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Psalms 104:5-13

Context

104:5 He established the earth on its foundations;

it will never be upended.

104:6 The watery deep covered it 1  like a garment;

the waters reached 2  above the mountains. 3 

104:7 Your shout made the waters retreat;

at the sound of your thunderous voice they hurried off –

104:8 as the mountains rose up,

and the valleys went down –

to the place you appointed for them. 4 

104:9 You set up a boundary for them that they could not cross,

so that they would not cover the earth again. 5 

104:10 He turns springs into streams; 6 

they flow between the mountains.

104:11 They provide water for all the animals in the field;

the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

104:12 The birds of the sky live beside them;

they chirp among the bushes. 7 

104:13 He waters the mountains from the upper rooms of his palace; 8 

the earth is full of the fruit you cause to grow. 9 

1 tc Heb “you covered it.” The masculine suffix is problematic if the grammatically feminine noun “earth” is the antecedent. For this reason some emend the form to a feminine verb with feminine suffix, כִּסַּתָּה (kisattah, “[the watery deep] covered it [i.e., the earth]”), a reading assumed by the present translation.

2 tn Heb “stood.”

3 sn Verse 6 refers to the condition described in Gen 1:2 (note the use of the Hebrew term תְּהוֹם [tÿhom, “watery deep”] in both texts).

4 tn Heb “from your shout they fled, from the sound of your thunder they hurried off.”

sn Verses 7-8 poetically depict Gen 1:9-10.

5 tn Heb “a boundary you set up, they will not cross, they will not return to cover the earth.”

6 tn Heb “[the] one who sends springs into streams.” Another option is to translate, “he sends streams [i.e., streams that originate from springs] into the valleys” (cf. NIV).

7 tn Heb “among the thick foliage they give a sound.”

8 tn Heb “from his upper rooms.”

9 tn Heb “from the fruit of your works the earth is full.” The translation assumes that “fruit” is literal here. If “fruit” is understood more abstractly as “product; result,” then one could translate, “the earth flourishes as a result of your deeds” (cf. NIV, NRSV, REB).



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