resides above us in His upstairs flat.

Note that in this verse we have a change of person, yet it still refers to God. Most of the time, when there is a change of person, as in this verse where we read His upper chambers and Your work, we would assume that we are dealing with two different entities. However, there is, within this psalm, a continual change from the 2nd person masculine singular which refers without question to God (e.g., Your work from this verse) to the 3rd person masculine singular, as in He construct the moon (v. 19). When we find several instances of both the 2nd and the 3rd person referring to God, then we can either assume that the psalmist is jumping from person to person, yet still referring to the same God; or, and I haven’t explored this yet, the psalmist, through God the Holy Spirit, is making refernces to both Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, or to the Holy Spirit, the Sustainer of all things (Either of Whom would be in the 3rd person masculine singular) and to God the Father, the planner of all things (Who would be in the 2nd person masculine singular). In this particular verse, that theory could be made to fit; God the Holy Spirit would be waering the mountains through the rain; and the earth would be satisfied with the work of God, which ultimately came from the plan of God the Father. In presenting such a theory, I do not mean to imply that the psalmist knew he was writing this. The psalmist, in moving from person to person, was exercising poetic license; under God the Holy Spirit, he was directed to refer to the members of the Godhead very specifically.

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The Earth

Causing the grass to spring forth for the cattle

and plants for [the] service of man

to bring forth food from the earth.

Psalm 104:14

Causing the grass to grow for the cattle

and plants for the service of man

to provide for produce from the earth.


The first verb is the Hiphil participle of tsâmach (ח ַמ ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-MAHKH], which means to sprout, to spring up, to spring forth. It is used of plants and trees (Ecc. 2:6) and even of a man’s hair or beard (Lev. 13:37 I Chron. 19:5). Strong’s #6779 BDB #855.


Also in this verse, we have the word ׳ăbvôdâh (ה ָדֹב ֲע) [pronounced ģub-vo-DAWH] and it means labour, service. Strong’s #5656 & 5647 BDB #715.

By the time of the psalmist, the importance of water to agriculture was a well-established fact. Drought was equivalent to an economic depression. Even in today’s complex economy, drought seriously impacts any nation, despite its diversity in production.

And wine—it will gladden the heart of man

to cause his face to shine from oil

and bread—it will strengthen the heart of man.

Psalm 104:15

And wine will gladden the heart of man

to cause his face to become radiant from oil

and bread will strengthen the heart of man.


The last verb in this verse is the Qal imperfect of çâ׳ad (ד ַע ָס) [pronounced saw-ĢAHD], and it means to support, to sustain, to stay, to assist. Strong’s #5582 BDB #703.

All of these things, the wine, the radiance of a man’s face, the food that he eats which provides sustenance—all of that is a result of the provision of water.

Trees of Yehowah are satisfied,

the cedars of Lebanon which He planted.

Psalm 104:16

The trees of Yehowah are given abundant water;

even the cedars of Lebanon which He planted.


The first verb is the Qal imperfect of sâbva׳ (ע ַב ָ) [pronounced sawb-VAHĢ], which means to satisfy, to fill, to satiate. Strong’s #7646 BDB #959.

There is an interesting fact that you could miss here. Whereas, I am not familiar with the cedars of Lebanon—that is, to their age and life span; this verse seems to indicate that those trees were personally planted by God.

Which therein birds nest;

a stork—fir trees [are] her home.

Psalm 104:17

Where birds build their nests;

The stork has made her house in the firs.

This simply means that God has provided for the birds of the sky. He has seen to it that every flying creature has a nest.

Mountains, the high ones, [are] for the wild goats;

the cliffs [are] refuge to the rock badgers.

Psalm 104:18

The high mountains are for wild goats;

the cliff rocks are a refuge to the badgers.

Again, what the psalmist is saying is that God has provided for the animals.

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The Seasons, the Days and the Nights

He constructed to moon for season;

[He constructed] the sun—He knew His entrance.

Psalm 104:19

He constructed to moon to denotes seasons;

He constructed the sun—He knew his [the moon’s] entrance.

One this verse, it may be best to first see what others have done with the translation:


The Amplified Bible               The Lord appointed the moon for season; the sun knows [the exact time of] its setting.

The Emphasized Bible           He hath made the moon for seasons [most likely, sacred seasons], And the sun knoweth his place for entering in.

KJV                                       He appointed the moon for season; the sun knoweth his going down.

NKJV                                     He appointed the moon for season; The sun knows its going down.

