What does Psalm 103:4 mean?
ESV: who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
NIV: who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
NASB: Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with favor and compassion;
CSB: He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion.
NLT: He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
KJV: Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
NKJV: Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Verse Commentary:
Redemption and divine love are two more benefits David sees in God. By "redemption" David means deliverance, and the "pit" refers to death. The Lord often delivered David from death. The giant Goliath presumed he could easily slay David, but the Lord enabled David to kill Goliath (1 Samuel 17:41–49). The Lord also delivered David from Saul's attempts to kill him (1 Samuel 19—21).

Believers today anticipate their ultimate deliverance from death. Because Jesus is the resurrection and the life, believers will never truly die (John 11:25–26). Jesus died and rose again and will return in the air to resurrect the bodies of departed believers and to transform the bodies of living believers, so that we will be with Him forever (1 Thessalonians 4:13–17; 1 Corinthians 15:50–55; Philippians 3:20–21).

This verse also mentions God's blessings of unfailing love and compassion. David views these benefits as a crown given to him by the Lord. We can never praise the Lord enough for His love and compassion.
Verse Context:
Psalm 103:1–5 records David commanding his entire inner being to praise the Lord and to remember all the Lord's benefits. He credits the Lord with forgiveness of sin and healing of diseases. He says the Lord redeems the believer's life from the realm of the dead and bestows on him steadfast love, mercy, satisfaction, and renewal.
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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