“May the glory of Yahweh endure forever.
May Yahweh rejoice in his works.
He looks on the earth.
He touches the mountains.
I will sing to Yahweh
As long as I live.
I will sing praise to my God
While I have existence.
May my meditation be pleasing to him.
I rejoice in Yahweh.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth!
Let the wicked be no more!
O my soul!
This long psalm of thanksgiving ends with a shout out praise for Yahweh as the creator of all people and things. The glory of God endures forever so that Yahweh should rejoice in his works. If he looks at the earth, it trembles. If he touches the mountains, they start to smoke. This psalmist will sing praise to Yahweh as long as he lives and breathes. He wanted his mediation to be pleasing to Yahweh. He rejoiced in Yahweh. However, he wanted the sinners consumed and the wicked wiped away. Finally, he wanted his soul to bless and praise Yahweh. The phrase “praise Yahweh” is another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.”
“These all look to you.
You give them their food in due season.
When you give it to them,
They gather it up.
When you open your hand,
They are filled with good things.
When you hide your face,
They are dismayed.
When you take away their breath,
They return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit,
They are created.
You renew the face of the earth.”
Everything depends on Yahweh. In a series of “when” sentences, this psalmist reinforces the power of Yahweh. All food comes from Yahweh in due season. They are filled with good things when Yahweh opens his hand. When he hides his face, they are dismayed. Of course, Yahweh controls their breath. When he takes it away, they die and return to dust. Then the often repeated phrase, “Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created” ends this section. The Spirit of God is the source of all life. Yahweh alone renews the face of the earth.
How manifold are your works!
You have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the great wide sea.
Innumerable creeping things are there.
There are living things,
Both small and great.
There go the ships!
There is Leviathan
That you formed to play sport with it.”
The works of Yahweh are marvelous. Yahweh created all these things out of wisdom. The earth is full of all Yahweh’s creatures. Then the psalmist turned to the seas and how great and wide they are. However, he then talked about the innumerable living things, both great and small in the sea. Even today, we are still just beginning to understand all the living creatures in the seas. Of course, there were the ships that transported goods and people around. However, there also was the great sea monster Leviathan. Interesting enough here it is considered some kind of sport rather than a menace as outlined in Job, chapter 41.
“You have made the moon to mark the seasons.
The sun knows it’s time for setting.
You make darkness.
It is night.
Then all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
The young lions roar for their prey.
They seek their food from God.
When the sun rises,
They lie down in their dens.
People go out to their work.
They labor until the evening.”
Everything has a purpose. God made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun to mark the days. Thus there is night and darkness. The sun rises and sets which is perfectly correct with a flat earth concept of the world. The earth does not move around the sun. God makes the darkness. During this darkness, the animals of the forest can creep around, while the young lions can seek their prey that is food that comes from God. It almost sounds like the lions recognize God. When the sun rises on the next day, the lions return to their dens. Then the people go out to work until the evening time.
“In the trees,
The birds build their nests.
The stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats.
The rocks are a refuge for the badgers.”
The birds build their nests or homes in the various trees. Then there is the mention of 3 specific animals or birds, the stork in the fir tree, the wild goat in the mountains, and the badgers in the rocks. Yahweh created all this.
“You cause the grass to grow for the cattle.
You cause the plants for people to use.
Mortals may bring forth food from the earth.
They will make wine to gladden the human heart.
They will have oil to make the face shine.
They will make bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of Yahweh are watered abundantly.
He planted the cedars of Lebanon.”
Yahweh makes the grass to grow for cattle. He causes plants to grow for humans. Thus mortals can bring food from the earth to eat. They can also make wine to gladden their hearts. They can make oil to a shine on their faces. They also make bread to strengthen their hearts. Finally, the cedar trees of Lebanon were planted by Yahweh so that buildings could be made from their lumber.
“You make springs gush forth in the valleys.
They flow between the hills.
They give drink to every wild animal.
The wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams,
The birds of the air have their habitation.
They sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode
You water the mountains.
The earth is satisfied
With the fruit of your work.”
The waters came under the control of Yahweh. The springs of the valleys flow between the mountain hills to produce rivers that give drink to the wild animals. The only animals mentioned are the wild asses. The birds of the air sing from their branches and refresh themselves in the streams of water. Yahweh even waters the mountains with rain. Thus the earth is satisfied with enough water. The fruit of the earth is really the fruit of the work of Yahweh.
“You set the earth on its foundations.
Thus it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep
As with a garment.
The waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke
At the sound of your thunder
They took to flight.
They rose up to the mountains.
They ran down to the valleys.
They all went to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary.
They may not pass this boundary.
Thus the waters might not again cover the earth.”
The earth had foundations like any building in a very static way. There was no hint of a round world in this flat world concept of the earth. However, they did seem to understand that the solid earth came from the waters. At the command of Yahweh, the waters receded, much like at the time of Noah in Genesis, chapters 6-10. The thunder served as the voice of Yahweh telling the waters to recede, which they did. Then the earth was formed as the mountains rose and the valley sunk, all due to the water that had been there. Everything took its place as it was appointed by Yahweh. Yahweh put boundaries on the waters so that they would never again cover the earth. This was the victory of Yahweh over the chaos of the waters.
O my soul!
You are very great!
You are clothed with honor!
You are clothed with majesty!
You are wrapped in light
As with a garment!
You stretch out the heavens
Like a tent!
You set the beams of your chambers
On the waters!
You make the clouds your chariot!
You ride on the wings of the wind!
You make the winds your messengers!
Fire and flame are your ministers!”
Psalm 104 is a hymn to Yahweh as creator that does not have a title. However, it follows the cosmology of creation as in Genesis, chapter 1. This psalm continues with the idea of blessing Yahweh. The psalmist’s soul is to bless the great Yahweh. Yahweh is clothed with garments of honor, majesty, and light. Yahweh had stretched out the heavens like a tent. This was the classic view of creation with the beams set in the waters. The clouds were his chariots so that Yahweh rode on the wings of the winds. The winds and fires were ministering to Yahweh.