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Psalms 16:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[Michtam of David.]] Preserve me, O God; for in thee do I take refuge.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[Michtam of David.]] Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[A Mikhtam of David.]] Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[Michtam of David.]] Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[Michtam of David.]] Preserve me, O *God: for I trust in thee.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[A Precious Psalm of David.]] Preserve me, O GOD, for I have sought refuge in thee.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Secret Treasure of David. Preserve me, O God, for I did trust in Thee.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The inscription of a title to David himself. Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in thee.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[Michtam of Dauid.]] Preserue me, O God: for in thee doe I put my trust.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A writing of David.]] Keep me, O Lord; for I have hoped in thee.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[Mikhtam of Dawid.]] Preserve me, O El: for in thee do I put my trust.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[Mitm מִכתָּם 4387
{4387} Prime
From H3799; an engraving, that is, (technically) a poem.
of Dwi דָּוִד.]] 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
Preserve 8104
{8104} Prime
A primitive root; properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, etc.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
me, O l אֵל: 410
{0410} Prime
Shortened from H0352; strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity).
for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
in thee do I put my trust. 2620
{2620} Prime
A primitive root; to flee for protection (compare H0982); figuratively to confide in.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 16:1

_ _ Psalms 16:1-11. Michtam, or, by the change of one letter, Michtab — a “writing,” such as a poem or song (compare Isaiah 38:9). Such a change of the letter m for b was not unusual. The position of this word in connection with the author’s name, being that usually occupied by some term, such as Psalm or song, denoting the style or matter of the composition, favors this view of its meaning, though we know not why this and Psalms 56-60 should be specially, called “a writing.” “A golden (Psalm),” or “a memorial” are explanations proposed by some — neither of which, however applicable here, appears adapted to the other Psalms where the term occurs. According to Peter (Acts 2:25) and Paul (Acts 13:35), this Psalm relates to Christ and expresses the feelings of His human nature, in view of His sufferings and victory over death and the grave, including His subsequent exaltation at the right hand of God. Such was the exposition of the best earlier Christian interpreters. Some moderns have held that the Psalm relates exclusively to David; but this view is expressly contradicted by the apostles; others hold that the language of the Psalm is applicable to David as a type of Christ, capable of the higher sense assigned it in the New Testament. But then the language of Psalms 16:10 cannot be used of David in any sense, for “he saw corruption.” Others again propose to refer the first part to David, and the last to Christ; but it is evident that no change in the subject of the Psalm is indicated. Indeed, the person who appeals to God for help is evidently the same who rejoices in having found it. In referring the whole Psalm to Christ, it is, however, by no means denied that much of its language is expressive of the feelings of His people, so far as in their humble measure they have the feelings of trust in God expressed by Him, their head and representative. Such use of His language, as recorded in His last prayer (John 17:1-26), and even that which He used in Gethsemane, under similar modifications, is equally proper. The propriety of this reference of the Psalm to Christ will appear in the scope and interpretation. In view of the sufferings before Him, the Savior, with that instinctive dread of death manifested in Gethsemane, calls on God to “preserve” Him; He avows His delight in holiness and abhorrence of the wicked and their wickedness; and for “the joy that was set before Him, despising the shame” [Hebrews 12:2], encourages Himself; contemplating the glories of the heritage appointed Him. Thus even death and the grave lose their terrors in the assurance of the victory to be attained and “the glory that should follow” [1 Peter 1:11].

_ _ Preserve me, etc. — keep or watch over my interests.

_ _ in thee ... I ... trust — as one seeking shelter from pressing danger.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 16:1-7

_ _ This psalm is entitled Michtam, which some translate a golden psalm, a very precious one, more to be valued by us than gold, yea, than much fine gold, because it speaks so plainly of Christ and his resurrection, who is the true treasure hidden in the field of the Old Testament.

_ _ I. David here flies to God's protection with a cheerful believing confidence in it (Psalms 16:1): “Preserve me, O God! from the deaths, and especially from the sins, to which I am continually exposed; for in thee, and in thee only, do I put my trust.” Those that by faith commit themselves to the divine care, and submit themselves to the divine guidance, have reason to hope for the benefit of both. This is applicable to Christ, who prayed, Father, save me from this hour, and trusted in God that he would deliver him.

_ _ II. He recognizes his solemn dedication of himself to God as his God (Psalms 16:2): “O my soul! thou hast said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord, and therefore thou mayest venture to trust him.” Note, 1. It is the duty and interest of every one of us to acknowledge the Lord for our Lord, to subject ourselves to him, and then to stay ourselves upon him. Adonai signifies My stayer, the strength of my heart. 2. This must be done with our souls: “O my soul! thou hast said it.” Covenanting with God must be heart-work; all that is within us must be employed therein and engaged thereby. 3. Those who have avouched the Lord for their Lord should be often putting themselves in mind of what they have done. “Hast thou said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord? Say it again then, stand to it, abide by it, and never unsay it. Hast thou said it? Take the comfort of it, and live up to it. He is thy Lord, and worship thou him, and let thy eye be ever towards him.”

