Psalms 104:16 MEANING

Psalm 104:16
(16) The trees . . .--Better, Jehovah's trees are satisfied. The parallelism shows what are Jehovah's trees. The cedar of Lebanon (see 1 Kings 4:33) was the grandest and fairest tree known to the Hebrew; and like lightning and the tropical rain, is honoured by the epithet most expressive of grandeur. (See Bible Educator, iv., 359.) Such trees the poet feels must have been planted by the Divine hand itself--man could grow herbs, but not cedars--and here, as a proof of the lavish provision made by the Creator for the fertility of the earth, he states that even these monarchs of the wood have enough.

Verse 16. - The trees of the Lord are full of sap; rather, are satisfied, or have their fill; i.e. drink in sufficiently God's rain, so that they grow up and flourish amazingly. Even the cedars of Lebanon (see Psalm 29:5, 6; Psalm 92:11). These are particularized as the grandest of God's vegetable productions known to the psalmist (comp. Judges 9:15; 1 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 14:19; Isaiah 2:13; Ezekiel 31:3). Which he hath planted (comp. Numbers 24:6).

104:10-18 When we reflect upon the provision made for all creatures, we should also notice the natural worship they render to God. Yet man, forgetful ungrateful man, enjoys the largest measure of his Creator's kindness. the earth, varying in different lands. Nor let us forget spiritual blessings; the fruitfulness of the church through grace, the bread of everlasting life, the cup of salvation, and the oil of gladness. Does God provide for the inferior creatures, and will he not be a refuge to his people?The trees of the Lord are full of sap,.... Or "satiated" (s); that is, with rain; and through it are filled with fruits. This is to be understood not only of the tallest and largest trees; which are therefore called the trees of the Lord, as high mountains are called the mountains of the Lord, Psalm 36:6 and so other things excellent in their kind: but of trees of the field and forest; so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions; which are not planted and cultivated by man, as trees in gardens and orchards are; but are more especially under the care and cultivation of the Lord himself, and may design such as were produced by him at the creation.

The cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted; a mountain on the borders of Judea, so called from its whiteness, through the snow on it, as the Alps are; and where grew great quantities of large and spreading cedars, which were not of man's, but of the Lord's planting: these were watered and made to grow with the rain of heaven. Rauwolff (t), who was upon this mountain in 1574, says,

"though this hill in former ages has been quite covered over with cedars, yet they are so decreased, that I could tell, says he, no more but twenty four, that stood round about in a circle; and two others, the branches whereof are quite decayed with age.''

But Thevenot (u), who has been there since, affirms there are no more nor less than twenty three, great and small; of the largeness, thickness, and height of these trees; see Gill on Isaiah 37:24. Saints are often compared to trees, which are planted by the Lord in Christ, and in his churches; and particularly to cedars, for their height, strength, and durableness; see Psalm 92:13, and these, through the grace of God, are full of sap and spiritual life, and are filled with the fruits of righteousness, and are often represented as planted and growing by rivers of water; see Numbers 24:6.

(s) "satiantur", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; so Musculus, Gejerus, Michaelis. (t) Travels, par. 2. ch. 13. p. 191. (u) Travels, par. 1. B. 2. ch. 60. p. 224.

Courtesy of Open Bible