Psalm 104

Psalm 104


1 BlessI the Lord,II O my soul.III
    O Lord my God,IV you are veryV great.VI

Notes on verse 1a

I “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
II “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
III “soul” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
IV “God” = Elohim.
V “very” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
VI “are…great” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.

You are clothed withVII honorVIII and majesty,IX
    wrapped inX lightXI as with a garment.XII

Notes on verses 1b-2a

VII “clothed with” = labash. This is to wrap around, which implies clothing oneself or someone else. This is wrapping around in a literal or figurative way.
VIII “honor” = hod. This is grandeur, beauty, glory, honor, or authority. It emphasizes a form or appearance with gravitas.
IX “majesty” = hadar. From hadar (to honor or adorn; majestic, respected, glorious; to favor or honor; to be proud). This is ornament, splendor, beauty, dignity, majesty, magnificence, and glory.
X “wrapped in” = atah. 17x in OT. This is to wrap, cover, veil, be clad, turn aside.
XI “light” = or. From or (to be or become light). This is light, sun, sunshine, dawn, or daylight. Figuratively, it can refer to light from instruction, light of a face (that is to say one that is cheerful or finds favor). It can refer to prosperity or salvation; a light that guides, a light eternal from Zion.
XII “garment” = salmah. 16x in OT. From simlah (mantle, clothes, wrapper); perhaps from semel (image, figure, likeness). This is the same word as simlah with the letters transposed. So, this is clothing, a cloak, or mantle.

You stretch outXIII the heavensXIV like a tent,XV
    you set the beamsXVI of your chambersXVII on the waters,XVIII

Notes on verses 2b-3a

XIII “stretch out” = natah. This is to stretch or spread out, to extend, or bend. In can also imply moral deflection.
XIV “heavens” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
XV “tent” = yeriah. From yara (to tremble, fear, quiver). This is a hanging curtain – a tent curtain that can shake.
XVI “set the beams” = qarah. This is to encounter, usually unintentionally. It can also mean to happen or to lay wood for a floor or roof.
XVII “chambers” = aliyyah. 19x in OT. From alah (to go up, climb, approach, bring; to be high or actively climb; can be literal or figurative). This is a lofty place. So, it could be stairs, an upstairs room, or a chamber on the roof. It could also be an ascent or the sky.
XVIII “waters” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.

you makeXIX the cloudsXX your chariot,XXI
    you rideXXII on the wingsXXIII of the wind,XXIV

Notes on verse 3b

XIX “make” = sum. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
XX “clouds” = ab. Perhaps from uwb (to be a think or dark cloud, a cloud covering). This is a dark or thick cloud that can envelope in darkness. It can also refer to a copse or to clay.
XXI “chariot” = rekub. 1x in OT. From rakab (to ride an animal or in some vehicle; also, bringing on a horse). This is a chariot.
XXII “ride” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
XXIII “wings” = kanaph. This is wing, edge, corner, extremity. It can also be a flap or fold of a garment or the pinnacle of a building.
XXIV “wind” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.

you makeXXV the winds your messengers,XXVI
    fireXXVII and flameXXVIII your ministers.XXIX

Notes on verse 4

XXV “make” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
XXVI “messengers” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
XXVII “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVIII “flame” = lahat. 11x in OT. This is to set on fire, burn, kindle, be ablaze, consume.
XXIX “ministers” = sharath. This is ministering, serving, or waiting on. It can refer to one offering service as a worshipper or one serving as a servant.

5 You setXXX the earthXXXI on its foundations,XXXII
    so that it shall neverXXXIII be shaken.XXXIV

Notes on verse 5

XXX “set” = yasad. This is to establish, appoint, instruct. It is to set in a literal or figurative sense. Also means to sit down together and so to consult or take counsel.
XXXI “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XXXII “foundations” = makon. 17x in OT. From kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is a foundation, fixture, basis. It can also be a place or abode as somewhere that is established.
XXXIII “never” = balolam + ad. Bal is from balah (to grow old, wear out, consume, waste, enjoy, fail, decay). This is not, lest, neither. Properly, it refers to a failure, so it implies nothing or not at all. Olam is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting). Ad is from adah (to advance or continue; to take away or remove; adorning oneself with ornaments). This is old, perpetuity, eternity. It is a duration going back or forward.
XXXIV “be shaken” = mot. This is to shake, slip, falter, stagger, move, fall, give way, waver, be carried.

