Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 104:15

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And wine - Wine, in moderate quantity, has a wondrous tendency to revive and invigorate the human being. Ardent spirits exhilarate, but they exhaust the strength; and every dose leaves man the worse. Unadulterated wine, on the contrary, exhilarates and invigorates: it makes him cheerful, and provides for the continuance of that cheerfulness by strengthening the muscles, and bracing the nerves. This is its use. Those who continue drinking till wine inflames them, abase this mercy of God.

Oil to make his face to shine - That is, to anoint the body; and particularly those parts most exposed to the sun and weather. This is of high importance in all arid lands and sultry climates. By it the pores are kept open, and perspiration maintained.

Bread which strengtheneth man's heart - In hunger not only the strength is prostrated, but the natural courage is also abated. Hunger has no enterprise, emulation, nor courage. But when, in such circumstances, a little bread is received into the stomach, even before concoction can have time to prepare it for nutriment, the strength is restored, and the spirits revived. This is a surprising effect; and it has not yet been satisfactorily accounted for.

Three of the choicest and most important articles of life are here mentioned: Wine, for the support of the vital and intellectual spirits; Bread, for the support of the nervous and muscular system; and Oil, as a seasoner of food, and for those unctions so necessary for the maintenance of health. Where wine, oil, and bread can be had in sufficient quantities, there animal food, ardent spirits, and all high-seasoned aliments, may be well dispensed with. Heavy taxes on these necessaries of life are taxes on life, itself; and infallibly lead to adulteration of the articles themselves; especially wine and oil, which, in countries where they are highly taxed, are no longer to be found pure.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And wine that maketh glad the heart of man … - literally, “And wine (it) gladdens the heart of man to make his face to shine more than oil.” Margin, “to make his face shine with oil, or more than oil.” The latter expresses the idea most accurately. So DeWette renders it. The meaning is, that the earth is made to produce wine (or grapes which produce wine), and this exhilarates the heart, so that the effect is seen on the countenance, making it more bright and cheerful than it is when anointed with oil. On the use of oil, see the notes at Psalm 23:5. The reference here, in the original, is not to wine and oil as produced by the earth, as would seem to be implied in our translation, but to wine that makes the heart glad, and the face brighter than if anointed with oil. The psalmist here states a fact about the use of wine - a wellknown fact that it exhilarates the heart, and brightens the countenance; and he states it merely as a fact. He says nothing on the question whether the use of wine as a beverage is, or is not, proper and safe. Compare the notes at John 2:10.

And bread which strengtheneth man‘s heart - That is, Which sustains the heart - that being regarded as the seat of life. Compare Genesis 18:5.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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?
Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 273-5

Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without the Father's notice. Satan's hatred against God leads him to delight in destroying even the dumb creatures. It is only through God's protecting care that the birds are preserved to gladden us with their songs of joy. But He does not forget even the sparrows. “Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31. 8T 273.1

“Bless Jehovah, O my soul.
O Jehovah my God, Thou art very great;
Thou art clothed with honor and majesty:
Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment;
Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain;
Who layeth the beams of His chambers in the waters;
Who maketh the clouds His chariot;
Who walketh upon the wings of the wind;
Who maketh winds His messengers;
Flames of fire His ministers;
8T 273.2

“Who laid the foundations of the earth,
That it should not be moved forever.
Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a vesture;
The waters stood above the mountains.
At Thy rebuke they fled;
At the voice of Thy thunder they hasted away
(The mountains rose, the valleys sank down)
Unto the place which Thou hadst founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over;
That they turn not again to cover the earth.
8T 273.3

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 135

Israel had had abundant occasion for rejoicing. The land to which the Lord had brought them was a land flowing with milk and honey. During the wilderness wandering, God had assured them that He was guiding them to a country where they need never suffer for lack of rain. “The land, whither thou goest in to possess it,” He had told them, “is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: but the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: a land which the Lord thy God careth for: the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” PK 135.3

The promise of abundance of rain had been given on condition of obedience. “It shall come to pass,” the Lord had declared, “if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. PK 135.4

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