Psalms 116:12-19

12 What shall I return to the LORDfor all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORDin the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORDis the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORDin the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD— in your midst, Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.[a]

Psalms 116:12-19 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 116

Theodoret applies this psalm to the distresses of the Jews in the times of the Maccabees under Antiochus Epiphanes; and R. Obadiah interprets some passages in it of the Grecians of those times; but it rather seems to have been written by David on account of some troubles of his, out of which he was delivered; and refers either to the times of Saul, and the persecutions he endured from him, particularly when he was beset round about by him and his men in the wilderness of Maon, 1Sa 23:26, to which he may have respect Ps 116:3. The inscription of the psalm in the Syriac version is,

``the progress of the new people returning to the Christian worship, as a child to understanding: and as to the letter, it was said when Saul stayed at the door of the cave where David lay hid with his men;''

see 1Sa 24:4. But since mention is made of Jerusalem, Ps 116:19, where the psalmist would praise the Lord for his deliverance, which as yet was not in his hands nor in the hands of the Israelites, but of the Jebusites; some have thought it was written on account of the conspiracy of Absalom against him, and who, hearing that Ahithophel was among the conspirators, said the words related in Ps 116:11, it is very probable it was composed after the death of Saul, and when he was settled in the kingdom, as Jarchi observes, and was delivered out of the hands of all his enemies; and very likely much about the same time as the eighteenth psalm was, which begins in the same manner, and has some expressions in it like to what are in this. David was a type of Christ, and some apply this psalm to him.

Psalms 116:12-19 In-Context

10 I trusted in the LORD when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.”
12 What shall I return to the LORDfor all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORDin the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORDis the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, LORD; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORDin the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD— in your midst, Jerusalem. Praise the LORD.

Cross References 12

  • 1. Psalms 103:2; Psalms 106:1
  • 2. S Psalms 105:1; Psalms 16:5; Psalms 80:18
  • 3. S Numbers 30:2; S Psalms 66:13; Psalms 22:25; John 2:9
  • 4. Psalms 72:14
  • 5. S Numbers 23:10
  • 6. Psalms 119:125; Psalms 143:12
  • 7. S Psalms 86:16
  • 8. S Job 12:18
  • 9. S Leviticus 7:12; S Ezra 1:4; Psalms 50:14
  • 10. ver 14; S Leviticus 22:18
  • 11. Psalms 92:13; Psalms 96:8; Psalms 100:4; Psalms 135:2
  • 12. Psalms 102:21

Footnotes 1