You coverXXXV it with the deepXXXVI as with a garment;XXXVII
    the waters stoodXXXVIII above the mountains.XXXIX

Notes on verse 6

XXXV “cover” = kasah. This is to cover, conceal, overwhelm. It is to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret.
XXXVI “deep” = tehom. Perhaps from hum (to roar, murmur, cause an uproar, agitate; to defeat in battle, destroy). This is the deep or the abyss. Either understood as a formless empty place of nothingness or as a place of confusion filled with water – the deep the feeds the waters of the earth.
XXXVII “garment” = lebush. Related to “clothed with” in v1. From labash (see note VII above). This is clothing literally or figuratively. It can be used as a euphemism for a wife.
XXXVIII “stood” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
XXXIX “mountains” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.

At your rebukeXL they flee;XLI
    at the soundXLII of your thunderXLIII they take to flight.XLIV

Notes on verse 7

XL “rebuke” = gearah. 15x in OT. From gaar (to rebuke, corrupt, or chide). This is a rebuke, reproof, or threat.
XLI “flee” = nus. This is to flee, vanish away, hide, escape, be displayed.
XLII “sound” = qol. This is a sound, used often for human voices. Also used when God speaks or angels, animals or instruments. It can be a cry or a noise, thunder or earthquakes and so on.
XLIII “thunder” = raam. 6x in OT. Perhaps from raam (to trouble, be agitated, irritated, angered; a peal of thunder). This is thunder (the noun).
XLIV “take to flight” = chaphaz. 9x in OT. This is hurry or alarm. It is something that begins with a start so it can mean to hurry away or to panic, tremble, fear.

They rose upXLV to the mountains, ran downXLVI to the valleysXLVII
    to the placeXLVIII that you appointedXLIX for them.

Notes on verse 8

XLV “rose up” = alah. Related to “chambers” in v3. See note XVII above.
XLVI “ran down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
XLVII “valleys” = biqah. From baqa (to divide, split open, tear, breach, break open, dash to pieces). This is a valley or plain. Properly, it refers to a place where the mountains have split – a wide, flat valley between them.
XLVIII “place” = maqom. From qum (to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.
XLIX “appointed” = yasad. Same as “set” in v5. See note XXX above.

You setL a boundaryLI that they may notLII pass,LIII
    so that they might notLIV againLV cover the earth.

Notes on verse 9

L “set” = sum. Same as “make” in v3. See note XIX above.
LI “boundary” = gebul. Perhaps from gabal (to border, twist like rope). This is boundary, limit, coast, space. Properly, it is a line that is twisted, which implies a boundary and, by extension, the boundaries of a territory or other enclosed space.
LII “not” = bal. Same as “never” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
LIII “pass” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
LIV “not” = bal. Same as “never” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
LV “again” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”

10 You make springsLVI gush forthLVII in the valleys;LVIII
    they flowLIX betweenLX the hills,LXI

Notes on verse 10

LVI “springs” = mayan. From ayin (eye, appearance; eye in a literal or figurative sense; a fountain). This is a spring, well, or fountain. Figuratively, this is a source of contentment.
LVII “make…gush forth” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
LVIII “valleys” = nachal. From nachal (to take as heritage, inherit, or distribute). This is a river or stream. It could be a wadi or arroyo – sometimes a narrow valley with no water at all, but in strong rains or when winter snow melts, it swells or floods with water.
LIX “flow” = halak. Same as “ride” in v3. See note XXII above.
LX “between” = bayin. From bin (to discern, consider, attend to; distinguishing things in one’s mind or, more generally, to understand). This is among, between, interval.
LXI “hills” = har. Same as “mountains” in v6. See note XXXIX above.

