Psalm 104 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Psalm 104 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

(104:1-2) "God ... who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain"
Galileo cited this verse in his "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina" saying, "Astronomers seem to declare what is contrary to Scripture, for they hold the heavens to be spherical, while the Scripture calls it 'stretched out like a curtain.'" [more]
As I have no desire to defend the Roman Catholic Church, let me only comment on the assertion of the author of the SAB that:

today nearly all Christians take Galileo's advice and ignore the passage, interpret it metaphorically, or make it say something other than what it so clearly says.

It is actually the opposite. Christian scientists take this passage very literally, as a description of God's work on the fourth day. See for example response to supergiants go out with a bang and on stretching out in particular Our galaxy is the center of the universe, ‘quantized’ redshifts show.

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

4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

"Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. "
God set the earth on firm foundations "that it should not be moved for ever." (The earth is stationary and does not orbit the sun.)
Will the earth last forever?
Well, the earth is pretty stable isn't it? The author of the SAB reads “move” instead of “remove”, but these words have a different meaning of course. In Hebrew the word is mowt meaning to totter, shake or slip. The psalmist simply says here that the earth doesn't shatter if we walk or built on it.

6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

8 They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

11 They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.

12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

"Wine that maketh glad the heart of man."
Is it OK to drink alcohol?
As this verse says, yes, it is OK to drink a small amount of alcohol. The author of the SAB confuses verses which were specifically written for those who had taken the Nazarite vow, see Num. 6:3.

16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

17 Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.

18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.

"The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God."
God gives the lions their meat. The cruelty and brutality of nature are all part of God's plan.
God has made the world very good. It is impossible from the look of an animal to tell if it is a prey or predator, see Job 41:14. It is not God's fault that creation is fallen or that there are predators and prey.
Calvin comments on “seek their meat from God”:

is not to be understood of their casting themselves upon the care of God, as if they acknowledged him to be their foster-father, but it points out the fact itself, that God in a wonderful manner provides food for such ravenous beasts.

22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

"In wisdom hast thou made them all."

All things dull and ugly All creatures short and squat
All things rude and nasty
The Lord God made the lot
Each little snake that poisons Each little wasp that stings
He made their brutish venom
He made their horrid wings
All things sick and cancerous All evils great and small
All things foul and dangerous
The Lord God made them all
Each nasty little hornet Each beastly little squid
Who made the spiky urchin
Who made the sharks? He did
All things scabbed and ulcerous All pox both great and small
Putrid, foul and gangrenous
The Lord God made them all
- Amen (Monty Python's Ode to Creation)

25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

31 The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.