Psalm 103:4
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Destruction.—Rather, pit, or grave, as in Psalm 16:10.

Crowneth.—A metaphor drawn from the common custom of wearing wreaths and garlands on festive occasions (Ecclesiasticus 32:2). Comp. Psalm 8:5.

Psalm 103:4-5. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction — Both temporal and eternal; from deadly dangers and miseries. Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness — That is, encompasseth and adorneth thee therewith, as with a crown. Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things — Satisfieth all thy just desires and necessities. So that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s — That is, as some interpret the words, As the eagle appears to renew her youth with her plumage, when she casts off all her old feathers, and gets new ones, whereby she seems to grow young again. But, as this is common to all birds, it is hardly to be supposed that the psalmist would have alluded to it here as if it were peculiar to the eagle. This circumstance, however, is most observable in hawks, vultures, and especially in eagles, which, when they are near a hundred years old, cast their feathers and become bald, like young ones, and then new feathers sprout out. But the psalmist seems chiefly to refer to the long lives of eagles, and their great strength and vigour at a very advanced age. Hence the old age of an eagle is used proverbially for a lively and vigorous old age.

103:1-5 By the pardon of sin, that is taken away which kept good things from us, and we are restored to the favor of God, who bestows good things on us. Think of the provocation; it was sin, and yet pardoned: how many the provocations, yet all pardoned! God is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting. The body finds the melancholy consequences of Adam's offence, it is subject to many infirmities, and the soul also. Christ alone forgives all our sins; it is he alone who heals all our infirmities. And the person who finds his sin cured, has a well-grounded assurance that it is forgiven. When God, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from their decays, and fills them with new life and joy, which is to them an earnest of eternal life and joy, they may then be said to return to the days of their youth, Job 33:25.Who redeemeth thy life from destruction - That is, who saves it from death when exposed to danger, or when attacked by disease. The word "destruction" or "corruption" here is equivalent to the grave, since it is there that the body returns to corruption. Compare the notes at Psalm 16:10.

Who crowneth thee - The idea here is not merely that God is the source of these blessings, but that there is something of beauty, of dignity, of honor, as in the conferring of a crown or garland on anyone. Compare the notes at Psalm 65:11.

With loving-kindness and tender mercies - mercy and compassions. God showed mercy to him - evinced compassion - and these were so abundant that they might be said to be the crown or ornament of his life.

4. redeemeth—Cost is implied.

destruction—literally, "pit of corruption" (Ps 16:10).

crowneth—or, "adorneth" (Ps 65:11).

tender mercies—compassions (compare Ps 25:6; 40:11).

From destruction, both temporal and eternal; from deadly dangers and miseries.

Crowneth thee, i.e. encompasseth and adorneth thee, as a crown doth.

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction,.... Not from temporal destruction, to which the natural life is subject, through diseases, dangerous occurrences, and the malice of enemies; to be delivered from which is a blessing, and for which God is to be praised; but from eternal destruction, the destruction of the body and soul in hell; and so the Targum,

"who redeemest thy life from hell;''

to which destruction all men are liable through sin; their ways lead unto it, and grace only prevents it: the people of God are redeemed from sin, the cause of it; and from the curse of the law, in the execution of which it lies; and from Satan, the executor of it; and all this by Christ, who is the Redeemer appointed and sent, and who being mighty, and so equal to the work, has obtained eternal redemption; through which the saints are secure from going down to the pit of destruction, or from wrath to come; and this is a blessing they can never be enough thankful for; see Luke 1:68,

who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; with all other blessings which flow from the lovingkindness and tender mercy of God, even all the blessings of the everlasting covenant, the sure mercies of David; all the spiritual blessings with which the saints are blessed in Christ, the grace given them in him, and the mercy kept with him for evermore; all things pertaining to life and godliness given in regeneration; the fruits of great love and abundant mercy, with all the other supplies of grace between that and eternal glory: "crowning" with these denotes an application and enjoyment of them, the great plenty and abundance of them, a being surrounded and loaded with them; as also the honour that goes along with them, which makes those that have them great and glorious, rich and honourable; as well as preservation and protection by them; these encompassing about as a crown the head, and as a shield the body; see Psalm 5:12, where the same word is used as here.