NAB                                       You made the moon to mark the season, the sun that knows the hour of its setting.

NASB                                    He made the moon for the seasons, The sun knows the place of its setting.

NEB                                       Thou hast made the moon to measure the year and taught the sun where to set.

NJB                                He made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun knows when to set.

NIV                                       The moon marks off the season, and the sun knows when to go down.

NRSV                                    You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.

REB                                       He created the moon to mark the seasons, and makes the sun know when to set.

Owen's Translation               He made the moon for seasons; the sun he knew his time for setting.

Young's Lit. Translation He made the moon for season, The sun hath known his place of entrance.


This is rather distressing; you can read any one of these thirteen translations and not catch what is going on. Only the Revised English Bible Footnote even hints at what is occurring in the translation. So you are wondering, what’s the deal? Everyone seems to pretty well agree on this. Let’s just take this word by word. We begin with the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect of ׳âsâh (ה ָ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH] which means to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form. Strong's #6213 BDB #793. This is the verb used by God when he made the atmosphere (Gen. 1:7), the sun, moon and stars (Gen. 1:15–16), the animals of the earth (Gen. 1:25) and mankind (Gen. 1:26) Footnote . Bottom line: God constructs something. What follows is the word for moon, which is in the masculine singular. Then follows the lâmed preposition and a masculine plural noun which means seasons or sacred seasons.


What follows is the feminine singular noun sun and the verb for know, which is in the masculine singular, Qal perfect. Therefore, sun is not the subject of this verb. As often happens in the Hebrew, the direct object can precede the verb which can precede the subject (or the subject can be implied). We sort it all out by number and person. If you will look over the translations, most of them indicate, or, at least imply, that sun is the subject of this verb to know. Following the word sun is the Hebrew word mâbvô’ (אב ָמ) [pronounced mawb-VOE), which means, according to BDB, entrance, a coming in, an entering; according to the KJV, it means a going down, an entrance into, a coming in, an entry. Strong’s #3996 (& 3997) BDB #99. Its verbal cognate means to go, to come, to go in, to come in. Strong’s #935 BDB #97. In examining BDB and the verb, I think that we can safely eliminate a going down or a setting as its possible meanings. With this noun we have the masculine singular pronomial suffix his. Most of the translations imply that sun is the subject of the verb, but it isn’t—sun would take a verb which is in the feminine singular. So, keeping our gender straight, we have: the sun—He knew his [the moon’s] entrance. He either refers to God the Creator or to the moon; it cannot refer to the sun. Therefore, we have several possible renderings: he [the moon] knew the sun; [he knew] his entrance; He [God] knew the sun; [He knew] the moon’s entrance; or He constructed the sun; He knew his [the moon’s] entrance. In any case, regardless of how stilted or difficult it may seem, the psalmist is not saying that the sun knows anything nor is the entrance a reference to the sun. Certainly, not the way you or I would have phrased this; nor do I fully grasp why it is put this way—however, we need to stay with the actual translation. However, contextually, we will be speaking of the night for the next few verses, so that it is obvius that the entrance of the moon is what is in view here.

You appoint darkness and it is night;

in it, every animal of a forest creeps about.

Psalm 104:20

You set a time for darkness and it becomes night

during the night, every forest animal surreptitiously moves about.


The first verb is the 2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of shîyth (תי ̣ש) [pronounced sheeth], which means to put, to set, to appoint, to station. The KJV gives such diverse renderings as lay (Gen. 48:14, 17 Job 9:33) or make (Psalm 21:6 10:1). How this differs from the other Hebrew words which mean roughly the same thing, I don’t know. I will try to stay with appoint when dealing with God s the subject, although there will be times when such a rendering would be untenable (e.g., Psalm 9:20). Strong’s #7896 BDB #1011.


The second verb is the 3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect of râmas ( ַמ ָר) [pronounced raw-MAHS], which means, according to BDB, to creep, move lightly, move about, to glide. I was hoping to find a less creepy word than creep, perhaps bustling, animated, active. What is good with the word creep, is that in it, it carries the implication of surreptitiously moving about, which is perhaps also a good, albeit, wordy, rendering. Strong’s #7430 BDB #942.

The young lions roar for the prey

and to seek from God their food.

Psalm 104:21

The young lions roar for the prey

and seeking from God their food.

The literal Hebrew rendering of this verse is rather stilted, which is due to the difference between oru languages. However, the verse is rather fascinating. The lion roars to God for his food.

The sun rises, they relocate,

and in their dens they crouch.