11 giving drinkLXII to everyLXIII wildLXIV animal;LXV
    the wild assesLXVI quenchLXVII their thirst.LXVIII

Notes on verse 11

LXII “giving drink” = shaqah. This is to give water to, to cause to drink – to irrigate, drown. It can be used for watering plants or giving water to flocks.
LXIII “every” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
LXIV “wild” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
LXV “animal” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
LXVI “wild asses” = pere. 10x in OT. Perhaps from para (to be fruitful, to run free as a wild animal). This is a wild donkey.
LXVII “quench” = shabar. This is break, collapse, destroy, break in pieces, tear. It is bursting in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVIII “thirst” = tsama. 17x in OT. From tsame (to thirst in a literal or figurative sense). This is thirst in a literal or figurative sense. It could also refer to dry ground.

12 By the streams the birdsLXIX of the airLXX have their habitation;LXXI
    they singLXXII amongLXXIII the branches.LXXIV

Notes on verse 12

LXIX “birds” = oph. From uph (to fly, flee, shine, be weary, be faint). This is a flying creature.
LXX “air” = shamayim. Same as “heavens” in v2. See note XIV above.
LXXI “have…habitation” = shakan. This is to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently. It can mean abide or continue. “Mishkan,” taken from this verb, is the Hebrew word for the Tabernacle (as a place where God abided).
LXXII “sing” = natan + qol. Literally, “give voice.” Natan is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively. Qol is the same as “sound” in v7. See note XLII above.
LXXIII “among” = bayin. Same as “between” in v10. See note LX above.
LXXIV “branches” = ophe. 1x in OT. Related to ophayim (foliage or branches) OR the root may have the sense of covering. This is a bough or branch.

13 From your lofty abodeLXXV you waterLXXVI the mountains;
    the earth is satisfiedLXXVII with the fruitLXXVIII of your work.LXXIX

Notes on verse 13

LXXV “lofty abode” = aliyyah. Same as “chambers” in v3. See note XVII above.
LXXVI “water” = shaqah. Same as “giving drink” in v11. See note LXII above.
LXXVII “satisfied” = saba. To be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense. Also, to have plenty of.
LXXVIII “fruit” = peri. From parah (to bear fruit, grow, be fruitful, increase; bearing fruit in a literal or figurative sense). This is fruit or reward.
LXXIX “work” = maaseh. Related to “make” in v4. From asah (see note XXV above). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced.

14 You cause the grassLXXX to growLXXXI for the cattle,LXXXII
    and plantsLXXXIII for peopleLXXXIV to use,LXXXV

Notes on verse 14a

LXXX “grass” = chatsir. Perhaps from the same as chatsir (village, settlement); from chatser (enclosure or court – a yard that is fenced in. It could also be a village or hamlet that is walled in); from chatsar (to blow a trumpet, trumpeter, to surround); from chatsotsrah (trumpet). This is grass, plant, hay, leeks.
LXXXI “grow” = tsamach. This is to sprout, grow, or spring up – literal or figurative.
LXXXII “cattle” = behemah. This is animal or cattle. It is often used of large quadrupeds.
LXXXIII “plants” = eseb. Root may mean to be green or to glisten. This is grass or some other tender shoot.
LXXXIV “people” = adam. Perhaps from adam (to be red, make ruddy); related to adamah (ground, dirt, earth). This is man, humankind, also Adam’s name. It refers to a human individual or humanity.
LXXXV “use” = abodah. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is labor, service, bondage, job, servitude, worker. It can refer to any kind of work.

to bring forthLXXXVI foodLXXXVII from the earth,
15     and wineLXXXVIII to gladdenLXXXIX the humanXC heart,XCI

Notes on verses 14b-15a

LXXXVI “bring forth” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXVII “food” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
LXXXVIII “wine” = yayin. Root may mean to effervesce, referring to the fermentation process. This is wine, grape, or banquet. It can imply intoxication.
LXXXIX “gladden” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.
XC “human” = enosh. From anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is human, humankind, another. It is mortal.
XCI “heart” = lebab. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.

oilXCII to make the faceXCII shine,XCIV
    and breadXCV to strengthenXCVI the human heart.

