A Cry in Distress
102 1 A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before Jehovah. Jehovah, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee. 2 Hide not thy face from me: in the day of my trouble, incline thine ear unto me; in the day I call, answer me speedily. 3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as a firebrand. 4 My heart is smitten and withered like grass; yea, I have forgotten to eat my bread. 5 By reason of the voice of my groaning, my bones cleave to my flesh. 6 I am become like the pelican of the wilderness, I am as an owl in desolate places; 7 I watch, and am like a sparrow alone upon the housetop. 8 Mine enemies reproach me all the day; they that are mad against me swear by me. 9 For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, 10 Because of thine indignation and thy wrath; for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. 11 My days are like a lengthened-out shadow, and I, I am withered like grass.
12 But thou, Jehovah, abidest for ever, and thy memorial from generation to generation. 13 Thou wilt rise up, thou wilt have mercy upon Zion: for it is the time to be gracious to her, for the set time is come. 14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour her dust. 15 And the nations shall fear the name of Jehovah, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 16 When Jehovah shall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory. 17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute one, and not despise their prayer. 18 This shall be written for the generation to come; and a people that shall be created shall praise Jah: 19 For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from the heavens hath Jehovah beheld the earth, 20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner, to loose those that are appointed to die; 21 That the name of Jehovah may be declared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem, 22 When the peoples shall be gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve Jehovah.
23 He weakened my strength in the way, he shortened my days. 24 I said, My God, take me not away in the midst of my days! ... Thy years are from generation to generation. 25 Of old hast thou founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands: 26 They shall perish, but thou continuest; and all of them shall grow old as a garment: as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. 27 But thou art the Same, and thy years shall have no end. 28 The children of thy servants shall abide, and their seed shall be established before thee.
Praise for the LORD's Benefits
103 1 Bless Jehovah, O my soul; and all that is within me, [bless] his holy name! 2 Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from the pit, who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thine old age with good [things]; thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 Jehovah executeth righteousness and justice for all that are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8 Jehovah is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in loving-kindness. 9 He will not always chide, neither will he keep [his anger] for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his loving-kindness toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pitieth [his] children, so Jehovah pitieth them that fear him. 14 For himself knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth: 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof knoweth it no more. 17 But the loving-kindness of Jehovah is from everlasting and to everlasting, upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children, 18 To such as keep his covenant and to those that remember his precepts to do them.
19 Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all. 20 Bless Jehovah, ye his angels, mighty in strength, that execute his word, hearkening unto the voice of his word. 21 Bless Jehovah, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his will. 22 Bless Jehovah, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless Jehovah, O my soul!
The LORD's Care for His Creation
104 1 Bless Jehovah, O my soul! Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with majesty and splendour; 2 Covering thyself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent-curtain;— 3 Who layeth the beams of his upper chambers in the waters, who maketh clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind; 4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flame of fire. 5 He laid the earth upon its foundations: it shall not be removed for ever. 6 Thou hadst covered it with the deep, as with a vesture; the waters stood above the mountains: 7 At thy rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away;— 8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank, unto the place which thou hadst founded for them;— 9 Thou hast set a bound which they may not pass over, that they turn not again to cover the earth.
10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys: they run among the mountains; 11 They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst. 12 The birds of heaven dwell by them; they give forth their voice from among the branches. 13 He watereth the mountains from his upper-chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. 14 He maketh the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man; bringing forth bread out of the earth, 15 And wine which gladdeneth the heart of man; making [his] face shine with oil; and with bread he strengtheneth man's heart. 16 The trees of Jehovah are satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted, 17 Where the birds make their nests; [as for] the stork, the fir trees are her house. 18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the cliffs, a refuge for the rock-badgers.
19 He made the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth its going down. 20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night, wherein all the beasts of the forest creep forth: 21 The young lions roar after the prey, and to seek their food from God. 22 The sun ariseth, they retreat, and lay them down in their dens. 23 Man goeth forth unto his work, and to his labour until the evening. 24 How manifold are thy works, O Jehovah! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. 25 Yonder is the great and wide sea: therein are moving things innumerable, living creatures small and great. 26 There go the ships; [there] that leviathan, which thou hast formed to play therein. 27 These all look unto thee, that thou mayest give their food in its season: 28 That thou givest unto them, they gather; thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good. 29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath, they expire and return to their dust. 30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth.
31 The glory of Jehovah will endure for ever; Jehovah will rejoice in his works. 32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth; he toucheth the mountains, and they smoke. 33 I will sing unto Jehovah as long as I live; I will sing psalms to my God while I have my being. 34 My meditation shall be pleasant unto him; I will rejoice in Jehovah. 35 Sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked shall be no more. Bless Jehovah, O my soul. Hallelujah!