Psalm 104:22

The sun rises, they relocate themselves,

and so in their dens they crouch.


The second verb is the 3rd person plural of the verb âçaph (ף ַס ָא) [pronounced aw-SAHF], which means transfer, transport, relocate, gather, to gather and remove, to remove. Commute would be a good modern rendering. Strong’s #622 BDB #62. The big cats work the nightshift and then retire to their homes for the day time.

Man goes out to his work and to his labor until evening.

Psalm 104:23

Man goes to his work and to his labor until evening.

When the sun rises, and the lions are off work, man, by contrast, goes to work for the entire day.

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God’s Sustenance of Those on the Earth

How many are Your works, O Yehowah;

in wisdom, You have made them all.

The earth is filled with Your acquisitions.

Psalm 104:24

How countless are Your works, O Yehowah;

in wisdom, You have made them all.

The earth is filled with Your possessions.

The verbs in this verse are a bit on the unusual side. I would like to first see what others have done and then we will take them apart:


The Amplified Bible               O Lord, how many and varied are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures.

The Emphasized Bible           How thy works abound, O Yahweh! All of them—in wisdom hast thou made, The earth is full of thy possession:

KJV                                       O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom has thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

NKJV                                     O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions.

NAB                                       How varied are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

NJB                                How countless are your works, Yahweh, all of them made so wissely! The earth is full of your creatures.

REB                                       Countless are the things you have made, Lord; by your wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

Young's Lit. Translation How many have been Thy works, O Jehovah, All of them in wisdom Thou hast made, Full is the earth of thy possessions.


This verse begins with the interrogative mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw], which it means what, how. Strong’s #4100 BDB #552. This is immediately followed by the Qal perfect of râbvabv (ב ַב ָר) [pronounced rawb-VAHBV], and it means to become many, to become great in number, or to be great in number. Strong's #7231 BDB #912. The next verb is the Qal perfect of to construct, to make. Strong’s #6213 BDB #793. The final verb is the Qal perfect of mâlê (א ̤ל ָמ) [pronounced maw-LAY], which means to be full, to fill. BDB #569; Strong's #4390. The final word in this verse is the masculine singular noun qineyân (ן ָי  ׃נ  ̣ק) [pronounced kine-YAWN], which is translated getting, substance, possession, purchase, riches, goods in the KJV (this word only occurs 10 times, by the way). BDB gives its meaning as a thing got or acquired, acquisition. When God created the earth and all that is in it, He set the process in motion, so that, through the reproduction of His creatures, He has acquired a great deal. It is like the rancher who begins with a few head of cattle and they multiply into a thousand head of cattle; the rancher acquires them through the breeding of his own cattle. I think that we will go with acquisition, possession. Strong’s #7075 BDB #889. In five early printed editions of the Massoretic text, acquisition is in the singular; in six of them it is in the plural.

This the sea, great and broad of hands;

there [are] active life forms

innumerable organisms, [from] small to great.

Psalm 104:25

This the sea, great and wide;

it is filled with active organisms

innumerable life forms, both small and large.


V. 25 is an interesting verse, as it contains no verbs. As we have seen, most verse will have two or three verbs at minimum. When we run across a few lines of poetry like that, it jumps out at you. This verse begins with the demonstrative adjective zeh (ה ז) [pronounced zeh] twice and, by itself, it means here, this. Strong's #2063, 2088 BDB #260. Then the psalmist calls the sea great and râchâbv (ב ָח ָר) [pronounced raw-KHAVB], and it means wide, broad, space, roomy. Strong’s #7342 BDB #932. It is followed by the dual for the word hands. Here, it is used in the sense of sides. Strong’s #3027 BDB #388.


This is followed by the adverb there and the noun remes ( מ ר) [pronounced REH-mes], which is usually rendered creeping things. Let me suggest active life forms, animated and active organisms, lively creatures, animated things, bustling creatures. Strong’s #7431 BDB #943.


This is follows by the common wâw conjunction, a negational construct and the word miçephâr (ר ָ  ׃ס  ̣מ) [pronounced mise-FAWR] and which means number, counted, numerical total. With the negational construct, it means innumerable. Strong’s #4557 BDB #708. Next we have the plural of chayyâh (ה ָ ַח) [pronounced khay-YAWH], which means living thing, animal, organisms, life forms. Strong’s #2416 BDB #312.

There ships go;

Leviathan, which You formed to play in it!