Notes on verse 15b

XCII “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
XCIII “face” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XCIV “make…shine” = tsahal. 9x in OT. This is to cry or shout – including an animal cry or neigh. It can also mean to gleam, rejoice, be glad.
XCV “bread” = lechem. Same as “food” in v14. See note LXXXVII above.
XCVI “strengthen” = saad. 12x in OT. This is to support – usually used in a figurative sense. So it is sustain, hold, refresh, comfort, establish.

16 The treesXCVII of the Lord are watered abundantly,XCVIII
    the cedarsXCIX of LebanonC that he planted.CI

Notes on verse 16

XCVII “trees” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.
XCVIII “watered abundantly” = saba. Same as “satisfied” in v13. See note LXXVII above.
XCIX “cedars” = erez. Perhaps from araz (made from cedar; to be firm, strong). This is cedar or a cedar tree as strong.
C “Lebanon” = Lebanon. Related to “heart” in v15. From laben (to be white, make white, make bricks) OR form Aramaic lebab (heart); corresponding to Hebrew lebab (see note XCI above). This is Lebanon. The sense of “white” comes from the snow on the top of its mountains. See
CI “planted” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.

17 In them the birdsCII build their nests;CIII
    the storkCIV has its homeCV in the fir trees.CVI

Notes on verse 17

CII “birds” = tsippor. From tsaphar (to skip about, maybe to depart). This is a little bird like a sparrow – a little bird as one that hops about.
CIII “build…nests” = qanan. 5x in OT. From qen (a nest, room, dwelling, nestlings). This is to nest or make a nest.
CIV “stork” = chasidah. 6x in OT. From chasid (faithful, kind, pious, merciful, or gracious; godly or pious people); from chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is a stork or a feather.
CV “home” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
CVI “fir trees” = berosh. This is a cypress, fir, or juniper. It can be something made of this wood like a lance of musical instrument.

18 The highCVII mountains are for the wild goats;CVIII
    the rocksCIX are a refugeCX for the coneys.CXI

Notes on verse 18

CVII “high” = gaboah. From gabah (to be tall, high, exalted, proud, haughty). This is high, tall, long, proud, or arrogant. It could also be a high ranking official, someone exalted, or something lofty.
CVIII “wild goats” = yael. 3x in OT. Perhaps from ya’al (to gain, profit, do good, ascend, be useful or valuable; benefitted). This is a mountain goat or an ibex – a creature that climbs.
CIX “rocks” = sela. Root may mean being lofty. This is a rock, cliff, crag, mountain. It could be used figuratively for obstinance or to show God as a refuge. It can also more generally mean fortress or stronghold.
CX “refuge” = machaseh. From chasah (to take refuge or flee for protection; figuratively, to hope or trust in someone or something). This is a shelter in a literal or figurative sense. It is refuge or place of refuge. It could also be hope or trust.
CXI “coneys” = shaphan. From saphan (treasure); perhaps from the same as saphan (to cover, reserve, hide, roof, treasure). This is a coney or hyrax – an animals that hides.

19 You have made the moonCXII to mark the seasons;CXIII
    the sunCXIV knowsCXV its time for setting.CXVI

Notes on verse 19

CXII “moon” = yareach. Perhaps from the same as yerach (month). This is moon.
CXIII “seasons” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.
CXIV “sun” = shemesh. This is sun or toward the east. Its root may mean being brilliant. Figuratively, this could be a ray or an arch.
CXV “knows” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
CXVI “time for setting” = mabo. From bo (to come in, go in, enter). This is entrance, coming in – the process of entering or the place of entrance. It can also mean the setting of the sun i.e. the west.

