Covering himself with light as a garment, Stretching out the heavens as a curtain,
Psalm 104:2 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Who coverest thyself with light - Light, insufferable splendor, is the robe of the Divine Majesty. Light and fire are generally the accompaniments of the Supreme Being, when he manifests his presence to his creatures. He appeared thus to Abraham when he made a covenant with him, Genesis 15:17; and to Moses when he appointed him to bring the people out of Egypt, Exodus 3:2; and when he gave him his law on Sinai, Exodus 19:18. Moses calls God a consuming fire, Deuteronomy 4:24. When Christ was transfigured on the mount, his face shone like the sun, and his garment was white as the light, Matthew 17:2. And when the Lord manifests himself to the prophets, he is always surrounded with fire, and the most brilliant light.
Bishop Lowth has some fine remarks on the imagery and metaphors of this Psalm. The exordium, says he, is peculiarly magnificent, wherein the majesty of God is described, so far as we can investigate and comprehend it, from the admirable construction of nature; in which passage, as it was for the most part necessary to use translatitious images, the sacred poet has principally applied those which would be esteemed by the Hebrews the most elevated, and worthy such an argument; for they all, as it seems to me, are taken from the tabernacle. We will give these passages verbally, with a short illustration: -
הוד והדר לבשת hod vehadar labashta.
"Thou hast put on honor and majesty."
The original, לבשת, is frequently used when speaking of the clothing or dress of the priests.
עטה אור כשלמה oteh or cassalmah.
"Covering thyself with light as with a garment."
A manifest symbol of the Divine Presence; the light conspicuous in the holiest is pointed out under the same idea; and from this single example a simile is educed to express the ineffable glory of God generally and universally.
נוטה שמים כיריעה noteh shamayim kayeriah.
"Stretching out the heavens like a curtain."
The word יריעה, rendered here curtain, is that which denotes the curtains or uncovering of the whole tabernacle. This may also be an allusion to those curtains or awnings, stretched over an area, under which companies sit at weddings, feasts, religious festivals, curiously painted under, to give them the appearance of the visible heavens in the night-season.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow...
Matthew 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach to; whom no man has seen, nor can see...
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sits on the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers...
Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man on it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, said the LORD, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth...
Hebrews 1:10-12 And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of your hands...
Psalm 104:2 Parallel CommentariesCloak Clothed Coverest Covering Covers Curtain Garment Heaven Heavens Light Robe Stretched Stretches Stretchest Stretching Tent Thyself WrapsCloak Clothed Coverest Covering Covers Curtain Garment Heaven Heavens Light Robe Stretched Stretches Stretchest Stretching Tent Thyself WrapsTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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