Psalm 104:26

There ships go and large aquatic creatures;

(which You formed to play in it!)


This verse begins with the adverb there and the feminine plural of the word ships. The verb is the 3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect of hâlake (׃ך ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe] means to go, to come, to walk. Strong’s #1980 (and 3212) BDB #229. My educated guess is that, since there are no other masculine plural nouns to be found anywhere in the near vicinity, that the masculine plural verb here takes in both the ships and the next noun, which is liveyâthân (ן ָת ָי  ׃ו  ̣ל) [pronounced liv-yaw-THAWN], which means (and, it appears as though the linguists are basically guessing here) serpent, dragon, leviathan, whale. Gesenius gives the possible renderings: a very large serpent, a crocodile, any large aquatic creature. Gesenius points out that this word is used of a fierce enemy. This word occurs only a few times in Scripture: Job 3:5 41:1 Psalm 74:14 104:26 Isa. 27:1.* Here, we will go with the rendering large, aquatic creature(s). Strong’s #3882 BDB #531.


The relative pronoun refers back to the liveyâthân, and this is followed by the 2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect of yâtsar (ר ַצ ָי) [pronounced yaw-TSAHR], which is used of a potter working with clay. By application, it means to form, to mold, to sculpt. Strong’s #3335 BDB #427. This is followed by the Piel infinitive construct of the verb sâchaq (ק ַח ָ) [pronounced saw-KHAHK], and it means to laugh; by extension, it means to sport, to play, to jest. Strong’s #7832 BDB #965. This is followed by the bêyth preposition, which is affixed to the masculine singular suffix, which should be rendered in it. It refers back to the sea, of course, in the previous verse, which, in the Hebrew is a masculine singular, and is not viewed as a woman as it is in the English.

These all look to You to give their food in its time.

Psalm 104:27

These all look to You to them with their food for its mealtime.


This verse begins with the masculine singular of kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl], which means the whole, all of, the entirety of, all, every. Strong's #3605 BDB #481. This has a masculine plural suffix and is rendered these all (KJV, NIV, Owen), all of them (Rotherham, Young), and they all (NASB). The verb is 3rd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect of see, look. They look to God (here, the 2nd person masculine singular suffix), and they look to God to give them their food. God takes caer of all of His creatures. The fact that an animal so huge, who consumes so much has been provided for should cause us to realize that God has done the same on our behalf.

You give to them, they gather [or, pick up];

You open Your hand, they are filled [with] good things.

Psalm 104:28

You give to them and they gather it up;

You open Your hand and they are satiated with good things.

You may wonder why this verse is here. It reveals God’s mediate work. He immediately causes some things to occur. Most often, these are miracles. However, much of what He does is mediate; that is, God provides these things in eternity past. The food for the creatures of the sea was provided for in eternity past. They just need to meander about and gather it up. As has been covered many times in our studies, God has set up many of our own needs to be met mediately, through His perfect planning from eternity past.

You cause Your face to be hidden, they are overwhelmed;

You remove their breath, they die

and to their dust they return.

Psalm 104:29

When You cause Your face to be hidden, they become dismayed and overwhelmed by life;

When You remove their breath, they die

and to their dust they return.

Although one translator reads Thou hidest thy face, they suddenly perish; the thought in the first line is more a removal of the hand of Jesus Christ in their lives and they become overwhelmed or dismayed with their life. Strong’s #926 BDB #96. I don’t believe that we are looking at a parallelism, as is found in some psalms, but rather this is an intensification when we reach the third and fourth lines.


The first verb in the second line is the Qal imperfect of âçaph (ף ַס ָא) [pronounced aw-SAHF], which means transfer, transport, relocate, gather, to gather and remove, to remove. We had this verb back in v. 22. Strong’s #622 BDB #62. What is being gathered is their rûwach (ח ַחר) [pronounced ROO-ahkh], means wind, breath, spirit. Here, it stand for both their breath and for the electrical impulses runing through their brain. When God removes those, they are dead. Strong’s #7307 BDB #924.

You send forth Your breath, they are created;

and You renew the faces of the ground.

Psalm 104:30

When You send forth Your breath, they are created;

and You thereby renew the face of the earth.


One of the more controversial aspects of Bob Thieme’s ministry was the moment that any lving creature becomes alive. Here, what is sent forth is His spirit or breath. The second verb is not built, formed, or made but the Niphal imperfect of bârâ’ (א ָר ָ) [pronounced baw-RAWH], which is the verb used for creation. It does mean to shape, to fashion by cutting; but it is used for creating something out of energy or creating that which is immaterial. Strong’s #1249–1250 (&1254) BDB #135. Renewing the face of the ground means to just replenish the earth. Animals die, but other animals are brought on the scene to replace them.