20 You makeCXVII darkness,CXVIII and it isCXIX night,CXX
    when allCXXI the animals of the forestCXXII come creeping out.CXXIII

Notes on verse 20

CXVII “make” = shith. This is to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look.
CXVIII “darkness” = choshek. From chashak (to be or become dark). This is literal darkness is contrast to light. Figuratively, it can be obscurity, sorrow, misery, blindness, wickedness, destruction, death. It can also be hiding places. Additionally, it can mean judgment, mourning, ignorance, evil, or sin.
CXIX “is” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v1. See note II above.
CXX “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
CXXI “all” = kol. Same as “every” in v11. See note LXIII above.
CXXII “forest” = ya’ar. This is honeycomb, forest, thicket. Root may mean thick with green growth. It is a forest as a place where one would find honeycomb.
CXXIII “creeping out” = ramas. 17x in OT. This is gliding swiftly, moving with quick steps or crawling. It is to swarm or prowl or move about.

21 The young lionsCXXIV roarCXXV for their prey,CXXVI
    seekingCXXVII their foodCXXVIII from God.CXXIX

Notes on verse 21

CXXIV “young lions” = kephir. Perhaps from kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel). This is a young lion – maybe in the sense that it has a mane covering.
CXXV “roar” = shaag. This is to roar, rumble, or moan.
CXXVI “prey” = tereph. From taraph (to tear or pluck off into pieces, to rend or catch; to supply with food). This is something that is torn – spoil, prey, food, or some other fragment.
CXXVII “seeking” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.
CXXVIII “food” = okel. From akal (to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume; eating in a literal or figurative sense). This is food, supply of provisions, the act of eating, or the time when one eats.
CXXIX “God” = El. Related to “God” in v1. See note IV above.

22 When the sun rises,CXXX they withdrawCXXXI
    and lie downCXXXII in their dens.CXXXIII

23 People go outCXXXIV to their workCXXXV
    and to their laborCXXXVI until the evening.

Notes on verses 22-23

CXXX “rises” = zarach. 18x in OT. This is to rise, shine, or dawn. It can also be used to describe symptoms of leprosy.
CXXXI “withdraw” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
CXXXII “lie down” = rabats. This is crouched like an animal, lie down, lie stretch out, rest, sit, brood, lurk.
CXXXIII “dens” = meonah. 10x in OT. From maon (dwelling, den, haunt, retreat; can refer to the Tabernacle or Temple; can also be used for homes or animal lairs); from anah (to answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify; to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk; singing, shouting, testifying, etc.) OR from the same as onah (marriage, living together, marital duty). This is a dwelling place or refuge. It can be used to describe God’s dwelling in Zion or a place where animals live.
CXXXIV “go out” = yatsa. Same as “bring forth” in v14. See note LXXXVI above.
CXXXV “work” = poal. From paal (to do, make, work, or accomplish; generally refers to regularly repeated or systematic action – to practice). This is an action or deed, conduct. It is the act of working or the work itself. It can also be wages or maker.
CXXXVI “labor” = abodah. Same as “use” in v14. See note LXXXV above.

24 O Lord, how manifold areCXXXVII your works!CXXXVIII
    In wisdomCXXXIX you have made them all;
    the earth is fullCXL of your creatures.CXLI

Notes on verse 24

CXXXVII “manifold are” = rabab. 13x in OT. This is to increase, multiply, abound.
CXXXVIII “works” = maaseh. Same as “work” in v13. See note LXXIX above.
CXXXIX “wisdom” = chokmah. From chakam (to be wise or teach wisdom; this is wisdom in thought, word, or action). This is wisdom, wit, or skillfulness.
CXL “is full” = male. This is fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate. It is fill in a literal or figurative sense.
CXLI “creatures” = qinyan. 10x in OT. From qanah (to get, acquire, purchase, move to jealousy, buyer, keep cattle). This is possession, substance, creation, wealth.

25 Yonder is the sea,CXLII greatCXLIII and wide,CXLIV

Notes on verse 25a

CXLII “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
CXLIII “great” = gadol. Related to “are…great” in v1. From gadal (see note VI above). This is great, high, bigger, noble, old, marvelous. It can also refer to someone who is powerful or distinguished.
CXLIV “wide” = rachab + yad. Rachab is from rachab (to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense; extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly). This is wide, extensive, spacious, or vast. It is roomy in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean liberty or proud. Yad is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

    creeping thingsCXLV innumerableCXLVI are there,
    living thingsCXLVII both smallCXLVIII and great.