Who redeemeth thy life from {c} destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

(c) For before we have remission of our sins, we are as dead men in the grave.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. from destruction] So the LXX, ἐκ φθορᾶς. But shachath more probably means the pit, i.e. the grave. See note on Psalm 16:10. The restoration from Babylon was a renewal of the nation’s life, in which each member of it had a personal share.

crowneth] Cp. Psalm 8:5; and for a similar metaphor, Proverbs 3:3.

Verse 4. - Who redeemeth thy life from destruction. When sickness seems about to be mortal, or when danger threatens from foes, God often steps in and "redeems" men - i.e, saves them, rescues them (see Psalm 56:13; Psalm 116:8; Isaiah 38:16, 20). Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies (comp. Psalm 8:5; Psalm 18:50; Psalm 23:6, etc.). Psalm 103:4In the strophe Psalm 103:1 the poet calls upon his soul to arise to praiseful gratitude for God's justifying, redeeming, and renewing grace. In such soliloquies it is the Ego that speaks, gathering itself up with the spirit, the stronger, more manly part of man (Psychology, S. 104f.; tr. p. 126), or even, because the soul as the spiritual medium of the spirit and of the body represents the whole person of man (Psychology, S. 203; tr. p. 240), the Ego rendering objective in the soul the whole of its own personality. So here in Psalm 103:3 the soul, which is addressed, represents the whole man. The קובים which occurs here is a more choice expression for מעים (מעים): the heart, which is called קרב κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν, the reins, the liver, etc.; for according to the scriptural conception (Psychology, S. 266; tr. p. 313) these organs of the cavities of the breast and abdomen serve not merely for the bodily life, but also the psycho-spiritual life. The summoning בּרכי is repeated per anaphoram. There is nothing the soul of man is so prone to forget as to render thanks that are due, and more especially thanks that are due to God. It therefore needs to be expressly aroused in order that it may not leave the blessing with which God blesses it unacknowledged, and may not forget all His acts performed (גּמל equals גּמר) on it (גּמוּל, ῥῆμα μέσον, e.g., in Psalm 137:8), which are purely deeds of loving-kindness), which is the primal condition and the foundation of all the others, viz., sin-pardoning mercy. The verbs סלח and רפא with a dative of the object denote the bestowment of that which is expressed by the verbal notion. תּחלוּאים (taken from Deuteronomy 29:21, cf. 1 Chronicles 21:19, from חלא equals חלה, root הל, solutum, laxum esse) are not merely bodily diseases, but all kinds of inward and outward sufferings. משּׁחת the lxx renders ἐκ φθορᾶς (from שׁחת, as in Job 17:14); but in this antithesis to life it is more natural to render the "pit" (from שׁוּח) as a name of Hades, as in Psalm 16:10. Just as the soul owes its deliverance from guilt and distress and death to God, so also does it owe to God that with which it is endowed out of the riches of divine love. The verb עטּר, without any such addition as in Psalm 5:13, is "to crown," cf. Psalm 8:6. As is usually the case, it is construed with a double accusative; the crown is as it were woven out of loving-kindness and compassion. The Beth of בּטּוב in Psalm 103:5 instead of the accusative (Psalm 104:28) denotes the means of satisfaction, which is at the same time that which satisfies. עדיך the Targum renders: dies senectutis tuae, whereas in Psalm 32:9 it is ornatus ejus; the Peshto renders: corpus tuum, and in Psalm 32:9 inversely, juventus eorum. These significations, "old age" or "youth," are pure inventions. And since the words are addressed to the soul, עדי cannot also, like כבוד in other instances, be a name of the soul itself (Aben-Ezra, Mendelssohn, Philippsohn, Hengstenberg, and others). We, therefore, with Hitzig, fall back upon the sense of the word in Psalm 32:9, where the lxx renders τάς σιαγόνας αὐτῶν, but here more freely, apparently starting from the primary notion of עדי equals Arabic chadd, the cheek: τὸν ἐμπιπλῶντα ἐν ἀγαθοῖς τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν σου (whereas Saadia's victum tuum is based upon a comparison of the Arabic gdâ, to nourish). The poet tells the soul (i.e., his own person, himself) that God satisfies it with good, so that it as it were gets its cheeks full of it (cf. Psalm 81:11). The comparison כּנּשׁר is, as in Micah 1:16 (cf. Isaiah 40:31), to be referred to the annual moulting of the eagle. Its renewing of its plumage is an emblem of the renovation of his youth by grace. The predicate to נעוּריכי (plural of extension in relation to time) stands first regularly in the sing. fem.
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