What does Psalm 103:15 mean?
ESV: As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
NIV: The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;
NASB: As for man, his days are like grass; Like a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
CSB: As for man, his days are like grass -- he blooms like a flower of the field;
NLT: Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
KJV: As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
NKJV: As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
Verse Commentary:
David continues to comment on the brevity of human life. He compares its fragility to grass and flowers. The climate is dry in the areas around Jerusalem, so smaller plants have brief, delicate lives. They flourish only in the rainy season. They can shrivel away and be gone relatively quickly.

Humans, too, flourish for only a brief time. Even well-conditioned athletes consider their prime years ended before the age of 40. If they are going to excel in their sport, they need to do so when they are young. Advancing age causes a human being's stamina and general health to fade. In the workplace an employee's best contribution to productivity is often considered to come between the 20s and 50s. By the time an employee reaches 65, the company he works for may pressure him to retire. Even by age 40 hairlines may recede and by mid-50s wrinkles may appear on one's face. No wonder the writer of Proverbs 27:1 cautions: "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring."
Verse Context:
Psalm 103:6–19 reflects on the Lord's benefits to Israel. Deuteronomy 6:1–15 contains the Lord's promise to bless the people of Israel if they would obey him. Psalm 105 and 106 are companion psalms that stress the Lord's goodness to Israel.
Chapter Summary:
Psalm 103 praises God for what He has done. This includes celebration of His personal influence, as well as the way God has blessed the nation of Israel. David encourages praises from himself, from the people in general, and even from the angels and hosts of heaven.
Chapter Context:
Psalm 103 is one of four psalms which complete the fourth division of the book of Psalms (Psalms 90—106). These four psalms ascribe praise to the Lord. Psalm 103 was written by David and expresses his gratitude to the Lord for all His benefits. First Thessalonians 5:18 conveys the same theme of thanksgiving by exhorting believers to ''give thanks in all circumstances.''
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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