New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Praise of Divine Goodness
1 Of David.
Bless the Lord, my soul;
all my being, bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, my soul;
and do not forget all his gifts,
3 Who pardons all your sins,
and heals all your ills,
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,(A)
and crowns you with mercy and compassion,
5 Who fills your days with good things,
so your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.[b]
6 The Lord does righteous deeds,
brings justice to all the oppressed.(B)
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
to the Israelites his deeds.
8 Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy.(C)
9 He will not always accuse,
and nurses no lasting anger;
10 He has not dealt with us as our sins merit,
nor requited us as our wrongs deserve.
11 For as the heavens tower over the earth,
so his mercy towers over those who fear him.(D)
12 As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our sins from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we are formed,
remembers that we are dust.(E)
15 As for man, his days are like the grass;
he blossoms like a flower in the field.(F)
16 A wind sweeps over it and it is gone;
its place knows it no more.
17 But the Lord’s mercy is from age to age,
toward those who fear him.
His salvation is for the children’s children
18 of those who keep his covenant,
and remember to carry out his precepts.
19 The Lord has set his throne in heaven;
his dominion extends over all.
20 Bless the Lord, all you his angels,(G)
mighty in strength, acting at his behest,
obedient to his command.
21 Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,
his ministers who carry out his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his creatures,
everywhere in his domain.
Bless the Lord, my soul!
- Psalm 103 The speaker in this hymn begins by praising God for personal benefits (Ps 103:1–5), then moves on to God’s mercy toward all the people (Ps 103:6–18). Even sin cannot destroy that mercy (Ps 103:11–13), for the eternal God is well aware of the people’s human fragility (Ps 103:14–18). The psalmist invites the heavenly beings to join in praise (Ps 103:19–22).
- 103:5 Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s: because of the eagle’s long life it was a symbol of perennial youth and vigor, cf. Is 40:31.