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Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Of David.

1Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14For he knows our frame;11Or knows how we are formed
he remembers that we are dust.

15As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
18to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!


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21 Bless Jehovah, all ye his hosts. By hosts is not to be understood the stars, as some explain it. The subject of the preceding verse is still continued. Nor is the repetition superfluous; for the word hosts teaches us that there are myriads of myriads who stand before the throne of God, ready to receive every intimation of his will. Again, they are called his ministers who do his pleasure, to intimate to us, that they are not there intent in idly beholding God’s glory, but that having been appointed as our ministers and guardians, they are always ready for their work. Instead of word, the term pleasure is here used, and both are employed with much propriety; for although the sun, the moon, and the stars, observe the laws which God has ordained for them, yet being without understanding, they cannot properly be said to obey his word and his voice. The term obey is indeed sometimes transferred to the mute and insensible parts of creation. 175175     “Aux creatures muetes et insensibles.” — Fr. It is, however, only in a metaphorical sense that they can be said to hearken to God’s voice, when by a secret instinct of nature they fulfill his purposes. But this in the proper sense is true of angels, who actively obey him upon their understanding from his sacred mouth what he would have them to do. The word pleasure expresses more plainly a joyful and cheerful obedience, implying that the angels not only obey God’s commandments, but also willingly and with the greatest delight receive the intimations of his will, that they may perform what he would have them to do. Such is the import of the Hebrew noun, as has been stated elsewhere.




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