Notes on verse 25b

CXLV “creeping things” = remes. Related to “creeping out” in v20. 17x in OT. From ramas (see note CXXIII above). This is things that move rapidly or creep such as reptiles.
CXLVI “innumerable” = ayin + mispar. Mispar is from the same as sepher (writing itself or something that is written like a document, book, letter, evidence, bill, scroll, or register); from saphar (to tally or record something; to enumerate, recount, number, celebrate, or declare). This is a number, whether definite or symbolic – could be innumerable, few, abundance. It can also be a tally or account – or a narration.
CXLVII “living things” = chay. Same as “animal” in v11. See note LXV above.
CXLVIII “small” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.

26 There goCXLIX the ships,CL
    and LeviathanCLI that you formedCLII to sportCLIII in it.

Notes on verse 26

CXLIX “go” = halak. Same as “ride” in v3. See note XXII above.
CL “ships” = oniyyah. From the same as oni (ships, a fleet); probably from anah (to meet, happen, approach). This is ships or sailors.
CLI “Leviathan” = Livyathan. 6x in OT. From the same as livyah (a wreath or garland – as something entwined); from lavah (to join, twine, unite, remain, borrow, lend). This is levitation – a sea monster or snakelike creature. It may be symbolic of Babylon or mourning.
CLII “formed” = yatsar. Perhaps related to yatsar (to be narrow, distressed, or vexed); perhaps related to tsarar (to bind, restrict, narrow, be cramped, an adversary). This is to fashion or form, perhaps by squeezing something into a shape or form. Particularly, it is to create as a potter does. Figuratively, it is to determine.
CLIII “sport” = sachaq. This is to laugh, celebrate, joke, mock, scorn. This is laughing, whether for joy or scorn. It can imply plays or holding a contest.

27 These all lookCLIV to you
    to giveCLV them their food in due season;CLVI

28 when you give to them, they gather it up;CLVII
    when you openCLVIII your hand,CLIX they are filledCLX with good things.CLXI

Notes on verses 27-28

CLIV “look” = sabar. 8x in OT. This is to look, inspect, wait. It can imply watching for in a hopeful and patient manner.
CLV “give” = natan. Same as “sing” in v12. See note LXXII above.
CLVI “due season” = eth. Related to “never” in v5 & “dens” in v22. Probably from anah (see note CXXXIII above). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
CLVII “gather…up” = laqat. This is to pick up, glean, gather.
CLVIII “open” = patach. This is to open wide in a literal or figurative sense. So, it is open, draw out, let something go free, break forth. It can also mean to plow, engrave, or carve.
CLIX “hand” = yad. Same as “wide” in v25. See note CXLIV above.
CLX “filled” = saba. Same as “satisfied” in v13. See note LXXVII above.
CLXI “good things” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.

29 When you hideCLXII your face, they are dismayed;CLXIII
    when you take awayCLXIV their breath,CLXV they dieCLXVI
    and returnCLXVII to their dust.CLXVIII

Notes on verse 29

CLXII “hide” = sathar. This is hide, conceal, or be absent. It is hiding because something is covered – used in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXIII “dismayed” = bahal. To be afraid or dismayed or amazed. This is deep trembling within. So, figuratively, it refers to being suddenly agitated. This implies moving or acting quickly/anxiously.
CLXIV “take away” = asaph. Same as “withdraw” in v22. See note CXXXI above.
CLXV “breath” = ruach. Same as “wind” in v3. See note XXIV above.
CLXVI “die” = gava. This is to breathe out, which implies expire or die.
CLXVII “return” = shub. Same as “again” in v9. See note LV above.
CLXVIII “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.