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Praise to God Because of His Power and Glory

The glory of Yehowah will be to eternity [or, is for eternity];

Yehowah rejoices in His works.

Psalm 104:31

The glory of Yehowah is for eternity;

Yehowah rejoices in His works.


The first substantive in this verse is kâbvôwd (דב ָ) [pronounced kaw(b)-VODE] and it refers to glory, abundance, or honor. Strong's #3519 BDB #458. The last word in that line is ׳ôwlâm (ם ָלע) [pronounced ģoh-LAWM], a word indicating long duration, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity. It seems to be used as a word outside of time in terms of direction, but it occupies a long period of time. Strong’s #5769 (& #5865) BDB #761.

The One looking to the earth and it trembles;

He touches the mountains and they smoke.

Psalm 104:32

The One looking to the earth and it trembles;

He touches the mountains and they smoke.

The smoking from the mountains is volcanic activity. God’s mere glance causes the earth to tremble. There is never any compromise when it comes to the power of God. The gods of other religions and mythology are portrayed as limited, selfish and fallible; God is everywhere presented as perfect, omnipotent, and perfect in His righteousness and justice.

I will sing to Yehowah in my lives;

I will sing prase to my God in my continuation.

Psalm 104:33

I will sing to Yehowah as long as I live;

I will sing prase to my God while I continue on this earth.


Lest there be any confusion on the word lives in the first line; this is the Hebrew emphatic plural. The word lives is chayyîym (םי ̣ ַח) [pronounced khay-YEEM], and it is the plural abstrack emphatic word for life; although it is in the plural, in the English, we usually translate it in the singular. There is possibly another couple of ways of looking at this noun. We have a spiritual, a physical and a soulish life; an unbeliever has only a physical and a soulish life. Our human spirit is our immaterial portion which can commune with God; when our physical being, our soulish expressions to others and our spiritual lives all reflect God’s glory and praise to Him, then we are singing to him in our lives. The other possible way to look at this is that, for many of us, our life consists of many lives. I personally have a life that appears to be different, depending upon where I lived and worked and what overall decisions which I had made for my life. This word takes into account these different transitions in our life. What this does not support is the concept of reincarnation, which we have covered previously. Strong’s #2416 BDB #313.

The second substantive of note is the word ׳ôwd (דע) [pronounced ģohd], a word which acts as both an adverb and as a substantive. In both cases, it carries the idea of continuation. As an adverb it means still, yet, again, besides; and as a noun it means continuing, continuance. Strong’s #5750 BDB #728.

My communication concerning Him is given as a pledge

I, even I, rejoice in Yehowah.

Psalm 104:34

I give in pldege My communication concerning Him;

I, even I, rejoice in Yehowah.

When you compare what I have done with this verse and compare it to others, you will probably be nonplussed. So let’s first see what others have done with this one line:


The Amplified Bible               May my meditation be sweet to Him;

The Emphasized Bible           Pleasing unto him be my meditation,...

KJV                                       My meditation of him shall be sweet;

NAB                                       May my theme be pleasing to God;

NASB                                    Let my meditation be pleasing to Him;

NJB                                May my musings be pleasing to him,...

REB                                       May my mediation be acceptable to him,...

Young's Lit. Translation Sweet is my meditation on Him,...


This verse begins with the verb ׳ârabv (ב ַר ָע) [pronounced aw-RAHBV], which is listed in BDB as having hree different Strong’s #’s and three different meanings. As Strong’s #6147, it is said to mean to mix; but it is not given a reference (it is listed, no doubt, because of the noun cognate which follows (Strong’s #6154). The second meaning (Strong’s #6148) is given as to take on a pledge, to give in pledge, to exchange. The third meanings is to be sweet, to be pleasing (Strong’s #6149). The New Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance does not give the first Strong number and combines the second two. The renderings in the KJV are as follows: to be sweet (Psalm 104:34 Prov. 3:24 13:19 Jer. 6:20), be a surety (Gen. 43:9 II Kings 18:23 Job 17:3 Psalm 119:122 Prov. 6:1 11:15 17:18 20:16 22:26 Isa. 36:8), engaged (Jer. 30:21), hast taken pleasure (Ezek. 16:37), to be pleasant (or pleasing) (Hosea 9:4 Mal. 3:4), to take a pledge (II Kings 18:23 Isa. 36:8), occupy (Ezek. 27:9, 27), to undertake (Isa. 38:14), to mingle (Ezra 9:2 Psalm 106:35), intermeddle (Prov. 14:10), meddle (Prov. 20:19 24:21), pleasing (Hos. 9:4), to mortgage (Neh. 5:3).* Obviously, this word is a total mess. Gesenius helps us somewhat at this point (what follows is taken, in part, from his work). This word properly means to mix. Hence, the use of it to mean to mingle, to intermingle. When two people are involved, sometimes an item of value is exchanged or given as a guarantee or as a surety; this item is mingled, you might say; hence, the meaning given as a guarantee. The tougher meaning for this word is sweetness; Gesenius suggests that this is derived from the notion of a dog-fly sucking blood, but I don’t quite see that. Strong’s #6148 & 6149 (& 6147) BDB #786–787.


