15 million Ukrainian are displaced by Russia's war.
Millions miss a meal or two each day.
Help us change that! Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 16

Verses 1-11

The Ps. is the confident and joyous prayer of one whose highest satisfaction is in God and in good men (Psalms 16:2-3), who renounces all the ways of idolatry (Psalms 16:4), and who finds in God not only ample wealth and happiness for the present (Psalms 16:5-7), but also a continuous prospect of the truest life (Psalms 16:8-11). The Ps. is quoted in Acts 2:25; Acts 13:35 as a prophecy of the Resurrection of Christ. While this is not its primary reference, and while the language does not necessarily involve all that is read into it in the NT., it is true that the thought of the Ps. suggests the hope of immortality, and that the Resurrection of Christ affords the most striking illustration of its meaning.

Title.—Michtam of David] The meaning is uncertain. ’Michtam’ may possibly be ’a golden Psalm,’ or it may have some musical reference.

2. RV ’I have said unto the Lord (Jehovah), Thou art my Lord: I have no good beyond thee.’

3. RV ’As for the saints that are in the earth, They are the excellent in whom is all my delight.’

4. That hasten, etc.] RV ’that exchange the Lord for another god’. Drink offerings of blood] to be understood perhaps not literally, but in the sense of cruel and impure sacrifices. Their names] the names of the idols which are thus worshipped.

5, 6. There are two figures here, one contained in the words portion, lot, lines, heritage, suggested by the division of the land of Canaan among the tribes, and another contained in the word cup, which denotes the experiences of the Psalmist’s life. In Numbers 18:20; God is the only portion of the Levites, who received no earthly territory. The writer here claims the same goodly heritage.

7. My reins] or as we should say, ’my heart’: see Psalms 7:9. God’s inward voice heard in hours of quietness, is one of the chief blessings of His people.

8. I have set the Lord, etc.] the constant, deliberate, and conscious exercise of faith.

9. My glory] my soul: see Psalms 7:5; Psalms 108:1. Rest in hope] RV ’dwell in safety.’ The primary reference is not to the dead body in the grave, but to the continuance of bodily life on earth.

10. In hell] RV ’to Sheol.’ The meaning is, ’Thou wilt not suffer me to die.’ Thine Holy One] RV ’thine holy one’; RM ’thy godly (or beloved) one.’ The allusion is primarily to the Psalmist himself, though the passage is used by St. Peter (Acts 2:25-28) to prove that the resurrection of Christ was in accordance with prophecy. Corruption] RM ’the pit,’ the grave, the state of the dead.

11. The path of life] not specially of life after death, but of true life in the fellowship of God. In thy presence] the presence in which the Psalmist already lived (Psalms 16:8).

At thy right hand] RV ’in thy right hand.’

For evermore] The contrast which the Ps. draws is not, perhaps, so much between life here and life hereafter, as between life without God and life with Him. In its very nature, however, the latter life is enduring, and hence the Psalmist’s words contain ananticipation (though it may be a dim and only semi-conscious one) of the immortality which Christ has brought to light.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 16". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.