Psalm 104:21
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 104:21. The young lions — Which can no more subsist, without Divine Providence, than those that are old and infirm; roar after their prey — They roar, as naturalists observe, when they come within sight of their prey, by which interpretation this place is reconciled with Amos 3:4, Will a lion roar in the forest when he hath no prey? that is, when he hath no prey in view. And seek their meat from God — This is a figurative and poetical expression; their roaring is a kind of natural prayer to God for relief, as the cries of infants are a kind of prayer to their mothers for the breast. It is observed by Dr. Hammond here, that lions are not provided with great swiftness of foot to pursue those beasts on which they prey, and that it was necessary, therefore, that this defect should be provided for some other way: and, accordingly, it has been affirmed, that their very roaring is useful to them for this purpose; and that when they cannot overtake their prey, they do, by that terrible noise, so astonish and terrify the poor beasts, that they fall down, and become an easy prey to them.

104:19-30 We are to praise and magnify God for the constant succession of day and night. And see how those are like to the wild beasts, who wait for the twilight, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. Does God listen to the language of mere nature, even in ravenous creatures, and shall he not much more interpret favourably the language of grace in his own people, though weak and broken groanings which cannot be uttered? There is the work of every day, which is to be done in its day, which man must apply to every morning, and which he must continue in till evening; it will be time enough to rest when the night comes, in which no man can work. The psalmist wonders at the works of God. The works of art, the more closely they are looked upon, the more rough they appear; the works of nature appear more fine and exact. They are all made in wisdom, for they all answer the end they were designed to serve. Every spring is an emblem of the resurrection, when a new world rises, as it were, out of the ruins of the old one. But man alone lives beyond death. When the Lord takes away his breath, his soul enters on another state, and his body will be raised, either to glory or to misery. May the Lord send forth his Spirit, and new-create our souls to holiness.The young lions roar after their prey - This is a continuation of the description in the previous verse. At night the beasts which had been hidden in the daytime crawl forth and seek their food. The lion is particularly specified as one of the beasts that in a general survey would attract attention. The psalmist hears his "roar" as he goes forth in the forest in pursuit of his prey.

And seek their meat from God - Their food. That is, God bestows it on them, and they act as if they sought it at his hand. They seek it where he has placed it; they are dependent on him for it. It is a beautiful idea that even the brute creation act as if they called on God, and sought the supply of their needs at his hands.

20-23. He provides and adapts to man's wants the appointed times and seasons. The young lions; which can no more subsist without Divine Providence than those which are most old and decrepit.

Roar after their prey; they roar when they come within sight and reach of their prey, as naturalists observe; whereby this place may be reconciled with Amos 3:4.

Seek their meat from God: this is a figurative and poetical expression: their roaring is a kind of natural prayer to God for relief, as the cries of infants are a kind of prayers to their mothers for the breast. And this is justly noted as an act of God’s special providence, because the lions are very ravenous, and need much prey, and also are dull in their scent, and so difficultly find it, and slow in their motion, and unable to reach it; and therefore God hath provided another creature, of quicker sense and motion, which is usually confederate with them, and procures prey for them, partaking of it with or after them.

The young lions roar after their prey,.... Or, "at the prey" (f); for, according to the Scriptures, it seems as if their time of roaring was when they have got their prey, and are tearing it and feeding on it, and not till then, Amos 3:4 though naturalists tell us, that, when they are pinched with hunger, they make such a hideous roaring, as quite stupefies, as well as terrifies, other creatures; that they have no power to stir, till they come up to them, and become their prey, who otherwise could outrun them; for the lion is neither a swift creature, nor of good scent: wherefore, according to credible accounts, a creature called a "jackal", little bigger than a fox, hunts its prey for it, and secures it till it comes up to it. Young lions are rather mentioned, because their appetite is keenest, and their voice loudest and strongest. This creature is an emblem of Satan, who goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, 1 Peter 5:8.

And seek their meat from God; as all creatures in their way do; as the ravens by crying, so the young lions by roaring; neither one nor other can provide for themselves, but God, in his providence, supplies them all with food; see Psalm 104:27. And should not we seek and ask our meat of God too, even both temporal and spiritual? And may we not expect it from him? Does he feed the ravens, and also the young lions, and will he not take care of his own people, and feed them with food convenient for them, and especially when they ask it of him? Psalm 34:10.

(f) "ad praedam", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat {l} from God.

{l} That is, they only find meat according to God's providence, who cares even for the brute beasts.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. The dreaded beasts of prey are part of God’s creation, depending on His bounty. Cp. Psalm 147:9.

Psalm 104:21The fifth decastich, in which the poet passes over from the third to the fourth day, shows that he has the order of the days of creation before his mind. The moon is mentioned first of all, because the poet wishes to make the picture of the day follow that of the night. He describes it in Psalm 104:19 as the calendarial principal star. מועדים are points and divisions of time (epochs), and the principal measurer of these for civil and ecclesiastical life is the moon (cf. Sir. 43:7, ἀπὸ σελήνης σημεῖον ἑορτῆς), just as the sun, knowing when he is to set, is the infallible measurer of the day. In Psalm 104:20 the description, which throughout is drawn in the presence of God in His honour, passes over into direct address: jussives (תּשׁת, ויהי) stand in the hypothetical protasis and in its apodosis (EW. 357, b). It depends upon God's willing only, and it is night, and the wakeful life of the wild beasts begins to be astir. The young lions then roar after their prey, and flagitaturi sunt a Deo cibum suum. The infinitive with Lamed is an elliptical expression of a conjugatio periphrastica (vid., on Habakkuk 1:17), and becomes a varying expression of the future in general in the later language in approximation to the Aramaic. The roar of the lions and their going forth in quest of prey is an asking of God which He Himself has implanted in their nature. With the rising of the sun the aspect of things becomes very different. שׁמשׁ is feminine here, where the poet drops the personification (cf. Psalm 19:1-14). The day which dawns with sunrise is the time for man. Both as to matter and style, Psalm 104:21 call to mind Job 24:5; Job 37:8; Job 38:40.
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