The noun in this verse is sîyach (ַחי̣) [pronounced SEE-ahkh], and is rendered complaint, musing, mediation, talk, anxiety, trouble. I think for awhile we will go with communication. Strong’s #7879 BDB #967.

This is followed by the preposition for upon, beyond, against, concerning, in accordance with, because and the singular masculine suffix him.

In this context, to try to stay with consistent meanings, let’s go with the rendering: My communication concerning Him is given as a pledge [or, given in pledge].

Deviants will come to completion [and cease] away from the earth

and deviants a continuation—not them!

Bless, O my soul, Yehowah

Praise Yah!

Psalm 104:35

Deviants will come to completion [and cease] away from the earth

and deviants will no longer continue on this earth.

Bless, O my soul, Yehowah

Praise Yah!

We ought to look at the first two lines of this last verse in other translations first:


The Amplified Bible               Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more.

The Emphasized Bible           Sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, And the lawless no more shall exist,...

KJV                                       Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more.

NAB                                       May sinners vanish from the earth, and the wicked be no more.

REB                                       May sinners be banished from the earth and may the wicked be no more!

Owen's Translation               Let be consumed sinners from the earth and the wicked, let be no more (of them).

Young's Lit. Translation Consumed are sinners from the earth, And the wicked are no more.


The first verb is the Qal imperfect of tam (ם ַ) [pronounced tahm], and it means to be complete, to be finished, to complete, to come to an end, to cease. Strong’s #8552 BDB #1070.


The subject of the sentence is chaţţâ’ (א ָ ַח) [pronounced khat-TAW], which is usually rendered sinners. This could be updated to deviates, deviants, transgressors. This is an adjective used exclusively as a substantive. This word occurs surprisingly few times in the Old Testament (18, and only 3 times in the Pentateuch). Strong’s #2400 BDB #308. The preposition prior to the word earth is the mîn preposition of separation.


This is all followed by the masculine plural adjective (acting as a substantive) of the word râshâ׳ (ע ָש ָר) [pronounced raw-SHAWĢ], and it is usually translated wicked, wicked ones; however, a more up-to-date rendering would be malevolent ones, lawless ones, criminals, the corrupt. Strong’s #7563 BDB #957.

In this second line, to give it extra punch, there is no verb, although you would expect to find one. We have the adverb from a previous verse ׳ôwd (דע) [pronounced ģohd], a word which acts as both an adverb and as a substantive. In both cases, it carries the idea of continuation. As an adverb it means still, yet, again, besides; and as a noun it means continuing, continuation, continuance, persistence. Strong’s #5750 BDB #728. This is followed by the negative with an affixed masculine plural suffix. Therefore, it literally reads: malevolent ones a continuation not them. One of the consistent themes in Scripture is the removal of the corrupt and the malevolent from the earth.

As has been mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, our lives are a blessing to God, although this is an anthropopathism. By our lives, by the doctrine in our soul, by the integrity of our day-to-day walk, we are a blessing to God, inasmuch as we glorify Him and His wisdom and His righteousness. Furthermore, this is one reason that some Christians ought to keep their mouths shut when it comes to witnessing. There are a large number of people on this earth where God does not want you to tell others about him. You’re too visible; your sin nature is given an extensive reign over your life; you are so self-righteous that you are an embarrassment to God (and this expression is also an anthropopathism).

The final two verbs are imperatives. The psalmist orders his soul to bless God, which requires doctrine and the filling of the Spirit. He orders his readers to praise God. Praise Yah is often rendered hallelujah; but that obscures its meaning.

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