Psalms 16:4

4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten[a] after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

Psalms 16:4 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 16:4

Their sorrows shall be multiplied
Not the sorrows of the saints and excellent ones, by seeing the idolatry of men, as Aben Ezra interprets it; but the sorrows of such

[that] hasten [after] another [god];
a false god, an idol, to serve and worship it; for, generally speaking, idolaters are more forward, eager, and hasty to attend a false worship, than the worshippers of the true God are to attend his service: now their sorrows are many, even in their worship, by cutting their bodies with knives and lancets, as the worshippers of Baal did; and by sacrificing their own children, which, notwithstanding their rash and precipitate zeal, could not fail of giving them pain and uneasiness; and, besides temporal punishments inflicted on them for their idolatry by God, and stings of conscience, which must sometimes attend them, the wrath of God lies upon them, and they will have their portion in the lake of fire, and the smoke of their torment will ascend for ever and ever. Some render the words, "their idols are multiplied"; and so the Chaldee paraphrase,

``they multiply their idols, and after that hasten to offer their sacrifices;''

when men leave the true God, they know not where to stop; the Heathens had not less than thirty thousand gods, and the Jews when they fell into idolatry ran in the same way, ( Jeremiah 2:28 ) ( 11:13 ) ( Hosea 8:11 ) . The word "god" is not in the original text, though the supplement is countenanced by the Jewish writers F16, who interpret it in this way; but I rather think the text is to be understood not of Heathen idolaters, but of unbelieving Jews, who, rejecting the true Messiah, hasten after another Messiah, king, and saviour; when Jesus the true Messiah came they received him not; but when another came in his own name they were eager to embrace him, ( John 5:43 ) ; and to this day they are hastening after another; and in their daily prayers pray that the coming of the Messiah might be (hdyhmb) , "in haste", in their days F17; and the sense of the passage is, that the sorrows of the Jews, rejecting the Messiah and hastening after another, would come thick and fast upon them, until wrath came upon them to the uttermost, ( Matthew 24:6-8 ) ( 1 Thessalonians 2:16 ) ; and it holds good of all, whether Jews or Gentiles, that hasten after another saviour; that say to the works of their hands, that they are their gods, or go about to establish a righteousness of their own, or seek for life and salvation by their own doings; these, sooner or later, will lie down in sorrow, ( Isaiah 50:11 ) ;

their drink offerings of blood will I not offer:
meaning not the libations of the Gentiles, which were not wine, according to the law, ( Numbers 15:10 ) ; but blood, even sometimes human blood; but the sacrifices of the Jews, which were either got by blood, murders and robberies, and on that account were hateful to God, ( Isaiah 61:8 ) ; or rather the sacrifices of bloodthirsty persons, whose hands were full of blood, ( Isaiah 1:11-15 ) ; and such were the offerings of the priests, Scribes, and Pharisees, in Christ's time, who were the children of them that killed the prophets, and sought after the blood of Christ. Or it may be rendered, "I will not offer their drink offerings because of blood" F18; meaning his own blood shed for the remission of sins, which being obtained, there remains no more offering for sin; and so the words may express the abolition of all legal sacrifices, and the causing of them to cease through the blood and sacrifice of Christ. This shows the person speaking to be a priest, and therefore could not be David, but must be the Messiah, who is a priest after the order of Melchizedek; and who had a better sacrifice to other up than any of the offerings of the Jews, even his own self, by which he has put away sin for ever. He adds,

nor take up their names into my lips;
not the names of idol deities, nor of their worshippers, but of the Jews that rejected him as the Messiah, for whom he would not pray, ( John 17:9 ) ; and so as he refused to offer their sacrifices, he would not perform the other part of his priestly office for them in intercession; though this may also have respect to the rejection of the Jewish nation as the people of God; writing a "Loammi", ( Hosea 1:9 ) , upon them, declaring them to be no longer the children of the living God; leaving their names for a curse, a taunt, and a proverb in every place; expressing the utmost abhorrence of them, and showing the utmost indignation at them, as persons whose names were not worthy or fit to be mentioned, ( Ephesians 5:3 ) .


F16 Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Ben Melech, & Abendana in loc.
F17 Seder Tephillot, fol. 128. 2.
F18 (Mdm) "propter sanguinem", Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.

Psalms 16:4 In-Context

2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. hasten...: or, give gifts to another
The King James Version is in the public domain.