The Meaning of Psalms 104:3 Explained

Psalms 104:3

KJV: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

YLT: Who is laying the beam of His upper chambers in the waters, Who is making thick clouds His chariot, Who is walking on wings of wind,

Darby: Who layeth the beams of his upper chambers in the waters, who maketh clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind;

ASV: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; Who maketh the clouds his chariot; Who walketh upon the wings of the wind;

What does Psalms 104:3 Mean?

Context Summary

Psalm 104:1-12 - The Lord's Wondrous Handiwork
The opening verses of this psalm appear to describe in sublime poetry the creation of the world. God is very great, because He created the heavens and the earth. He is clothed with honor and majesty, and yet He stooped to brood over the chaos and darkness which preceded the order and beauty of our earth. When He said, "Let there be light," He robed Himself in its texture. The firmament of Genesis 1:8 was the curtain of his tent. The clouds above and the seas beneath yielded his chariot and hid for Him the joists of His palace. See Genesis 1:9-10. Compare Psalms 103:4 and Hebrews 1:7.
The psalmist in Psalms 104:6 seems to see the process which is described briefly and graphically in Genesis 1:10. The waters had covered the world with their storm and welter; but at God's command they poured down the mountain slopes to the ocean bed, there to be retained by banks of sand. What exquisite thoughtfulness is disclosed in God's provision of the springs! He thinks for the wild asses and the fowls, and how much more will He care for you, O ye of little faith! [source]

Chapter Summary: Psalm 104

1  A meditation upon the mighty power
7  And wonderful providence of God
31  God's glory is eternal
33  The prophet vows perpetually to praise God

What do the individual words in Psalms 104:3 mean?

He lays the beams of in the waters His upper chambers who makes the clouds His chariot who walks on the wings of the wind
הַ֥מְקָרֶֽה בַמַּ֗יִם עֲ‍ֽלִיּ֫וֹתָ֥יו הַשָּׂם־ עָבִ֥ים רְכוּב֑וֹ הַֽ֝מְהַלֵּ֗ךְ עַל־ כַּנְפֵי־ רֽוּחַ

הַ֥מְקָרֶֽה  He  lays  the  beams 
Parse: Article, Verb, Piel, Participle, masculine singular
Root: קָרָה 
Sense: to encounter, meet, befall, happen, come to meet.
בַמַּ֗יִם  of  in  the  waters 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: מַיִם  
Sense: water, waters.
עֲ‍ֽלִיּ֫וֹתָ֥יו  His  upper  chambers 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural construct, third person masculine singular
Root: עֲלִיָּה  
Sense: roof-room, roof chamber.
הַשָּׂם־  who  makes 
Parse: Article, Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: שׂוּמָה 
Sense: to put, place, set, appoint, make.
עָבִ֥ים  the  clouds 
Parse: Noun, common plural
Root: עָב 
Sense: darkness, cloud, thicket.
רְכוּב֑וֹ  His  chariot 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: רְכוּב  
Sense: chariot.
הַֽ֝מְהַלֵּ֗ךְ  who  walks 
Parse: Article, Verb, Piel, Participle, masculine singular
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
כַּנְפֵי־  the  wings 
Parse: Noun, feminine plural construct
Root: כָּנָף  
Sense: wing, extremity, edge, winged, border, corner, shirt.
רֽוּחַ  of  the  wind 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: רוּחַ  
Sense: wind, breath, mind, spirit.