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Psalms 104:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Bless Jehovah, O my soul! Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with majesty and splendour;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Bless, O my soul, Yahweh,—Yahweh, my God, thou art exceedingly great, With honour and majesty, hast thou clothed thyself,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Bless, O my soul, Jehovah! Jehovah, my God, Thou hast been very great, Honour and majesty Thou hast put on.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For David himself. Bless the Lord, O my soul: O Lord my God, thou art exceedingly great. Thou hast put on praise and beauty:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Blesse the LORD, O my soule, O LORD my God, thou art very great: thou art clothed with honour and maiestie.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[[A Psalm] of David.]] Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou hast clothed thyself with praise and honour:
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Bless Yahweh, O my soul. O Yahweh my Elohim, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Bless 1288
{1288} Prime
A primitive root; to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit); also (by euphemism) to curse (God or the king, as treason).
<8761> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 446
(0853) Complement
Apparently contracted from H0226 in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self (but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even or namely).
Yhw יָהוֶה, 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
O my soul. 5315
{5315} Prime
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
O Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
my lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
thou art very 3966
{3966} Prime
From the same as H0181; properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially when repeated).
great; 1431
{1431} Prime
A primitive root; properly to twist (compare H1434), that is, to be (causatively make) large (in various senses, as in body, mind, estate or honor, also in pride).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
thou art clothed 3847
{3847} Prime
A primitive root; properly wrap around, that is, (by implication) to put on a garment or clothe (oneself, or another), literally or figuratively.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
with honour 1935
{1935} Prime
From an unused root; grandeur (that is, an imposing form and appearance).
and majesty. 1926
{1926} Prime
From H1921; magnificence, that is, ornament or splendor.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 104:1

_ _ Psalms 104:1-35. The Psalmist celebrates God’s glory in His works of creation and providence, teaching the dependence of all living creatures; and contrasting the happiness of those who praise Him with the awful end of the wicked.

_ _ God’s essential glory, and also that displayed by His mighty works, afford ground for praise.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 104:1-9

_ _ When we are addressing ourselves to any religious service we must stir up ourselves to take hold on God in it (Isaiah 64:7); so David does here. “Come, my soul, where art thou? What art thou thinking of? Here is work to be done, good work, angels' work; set about it in good earnest; let all the powers and faculties be engaged and employed in it: Bless the Lord, O my soul!” In these verses,

_ _ I. The psalmist looks up to the divine glory shining in the upper world, of which, though it is one of the things not seen, faith is the evidence. With what reverence and holy awe does he begin his meditation with that acknowledgment: O Lord my God! thou art very great! It is the joy of the saints that he who is their God is a great God. The grandeur of the prince is the pride and pleasure of all his good subjects. The majesty of God is here set forth by various instances, alluding to the figure which great princes in their public appearances covet to make. Their equipage, compared with his (even of the eastern kings, who most affected pomp), is but as the light of a glow-worm compared with that of the sun, when he goes forth in his strength. Princes appear great, 1. In their robes; and what are God's robes? Thou art clothed with honour and majesty, Psalms 104:1. God is seen in his works, and these proclaim him infinitely wise and good, and all that is great. Thou coverest thyself with light as with a garment, Psalms 104:2. God is light (1 John 1:5), the Father of lights (James 1:17); he dwells in light (1 Timothy 6:16); he clothes himself with it. The residence of his glory is in the highest heaven, that light which was created the first day, Genesis 1:3. Of all visible beings light comes nearest to the nature of a spirit, and therefore with that God is pleased to cover himself, that is, to reveal himself under that similitude, as men are seen in the clothes with which they cover themselves; and so only, for his face cannot be seen. 2. In their palaces or pavilions, when they take the field; and what is God's palace and his pavilion? He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, Psalms 104:2. So he did at first, when he made the firmament, which in the Hebrew has its name from its being expanded, or stretched out, Genesis 1:7. He made it to divide the waters as a curtain divides between two apartments. So he does still: he now stretches out the heavens like a curtain, keeps them upon the stretch, and they continue to this day according to his ordinance. The regions of the air are stretched out about the earth, like a curtain about a bed, to keep it warm, and drawn between us and the upper world, to break its dazzling light; for, though God covers himself with light, yet, in compassion to us, he makes darkness his pavilion. Thick clouds are a covering to him. The vastness of this pavilion may lead us to consider how great, how very great, he is that fills heaven and earth. He has his chambers, his upper rooms (so the word signifies), the beams whereof he lays in the waters, the waters that are above the firmament (Psalms 104:3), as he has founded the earth upon the seas and floods, the waters beneath the firmament. Though air and water are fluid bodies, yet, by the divine power, they are kept as tight and as firm in the place assigned them as a chamber is with beams and rafters. How great a God is he whose presence-chamber is thus reared, thus fixed! 3. In their coaches of state, with their stately horses, which add much to the magnificence of their entries; but God makes the clouds his chariots, in which he rides strongly, swiftly, and far above out of the reach of opposition, when at any time he will act by uncommon providences in the government of this world. He descended in a cloud, as in a chariot, to Mount Sinai, to give the law, and to Mount Tabor, to proclaim the gospel (Matthew 17:5), and he walks (a gentle pace indeed, yet stately) upon the wings of the wind. See Psalms 18:10, Psalms 18:11. He commands the winds, directs them as he pleases, and serves his own purposes by them. 4. In their retinue or train of attendants; and here also God is very great, for (Psalms 104:4) he makes his angels spirits. This is quoted by the apostle (Hebrews 1:7) to prove the pre-eminence of Christ above the angels. The angels are here said to be his angels and his ministers, for they are under his dominion and at his disposal; they are winds, and a flame of fire, that is, they appeared in wind and fire (so some), or they are as swift as winds, and pure as flames; or he makes them spirits, so the apostle quotes it. They are spiritual beings; and, whatever vehicles they may have proper to their nature, it is certain they have not bodies as we have. Being spirits, they are so much the further removed from the encumbrances of the human nature and so much the nearer allied to the glories of the divine nature. And they are bright, and quick, and ascending, as fire, as a flame of fire. In Ezekiel's vision they ran and returned like a flash of lightning, Ezekiel 1:14. Thence they are called seraphimburners. Whatever they are, they are what God made them, what he still makes them; they derive their being from him, having the being he gave them, are held in being by him, and he makes what use he pleases of them.