30 When you send forthCLXIX your spirit,CLXX they are created;CLXXI
    and you renewCLXXII the face of the ground.CLXXIII

Notes on verse 30

CLXIX “send forth” = shalach. Same as “make…gush forth” in v10. See note LVII above.
CLXX “spirit” = ruach. Same as “wind” in v3. See note XXIV above.
CLXXI “created” = bara. This is to create, shape, choose, or select. It is the word used in Genesis 1:1 when God created the heavens and the earth.
CLXXII “renew” = chadash. 10x in OT. This is to renew or restore, to repair or rebuild.
CLXXIII “ground” = adamah. Related to “people” in v14. From the same as adam (see note LXXXIV above). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

31 May the gloryCLXXIV of the Lord endureCLXXV forever;CLXXVI
    may the Lord rejoiceCLXXVII in his worksCLXXVIII

32 who looksCLXXIX on the earth and it trembles,CLXXX
    who touchesCLXXXI the mountains and they smoke.CLXXXII

Notes on verses 31-32

CLXXIV “glory” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
CLXXV “endure” = hayah. Same as “is” in v20. See note CXIX above.
CLXXVI “forever” = olam. Same as “never” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
CLXXVII “rejoice” = samach. Same as “gladden” in v15. See note LXXXIX above.
CLXXVIII “works” = maaseh. Same as “work” in v13. See note LXXIX above.
CLXXIX “looks” = nabat. This is to behold, look at intently, consider, or scan. It can mean to have respect or regard someone favorably.
CLXXX “trembles” = raad. 4x in OT. This is shuddering or quaking.
CLXXXI “touches” = naga. This is touch, reach, arrive, come near, strike. This is touching for any reason including sexual or violent.
CLXXXII “smoke” = ashan. 6x in OT. From ashan (smoke, vapor, dust, or anger). This is to smoke or burn in a literal or figurative sense; to be angry.

33 I will singCLXXXIII to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praiseCLXXXIV to my GodCLXXXV while I have being.

34 May my meditationCLXXXVI be pleasingCLXXXVII to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.

Notes on verses 33-34

CLXXXIII “sing” = shir. From shir (song, singer). This is to sing. It could also refer to one who is singing or leading others in song.
CLXXXIV “sing praise” = zamar. Perhaps from zamar (to trim or prune). This is making music. It is used specially of music to worship God. So, music with singing, singing praise, or singing psalms.
CLXXXV “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v1. See note IV above.
CLXXXVI “meditation” = siach. 13x in OT. Perhaps from siyach (to muse, meditate, complain, sing, sigh, speak, or utter). This is a musing, concern, communication, or prayer.
CLXXXVII “be pleasing” = arab. 8x in OT. Perhaps related to arab (to bargain, barter, give or take in pledge; to braid or intermingle). This is to be pleasing, agreeable, or sweet.

35 Let sinnersCLXXXVIII be consumedCLXXXIX from the earth,
    and let the wickedCXC be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
PraiseCXCI the Lord!CXCII

Notes on verse 35

CLXXXVIII “sinners” = chatta. 19x in OT. From chata (to miss, sin, carry blame, lack). This is sinful or sinner. It is a criminal or someone who is seen as guilty.
CLXXXIX “consumed” = tamam. This is to finish or accomplish. It is to make perfect, demonstrate that you are upright, consume or cease. It is to complete in a literal or figurative sense, positive or negative.
CXC “wicked” = rasha. This is to be wicked, guilty, make trouble, do wrong. It can also be condemn, guilty, inflict punishment. This verb implies disturbing or violating.
CXCI “praise” = halal. This is to be clear – it originally referred to a sound, then a color. It was to shine and then make a show or boast then to rave. In a causative sense it came to mean celebrate, give glory, sing praise, or be worth of praise. Because of the celebratory nature of the word, it could also mean to give in marriage. This is where Hallelujah comes from.
CXCII “Lord” = Yah. Related to “Lord” in v1 & “is” in v20. From YHVH (see note II above). This is Lord or God – a  shortened form of God’s most holy name.

Image credit: “Hippopotamus in Gunn’s Concession” in Okavango Delta, Botswana by Charles J. Sharp, 2013.

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