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Psalm 103[a]

By David.

103 Praise the Lord, O my soul.
With all that is within me, praise[b] his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
Do not forget all his kind deeds.[c]
He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who heals all your diseases,[d]
who delivers[e] your life from the Pit,[f]
who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,
who satisfies your life with good things,[g]
so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.[h]
The Lord does what is fair,
and executes justice for all the oppressed.[i]
The Lord revealed his faithful acts[j] to Moses,
his deeds to the Israelites.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he is patient[k] and demonstrates great loyal love.[l]
He does not always accuse,
and does not stay angry.[m]
10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;[n]
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.[o]
11 For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers[p] over his faithful followers.[q]
12 As far as the eastern horizon[r] is from the west,[s]
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions[t] from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,[u]
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.[v]
14 For he knows what we are made of;[w]
he realizes[x] we are made of clay.[y]
15 A person’s life is like grass.[z]
Like a flower in the field it flourishes,
16 but when the hot wind[aa] blows, it disappears,
and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
17 But the Lord continually shows loyal love to his faithful followers,[ab]
and is faithful to their descendants,[ac]
18 to those who keep his covenant,
who are careful to obey his commands.[ad]
19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven;
his kingdom extends over everything.[ae]
20 Praise the Lord, you angels of his,
you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees
and obey his orders.[af]
21 Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his,[ag]
you servants of his who carry out his desires.[ah]
22 Praise the Lord, all that he has made,[ai]
in all the regions[aj] of his kingdom.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.


  1. Psalm 103:1 sn Psalm 103. The psalmist praises God for his mercy and willingness to forgive his people.
  2. Psalm 103:1 tn The verb “praise” is understood by ellipsis in the second line (see the preceding line).
  3. Psalm 103:2 tn Or “his benefits” (see 2 Chr 32:25, where the noun is also used of kind deeds performed by the Lord).
  4. Psalm 103:3 tn This relatively rare noun refers to deadly diseases (see Deut 29:22; Jer 14:18; 16:4; 2 Chr 21:19).
  5. Psalm 103:4 tn Or “redeems.”
  6. Psalm 103:4 tn The Hebrew term שַׁחַת (shakhat, “pit”) is often used as a title for Sheol (see Pss 16:10; 30:9; 49:9; 55:24 HT [55:23 ET]).
  7. Psalm 103:5 tc Heb “who satisfies with the good of your ornaments.” The text as it stands makes little, if any, sense. The translation assumes an emendation of עֶדְיֵךְ (ʿedyekh, “your ornaments”) to עֹדֵכִי (ʿodekhi, “your duration; your continuance”), that is, “your life” (see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 [WBC], 18).
  8. Psalm 103:5 sn The expression your youth is renewed like an eagle’s may allude to the phenomenon of molting, whereby the eagle grows new feathers.
  9. Psalm 103:6 tn Heb “the Lord does fairness, and [acts of] justice for all the oppressed.”
  10. Psalm 103:7 tn Heb “made known his ways.” God’s “ways” in this context are his protective and salvific acts in fulfillment of his promise (see also Deut 32:4; Pss 18:30; 67:2; 77:13 [note vv. 11-12, 14]; 138:5; 145:17).
  11. Psalm 103:8 tn Heb “slow to anger” (see Ps 86:15).
  12. Psalm 103:8 tn Heb “and great of loyal love” (see Ps 86:15).
  13. Psalm 103:9 tn The Hebrew verb נָטַר (natar) is usually taken to mean “to keep; to guard,” with “anger” being understood by ellipsis. The idiom “to guard anger” is then understood to mean “to remain angry” (see Lev 19:18; Jer 3:5, 12; Nah 1:2). However, it is possible that this is a homonymic root meaning “to be angry” (see HALOT 695 s.v. נטר).
  14. Psalm 103:10 tn Heb “not according to our sins does he do to us.”
  15. Psalm 103:10 tn Heb “and not according to our misdeeds does he repay us.”
  16. Psalm 103:11 tn For this sense of the verb גָבַר (gavar), see L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 17, 19.
  17. Psalm 103:11 tn Heb “those who fear him.”
  18. Psalm 103:12 tn Heb “sunrise.”
  19. Psalm 103:12 tn Or “sunset.”
  20. Psalm 103:12 tn The Hebrew term פֶּשַׁע (peshaʿ, rebellious act”) is here used metonymically for the guilt such actions produce.
  21. Psalm 103:13 tn Or “sons,” but the Hebrew term sometimes refers to children in general.
  22. Psalm 103:13 tn Heb “those who fear him.”
  23. Psalm 103:14 tn Heb “our form.”
  24. Psalm 103:14 tn Heb “remembers.”
  25. Psalm 103:14 tn Heb “we [are] clay.”
  26. Psalm 103:15 tn Heb “[as for] mankind, like grass [are] his days.” The Hebrew noun אֱנוֹשׁ (ʾenosh) is used here generically of human beings. What is said is true of all mankind.
  27. Psalm 103:16 tn Heb “[the] wind.” The word “hot” is supplied in the translation for clarification.
  28. Psalm 103:17 tn Heb “but the loyal love of the Lord [is] from everlasting to everlasting over those who fear him.”
  29. Psalm 103:17 tn Heb “and his righteousness to sons of sons.”
  30. Psalm 103:18 tn Heb “to those who remember his precepts to do them.”
  31. Psalm 103:19 tn Heb “his kingdom rules over all.”
  32. Psalm 103:20 tn Heb “[you] mighty ones of strength, doers of his word, by listening to the voice of his word.”
  33. Psalm 103:21 tn Heb “all his hosts.”
  34. Psalm 103:21 tn Heb “his attendants, doers of his desire.”
  35. Psalm 103:22 tn Heb “all his works,” which includes mankind.
  36. Psalm 103:22 tn Heb “places.”