_ _ II. He looks down, and looks about, to the power of God shining in this lower world. He is not so taken up with the glories of his court as to neglect even the remotest of his territories; no, not the sea and dry land.

_ _ 1. He has founded the earth, Psalms 104:5. Though he has hung it upon nothing (Job 26:2), ponderibus librata suisbalanced by its own weight, yet it is as immovable as if it had been laid upon the surest foundations. He has built the earth upon her basis, so that though it has received a dangerous shock by the sin of man, and the malice of hell strikes at it, yet it shall not be removed for ever, that is, not till the end of time, when it must give way to the new earth. Dr. Hammond's paraphrase of this is worth noting: “God has fixed so strange a place for the earth, that, being a heavy body, one would think it should fall every minute; and yet, which way soever we would imagine it to stir, it must, contrary to the nature of such a body, fall upwards, and so can have no possible ruin but by tumbling into heaven.”

_ _ 2. He has set bounds to the sea; for that also is his. (1.) He brought it within bounds in the creation. At first the earth, which, being the more ponderous body, would subside of course, was covered with the deep (Psalms 104:6): The waters were above the mountains; and so it was unfit to be, as it was designed, a habitation for man; and therefore, on the third day, God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered to one place, and let the dry land appear, Genesis 1:9. This command of God is here called his rebuke, as if he gave it because he was displeased that the earth was thus covered with water and not fit for man to dwell on. Power went along with this word, and therefore it is also called here the voice of his thunder, which is a mighty voice and produces strange effects, Psalms 104:7. At thy rebuke, as if they were made sensible that they were out of their place, they fled; they hasted away (they called, and not in vain, to the rocks and mountains to cover them), as it is said on another occasion (Psalms 77:16), The waters saw thee, O God! the waters saw thee; they were afraid. Even those fluid bodies received the impression of God's terror. But was the Lord displeased against the rivers? No; it was for the salvation of his people, Habakkuk 3:8, Habakkuk 3:13. So here; God rebuked the waters for man's sake, to prepare room for him; for men must not be made as the fishes of the sea (Habakkuk 1:14); they must have air to breathe in. Immediately therefore, with all speed, the waters retired, Psalms 104:8. They go over hill and dale (as we say), go up by the mountains and down by the valleys; they will neither stop at the former nor lodge in the latter, but make the best of their way to the place which thou hast founded for them, and there they make their bed. Let the obsequiousness even of the unstable waters teach us obedience to the word and will of God; for shall man alone of all the creatures be obstinate? Let their retiring to and resting in the place assigned them teach us to acquiesce in the disposals of that wise providence which appoints us the bounds of our habitation. (2.) He keeps it within bounds, Psalms 104:9. The waters are forbidden to pass over the limits set them; they may not, and therefore they do not, turn again to cover the earth. Once they did, in Noah's flood, because God bade them, but never since, because he forbids them, having promised not to drown the world again. God himself glorifies in this instance of his power (Job 38:8, etc.) and uses it as an argument with us to fear him, Jeremiah 5:22. This, if duly considered, would keep the world in awe of the Lord and his goodness, That the waters of the sea would soon cover the earth if God did not restrain them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 104:1

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art (a) clothed with honour and majesty.

(a) The prophet shows that we do not need to enter into the heavens to seek God, for as much as all the order of nature, with the propriety and placing of the elements, are living mirrors to see his majesty in.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
This sublime poem on the works of God in creation and providence, is ascribed to David in the LXX, Vulgate, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic; and as it opens and closes with the same words as the preceding psalm, it is probable that it was composed on the same occasion; and it is written as part of it in nine manuscripts
Psalms 104:35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.
Psalms 103:1-2 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name. ... Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Psalms 103:22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.


Psalms 7:1 [[Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.]] O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
Daniel 9:4 And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
Habakkuk 1:12 [Art] thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.

art very great:

Psalms 145:3 Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable.
Jeremiah 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 32:17-19 Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, [and] there is nothing too hard for thee: ... Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes [are] open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
Revelation 1:13-20 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. ... The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.


Psalms 93:1 The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, [wherewith] he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved.
Isaiah 59:17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance [for] clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.


Psalms 29:1-4 [[A Psalm of David.]] Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. ... The voice of the LORD [is] powerful; the voice of the LORD [is] full of majesty.
Psalms 96:6 Honour and majesty [are] before him: strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary.
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Ps 7:1; 29:1; 93:1; 96:6; 103:1, 22; 104:35; 145:3. Is 59:17. Jr 23:24; 32:17. Dn 7:9; 9:4. Hab 1:12. Rv 1:13.

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