Psalm 104:27
These wait all on you; that you may give them their meat in due season.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 104:27-30. These all — Both beasts and fishes, wait upon thee — Expect supplies from thy providence: which is spoken of them figuratively, and with an allusion to the manner of tame beasts and fowls, which commonly look after and wait upon those persons who bring their food to them. That thou mayest give them their meat, &c. — When it is necessary or convenient for them. That thou givest them they gather — Whatsoever they receive is from the bounty of thy gift, and they do their part for the obtaining of it: what thou placest within their reach they gather, and expect not that thy providence should put it into their mouths; and with what they gather they are satisfied. For when thou openest thy hand — To supply their wants, they are filled with good — And desire no more than what thou seest fit to give them. Thou hidest thy face — Withdrawest, or suspendest the favour and care of thy providence; they are troubled — Dejected and distressed through want and misery. Thou takest away their breath — Which is in thy hand, and then, and not till then, they die and return to their dust — To the earth, from whence they had their original. Thou sendest forth thy spirit — That spirit by which they live, which may be called God’s spirit, because given and preserved by him. Or rather, that quickening power of God, by which he produces and preserves life in the creatures from time to time. For he speaks not here of the first creation, but of the continued production and preservation of living creatures. They are created — That is, either, 1st, The same living creatures, which were languishing and dying, are strangely revived and restored. Or, 2d, Other living creatures are produced or generated; the word created being taken in its largest sense, for the production of things by second causes. And thou renewest the face of the earth — And thus, by thy wise and powerful providence, thou preservest the succession of living creatures upon the earth, which otherwise would be desolate and without inhabitants. It is justly observed here, by Dr. Dodd, that “the ideas in these verses can be excelled by nothing, but by the concise elegance of the expressions;” which convey to the human mind the most sublime and awful conceptions of that Almighty Being who does but open his hand, and the creatures are filled with good; does but hide his face, and they are troubled and die; does but send forth his Spirit, and they are created.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.These wait all upon thee - That is, These are all dependent on thee. It does not, of course, mean that they "wait" in the sense that they are conscious of their dependence on God, but that they are "actually" dependent. The original word implies the idea of "expecting" or "hoping," and is so rendered in the Septuagint and Vulgate. They have no other ground of expectation or hope but in thee.

That thou mayest give them their meat in due season - Their food at the proper time. That is, They are constantly dependent on thee, that thou mayest give them food from day to day. Perhaps there is also the idea that they do not lay up or hoard anything; or that they cannot anticipate their own needs, but must receive from one day to another all that they want directly from God.

27-30. The entire dependence of this immense family on God is set forth. With Him, to kill or make alive is equally easy. To hide His face is to withdraw favor (Ps 13:1). By His spirit, or breath, or mere word, He gives life. It is His constant providence which repairs the wastes of time and disease. These all, both beasts and fishes,

wait upon thee, expect supplies only from thy providence; which is said of them figuratively, and with an allusion to the manner of tame beasts and fowls, which commonly look after and wait upon those persons who bring their food to them.

In due season; when it is necessary or convenient for them; by which expression he intimates the moderation of the beasts in their desires of food, and tacitly reproves the intemperance of men who feed themselves in season and out of season. These wait all upon thee,.... Or "hope in thee" (s); not only the fishes of the sea, but the beasts of the field; for to them the psalmist returns, as Aben Ezra observes; to whom hope and expectation of their food and waiting for it at the hands of God, are ascribed; the allusion seems to be to tame creatures, who come at their certain times and wait on them that have been used to give them their food; and it may instruct us to wait on the Lord, as for our daily bread, so for our spiritual food, in prayer, and in public ordinances, where and from whom we may hope and expect to have it.

That thou mayest give them their meat in due season; or "in his time" (t); everyone in its own time, which is natural to them, and they have been used to; at which time the Lord gives it to them and they take it; it would be well if men would do so likewise, eat and drink in proper and due time, Ecclesiastes 10:17. Christ speaks a word in season to weary souls; his ministers give to everyone their portion of meat in due season; and a word spoken in due season, how good and sweet is it? Isaiah 1:4.

(s) "sperant", Pagninus, Cocceius, Michaelis; "sperabunt", Montanus. (t) "in tempore suo", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

{o} These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

(o) God is a nourishing father, who provides for all creatures their daily foods.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. These wait all &c.] All of them wait upon thee. Not marine animals only, but all living creatures are meant, as in Genesis 1:29-30. God is the great householder, dispensing to all His family their portions. Cp. Psalm 145:15-16; Psalm 147:9.Verse 27. - These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season (see vers. 14, 23). As cattle have "grass," and lions "meat," from God, so every kind of animal receives from the same source its proper food. The fifth decastich, in which the poet passes over from the third to the fourth day, shows that he has the order of the days of creation before his mind. The moon is mentioned first of all, because the poet wishes to make the picture of the day follow that of the night. He describes it in Psalm 104:19 as the calendarial principal star. מועדים are points and divisions of time (epochs), and the principal measurer of these for civil and ecclesiastical life is the moon (cf. Sir. 43:7, ἀπὸ σελήνης σημεῖον ἑορτῆς), just as the sun, knowing when he is to set, is the infallible measurer of the day. In Psalm 104:20 the description, which throughout is drawn in the presence of God in His honour, passes over into direct address: jussives (תּשׁת, ויהי) stand in the hypothetical protasis and in its apodosis (EW. 357, b). It depends upon God's willing only, and it is night, and the wakeful life of the wild beasts begins to be astir. The young lions then roar after their prey, and flagitaturi sunt a Deo cibum suum. The infinitive with Lamed is an elliptical expression of a conjugatio periphrastica (vid., on Habakkuk 1:17), and becomes a varying expression of the future in general in the later language in approximation to the Aramaic. The roar of the lions and their going forth in quest of prey is an asking of God which He Himself has implanted in their nature. With the rising of the sun the aspect of things becomes very different. שׁמשׁ is feminine here, where the poet drops the personification (cf. Psalm 19:1-14). The day which dawns with sunrise is the time for man. Both as to matter and style, Psalm 104:21 call to mind Job 24:5; Job 37:8; Job 38:40.
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