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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Psalm 103

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The Book of Psalms

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET


Psa 103:1-22. A Psalm of joyous praise, in which the writer rises from a thankful acknowledgment of personal blessings to a lively celebration of God's gracious attributes, as not only intrinsically worthy of praise, but as specially suited to man's frailty. He concludes by invoking all creatures to unite in his song.

      1. Bless, &c.--when God is the object, praise.
      my soul--myself ( Psa 3:3 25:1 ), with allusion to the act, as one of intelligence.
      all. . . within me-- ( Deu 6:5 ).
      his holy name-- ( Psa 5:11 ), His complete moral perfections.

      2. forget not all--not any, none of His benefits.

      3. diseases--as penal inflictions ( Deu 29:22 2Ch 21:19 ).

      4. redeemeth--Cost is implied.
      destruction--literally, "pit of corruption" ( Psa 16:10 ).
      crowneth--or, "adorneth" ( Psa 65:11 ).
      tender mercies--compassions (compare Psa 25:6 40:11 ).

      5. By God's provision, the saint retains a youthful vigor like the eagles ( Psa 92:14; compare Isa 40:31 ).

      6. Literally, "righteousness and judgments," denoting various acts of God's government.

      7. ways--of providence, &c., as usual ( Psa 25:4 67:2 ).
      acts--literally, "wonders" ( Psa 7:11 78:17 ).

      8-10. God's benevolence implies no merit. He shows it to sinners, who also are chastened for a time ( Exd 34:6 ).
      keep (anger)--in Lev 19:18, bear a grudge ( Jer 3:5, 12 ).

      11. great--efficient.

      12. removed. . . from us--so as no longer to affect our relations to Him.

      13. pitieth--literally, "has compassion on."

      14. he--"who formed," Psa 94:9.
      knoweth our frame--literally, "our form."
      we are dust--made of and tending to it ( Gen 2:7 ).

      15, 16. So short and frail is life that a breath may destroy it.
      it is gone--literally, "it is not."
      know it no more--no more recognize him ( Psa 90:6 Isa 40:6-8 ).

      17, 18. For similar contrast compare Psa 90:2-6 102:27, 28.

      18. such. . . covenant--limits the general terms preceding.
      righteousness--as usual ( Psa 7:17 31:1 ).

      19. God's firm and universal dominion is a pledge that He will keep His promises ( Psa 11:4 47:8 ).

      20-22. do his commandments. . . word--or, literally, "so as to hearken," &c., that is, their acts of obedience are prompt, so that they are ever ready to hear, and know, and follow implicitly His declared will (compare Deu 26:17 Luk 1:19 ).

      21. ye his hosts--myriads, or armies, as corresponding to angels of great power ( Psa 103:20 ), denoting multitudes also.

      22. all his works--creatures of every sort, everywhere.

Introduction to Job ← Prior Book
Introduction to Proverbs Next Book →
Commentary on Psalm 102 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Psalm 104 Next Chapter →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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