|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
104:19-30 We are to praise and magnify God for the constant succession of day and night. And see how those are like to the wild beasts, who wait for the twilight, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Does God listen to the language of mere nature, even in ravenous creatures, and shall he not much more interpret favourably the language of grace in his own people, though weak and broken groanings which cannot be uttered? There is the work of every day, which is to be done in its day, which man must apply to every morning, and which he must continue in till evening; it will be time enough to rest when the night comes, in which no man can work. The psalmist wonders at the works of God. The works of art, the more closely they are looked upon, the more rough they appear; the works of nature appear more fine and exact. They are all made in wisdom, for they all answer the end they were designed to serve. Every spring is an emblem of the resurrection, when a new world rises, as it were, out of the ruins of the old one. But man alone lives beyond death. When the Lord takes away his breath, his soul enters on another state, and his body will be raised, either to glory or to misery. May the Lord send forth his Spirit, and new-create our souls to holiness.
Verses 22, 23. - The sun ariseth. Bright beams of light flame up the eastern sky; and earth basks in the sun's smile. But it is a signal to the lions and the other wild beasts to withdraw. They gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Hiding themselves from the eye of day, and retreating into places where they are safe. Then it is the turn of humanity to reappear. Humanity wakes up; and man goeth forth auto his work and to his labour uutil the evening; i.e. man proceeds to his appointed task, which is "work" - once a curse (Genesis 3:17-19), now a blessing (Ephesians 4:28).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together,.... Having gone some one way, some another, seeking their prey; but upon the sun's rising gather together in order to return from whence they came, abhorring the light of the sun, as some creatures do, and fearing being hunted and taken by men, the fear of whom is still in some measure upon the beasts of the field, Genesis 9:2. So wicked men do not care for the light of the day, nor do false teachers choose to come to the light of the word; these owls and bats, these, as Tertullian calls them; and Satan himself chooses to set upon persons when they are in darkness, and in melancholy and disconsolate frames; and is afraid of believers, when they put on the armour of light, especially the shield of faith, and resist him with it, then he flees from them.
And lay them down in their dens; for rest and safety, and to feed themselves and young ones with the ravin they bring with them; see Sol 4:8.
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