What does Psalm 103:17 mean?
ESV: But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,
NIV: But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children--
NASB: But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting for those who fear Him, And His justice to the children’s children,
CSB: But from eternity to eternity the Lord's faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren
NLT: But the love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear him. His salvation extends to the children’s children
KJV: But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
NKJV: But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,
Verse Commentary:
God's unfailing love outlasts the span of human life. According to this verse it extends from everlasting to everlasting. It is eternal because it is an essential part of God's nature. First John 4:8 says, "God is love." Ephesians 1:4–5 tells us God predestined us in love. This startling truth indicates that from eternity past God loved those who would put their trust in His Son as their Savior.

David assures us that God's love is steadfast. He never stops loving His people. Even when we fail Him, His love for us does not fail. This is illustrated in the story of the prodigal son, who wandered far from his father. When that son returned home, he received full assurance that his father still loved him (Luke 15:11–32). When his father saw him returning, he felt compassion. Upon receiving his son, the father threw his arms around him and prepared a joyful celebration to welcome him home.

David adds to the description of God's attributes by noting that the Lord's righteousness extends to the posterity of those who reverence Him. He always does what is right and best for those in every generation who obey Him.
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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