TEXT OF PSALM 104
|(1) Bless the Lord,
0 my inmost being!0 Lord, my God, you are very great;
You are clothed with majesty and splendor.
(2) He spreads out
light like a covering;
He stretches out the heavens as a tent.1
(3) He fills his
upper chambers with water;2
He makes the clouds his chariot;
He travels on the wings of the wind.3
(4) He makes the
winds his messengers,
Fire and flame his servants.4
|(5) He established
the earth on its foundations;
It shall not be moved forever and ever.(6) The primeval ocean
covered it like a garment;5
The waters stood over the mountains.
(7) Prom your rebuke
From your thunderous voice they rushed away.
(8) They went up to
the mountains, down to the netherworld chasms,
To the place which you appointed for them.6
(9) You set them a
limit which they cannot transgress;
They will not return to cover the earth.
(10) He sends forth
springs in the wadis;
They flow between the mountains.
(11) He makes all
the beasts of the field drink;
He makes the onagers shatter their thirst.7
(12) Near them (the
streams) the birds of heaven nest;
Among them the ravens give forth their voice.8
(13) He waters
the mountains from his upper chambers;
From the fruit of his work, the earth is well supplied.10
(14) He brings forth
grain for the animals;
And grass for those who serve man.11
He indeed brings
grain from the earth;12
(15) And wine which gladdens the heart of man.
He indeed makes
their faces shine with oil;
And bread, which strengthens the heart of man.
(16) The trees of
the Lord have plenty;
The cedars of Lebanon which he planted,
(17) Where the birds
make their nests;
As for the stork, her house is among their tops.
(18) The high
mountains are for the mountain goats;
The rocky places are for the coneys.
|(19) He made the
moon for appointed times;
The sun knows when to go down.(20) It darkens, and becomes night;13
In it creep all the beasts of the thicket.
(21) The lions roar
for their prey;
They seek their food from God.14
(22) The sun rises,
so they may be gathered,
So they may lie down in their dens
(2)) Man goes forth
to his work,
And to his labor until the evening.
|(24) How marvelous
are your works, 0 Lord!
You made them all wisely.
The earth is full of your created things.15(25) This sea, great and wide
In which are uncountable creatures,
Living things, both small and great —
(26) There the ships
Leviathan which you made,
Plays in it.17
(27) All of them
look to you,18
To give them their food on time.
(28) You give to
them, so they may gather;
You open your hand, so they may be satisfied with good.
(29) You hide your
face, and they are disturbed;
You bring their breath to an end,19
And they return to their dust.
(30) You send forth
your breath, and they are created;
So you renew the face of the ground.
|(31) Let the glory
of the Lord. be eternal;
Let the Lord rejoice in his works –(32) He who looks at the
earth, and it trembles;
Who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
(33) I will sing to
the Lord while I live.
I will sing to my God while I continue to exist.
(34) Let my song be
pleasing to him,
I will rejoice in the Lord.
(35) Sinners shall
be removed from the earth,
And the wicked will be no more.
Bless the Lord, 0 my
1He spreads out
literally-should read, “He covers himself with,” but
here, in the light of the parallelism, I have translated as
normally means mantle or covering, thus the movement is from the
general to the specific, which is fairly common in this Psalm.
(7ab, qOwl ra;amkA – ga;arAtkA; 11ab, hayetOw-sAday
– perA’iym; 12ab, ;owf
– ;Afa’yim; 14ab, behEmAh
– ;obedot-hA’AdAm; 16ab, ;aTey-yhwh
– ‘arzEy-lebanown; Thus here, “He spreads
out light as a covering (general) // He stretches out the heavens
as a tent (specific type of covering).
Dahood, Psalms, 3 vols., The Anchor Bible (Garden City, N. Y.:
Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1970), 3:34.
3Because of the
translation of the first line, these three lines fit together as
a tricolon. The imagery evokes the second day of creation.
equally well be translated with the object and the subject
reversed. For reasons of context, which have been discussed above
in Chapter V, they are translated thus. “Fire and
flame” may simply be viewed as the omission of the
conjunction for poetic reasons.
5Emending kaSSiytOw to kaSSetAh. If the Psalm was written originally
without vowel pointing, this error would be easy. with the h
misunderstood as the older form of the suffix, having become kstw
with the newer form. In order to make sense of this form, the
yodh would be introduced. This is a more logical preparation of
the reader for the battle to come.
3:36, 37 for the translation of hAriym and beqa;owt.
to yasbi(y)rUw a
change only in vowel pointing. This is supported by the
“ravens,” see Dahood, 3:38, 39.
participle, “he causes the mountains to drink.”
see Dahood, 3:39.
feminine plural participle, and view as a specific class of
12Taking the l
as a lamedh emphaticum as in v. 15b. Also see Dahood, 3:39-41.
instead of tAset-hOsek.
See Dahood, 3:43.
Lamedh emphaticum with a plural perfect piel. With the use of the
lamedh emphaticum lost in the time when the vowel pointing was
added, this would be a simple error. If the Psalm was written
originally without vowel letters, there would also be a
difficulty in distinguishing between the singular and the plural.
see Dahood, 3:44.
“wide of reach.”
lamedh emphaticum — “he plays in it.”
“hope towards you.”
rather than tOSef with or without yodh. No
consonantal changes are necessary.