Psalms 16

The LORD the Psalmist's Portion in Life and Deliverer in Death.


A Mikhtam of David.

1 1Preserve me, O God, for 2I take refuge in You.
2 I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I 3have no good besides You."
3 As for the 4saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones 5in whom is all my delight.
4 The 6sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of 7blood, Nor will I 8take their names upon my lips.
5 The LORD is the 9portion of my inheritance and my 10cup; You support my 11lot.
6 The 12lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is 13beautiful to me.
7 I will bless the LORD who has 14counseled me; Indeed, my 15mind instructs me in the night.
8 16I have 17set the LORD continually before me; Because He is 18at my right hand, 19I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore 20my heart is glad and 21my glory rejoices; My flesh also will 22dwell securely.
10 For You 23will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You 24allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
11 You will make known to me 25the path of life; In 26Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are 27pleasures forever.

Images for Psalms 16

Psalms 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

This psalm begins with expressions of devotion, which may be applied to Christ; but ends with such confidence of a resurrection, as must be applied to Christ, and to him only.

- David flees to God's protection, with cheerful, believing confidence. Those who have avowed that the Lord is their Lord, should often put themselves in mind of what they have done, take the comfort of it, and live up to it. He devotes himself to the honour of God, in the service of the saints. Saints on earth we must be, or we shall never be saints in heaven. Those renewed by the grace of God, and devoted to the glory of God, are saints on earth. The saints in the earth are excellent ones, yet some of them so poor, that they needed to have David's goodness extended to them. David declares his resolution to have no fellowship with the works of darkness; he repeats the solemn choice he had made of God for his portion and happiness, takes to himself the comfort of the choice, and gives God the glory of it. This is the language of a devout and pious soul. Most take the world for their chief good, and place their happiness in the enjoyments of it; but how poor soever my condition is in this world, let me have the love and favour of God, and be accepted of him; let me have a title by promise to life and happiness in the future state; and I have enough. Heaven is an inheritance; we must take that for our home, our rest, our everlasting good, and look upon this world to be no more ours, than the country through which is our road to our Father's house. Those that have God for their portion, have a goodly heritage. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, and look no further. Gracious persons, though they still covet more of God, never covet more than God; but, being satisfied of his loving-kindness, are abundantly satisfied with it: they envy not any their carnal mirth and delights. But so ignorant and foolish are we, that if left to ourselves, we shall forsake our own mercies for lying vanities. God having given David counsel by his word and Spirit, his own thoughts taught him in the night season, and engaged him by faith to live to God. Verses ( 8-11 ) , are quoted by St. Peter in his first sermon, after the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Ac. 2:25-31 ; he declared that David in them speaks concerning Christ, and particularly of his resurrection. And Christ being the Head of the body, the church, these verses may be applied to all Christians, guided and animated by the Spirit of Christ; and we may hence learn, that it is our wisdom and duty to set the Lord always before us. And if our eyes are ever toward God, our hearts and tongues may ever rejoice in him. Death destroys the hope of man, but not the hope of a real Christian. Christ's resurrection is an earnest of the believer's resurrection. In this world sorrow is our lot, but in heaven there is joy, a fulness of joy; our pleasures here are for a moment, but those at God's right hand are pleasures for evermore. Through this thy beloved Son, and our dear Saviour, thou wilt show us, O Lord, the path of life; thou wilt justify our souls now, and raise our bodies by thy power at the last day; when earthly sorrow shall end in heavenly joy, pain in everlasting happiness.

Cross References 27

  • 1. Psalms 17:8
  • 2. Psalms 7:1
  • 3. Psalms 73:25
  • 4. Psalms 101:6
  • 5. Psalms 119:63
  • 6. Psalms 32:10
  • 7. Psalms 106:37, 38
  • 8. Exodus 23:13; Joshua 23:7
  • 9. Psalms 73:26; Psalms 119:57; Psalms 142:5; Lamentations 3:24
  • 10. Psalms 23:5
  • 11. Ps 125:3 mg
  • 12. Psalms 78:55
  • 13. Jeremiah 3:19
  • 14. Psalms 73:24
  • 15. Psalms 77:6
  • 16. Psalms 16:8-11; Acts 2:25-28
  • 17. Psalms 27:8; Psalms 123:1, 2
  • 18. Psalms 73:23; Psalms 110:5; Psalms 121:5
  • 19. Psalms 112:6
  • 20. Psalms 4:7; Psalms 13:5
  • 21. Psalms 30:12; Psalms 57:8; Psalms 108:1
  • 22. Psalms 4:8
  • 23. Psalms 49:15; Psalms 86:13
  • 24. Acts 13:35
  • 25. Psalms 139:24; Matthew 7:14
  • 26. Psalms 21:6; Psalms 43:4
  • 27. Job 36:11; Psalms 36:7, 8; Psalms 46:4

Footnotes 11

  • [a]. Or O my soul, "you said"
  • [b]. Or "the Lord"
  • [c]. Lit "holy ones;" i.e. the godly
  • [d]. Lit "And the majestic ones...delight"
  • [e]. I.e. sorrows due to idolatry
  • [f]. Or "hastened to"
  • [g]. Lit "kidneys," figurative for inner man
  • [h]. I.e. the nether world
  • [i]. Lit "give"
  • [j]. Or "godly one"
  • [k]. Or "see corruption" or "the pit"

Chapter Summary

Michtam of David. This is a new title, not met with before, though it afterwards is prefixed to "five" psalms running, the fifty sixth, the fifty seventh, the fifty eighth, the fifty ninth, and the sixtieth psalms. Some take the word "michtam" to be the name of a musical instrument, as Kimchi on Psalm 4:1; others the name of one of the tunes, as Jarchi; and others the tune of a song which began with this word, as Aben Ezra observes, to which this psalm was sung; the Septuagint translate it "stelography," or an inscription upon a pillar; such an one as is erected by conquerors, as Theodoret observes, having writing on it declaring the victory obtained; suggesting that the psalm, or the subject of it, the death and resurrection of Christ, was worthy to be inscribed on a pillar of marble; and the Targum renders it, "a right engraving," that deserves to be engraven in a monument of brass: but what seems to be the best sense of the word is, that it signifies a work of gold, and may be rendered, "a golden [psalm] of David"; so called, either because it was a dear and favourite song of his; or from the subject matter, which is more valuable and precious than the most fine gold: the title of it in the Syriac and Arabic versions is, "concerning the election of the church, and the resurrection of Christ;" and certain it is from Psalm 16:10, the resurrection of Christ is spoken of in it, as is clear from the testimonies of two apostles, Peter and Paul, who cite it in proof of it, Acts 2:25; and since there is but one person speaking throughout the psalm, and Christ is he that speaks in Psalm 16:10, and which cannot be understood of David, nor of any other person but Christ, the whole of the psalm must be interpreted of him.

Psalms 16 Commentaries

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.