_ _ III. He devotes himself to the honour of God in the service of the saints (Psalms 16:2, Psalms 16:3): My goodness extends not to thee, but to the saints. Observe, 1. Those that have taken the lord for their Lord must, like him, be good and do good; we do not expect happiness without goodness. 2. Whatever good there is in us, or is done by us, we must humbly acknowledge that it extends not to God; so that we cannot pretend to merit any thing by it. God has no need of our services; he is not benefited by them, nor can they add any thing to his infinite perfection and blessedness. The wisest, and best, and most useful, men in the world cannot be profitable to God, Job 22:2; Job 35:7. God is infinitely above us, and happy without us, and whatever good we do it is all from him; so that we are indebted to him, not he to us: David owns it (1 Chronicles 29:14), Of thy own have we given thee. 3. If God be ours, we must, for his sake, extend our goodness to those that are his, to the saints in the earth; for what is done to them he is pleased to take as done to himself, having constituted them his receivers. Note, (1.) There are saints in the earth; and saints on earth we must all be, or we shall never be saints in heaven. Those that are renewed by the grace of God, and devoted to the glory of God, are saints on earth. (2.) The saints in the earth are excellent ones, great, mighty, magnificent ones, and yet some of them so poor in the world that they need to have David's goodness extended to them. God makes them excellent by the grace he gives them. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour, and then he accounts them excellent. They are precious in his sight and honourable; they are his jewels, his peculiar treasure. Their God is their glory, and a diadem of beauty to them. (3.) All that have taken the Lord for their God delight in his saints as excellent ones, because they bear his image, and because he loves them. David, though a king, was a companion of all that feared God (Psalms 119:63), even the meanest, which was a sign that his delight was in them. (4.) It is not enough for us to delight in the saints, but, as there is occasion, our goodness must extend to them; we must be ready to show them the kindness they need, distribute to their necessities, and abound in the labour of love to them. This is applicable to Christ. The salvation he wrought out for us was no gain to God, for our ruin would have been no loss to him; but the goodness and benefit of it extend to us men, in whom he delighteth, Proverbs 8:31. For their sakes, says he, I sanctify myself, John 17:19. Christ delights even in the saints on earth, notwithstanding their weaknesses and manifold informities, which is a good reason why we should.

_ _ IV. He disclaims the worship of all false gods and all communion with their worshippers, Psalms 16:4. Here, 1. He reads the doom of idolaters, who hasten after another God, being mad upon their idols, and pursuing them as eagerly as if they were afraid they would escape from them: Their sorrows shall be multiplied, both by the judgments they bring upon themselves from the true God whom they forsake and by the disappointment they will meet with in the false gods they embrace. Those that multiply gods multiply griefs to themselves; for, whoever thinks one God too little, will find two too many, and yet hundreds not enough. 2. He declares his resolution to have no fellowship with them nor with their unfruitful works of darkness: “Their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, not only because the gods they are offered to are a lie, but because the offerings themselves are barbarous.” At God's altar, because the blood made atonement, the drinking of it was most strictly prohibited, and the drink-offerings were of wine; but the devil prescribed to his worshippers to drink of the blood of the sacrifices, to teach them cruelty. “I will have nothing to do” (says David) “with those bloody deities, nor so much as take their names into my lips with any delight in them or respect to them.” Thus must we hate idols and idolatry with a perfect hatred. Some make this also applicable to Christ and his undertaking, showing the nature of the sacrifice he offered (it was not the blood of bulls and goats, which was offered according to the law; that was never named, nor did he ever make any mention of it, but his own blood), showing also the multiplied sorrows of the unbelieving Jews, who hastened after another king, Caesar, and are still hastening after another Messiah, whom they in vain look for.

_ _ V. He repeats the solemn choice he had made of God for his portion and happiness (Psalms 16:5), takes to himself the comfort of the choice (Psalms 16:6), and gives God the glory of it, Psalms 16:7. This is very much the language of a devout and pious soul in its gracious exercises.

_ _ 1. Choosing the Lord for its portion and happiness. “Most men take the world for their chief good, and place their felicity in the enjoyments of it; but this I say, The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup, the portion I make choice of, and will gladly take up with, 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 the comfort of communion with God, and satisfaction in the communications of his graces and comforts; let me have an interest in his promises, and a title by promise to everlasting life and happiness in the future state; and I have enough, I need no more, I desire no more, to complete my felicity.” Would we do well and wisely for ourselves, we must take God, in Christ, to be, (1.) The portion of our inheritance in the other world. Heaven is an inheritance. God himself is the inheritance of the saints there, whose everlasting bliss is to enjoy him. We must take that for our inheritance, our home, our rest, our lasting, everlasting, good, and look upon this world to be no more ours than the country through which our road lies when we are on a journey. (2.) The portion of our cup in this world, with which we are nourished, and refreshed, and kept from fainting. Those have not God for theirs who do not reckon his comforts the most reviving cordials, acquaint themselves with them, and make use of them as sufficient to counterbalance all the grievances of this present time and to sweeten the most bitter cup of affliction.

_ _ 2. Confiding in him for the securing of this portion: “Thou maintainest my lot. Thou that hast by promise made over thy self to me, to be mine, wilt graciously make good what thou hast promised, and never leave me to myself to forfeit this happiness, nor leave it in the power of my enemies to rob me of it. Nothing shall pluck me out of thy hands, nor separate me from thy love, and the sure mercies of David.” The saints and their bliss are kept by the power of God.

_ _ 3. Rejoicing in this portion, and taking a complacency in it (Psalms 16:6): The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places. Those have reason to say so that have God for their portion; they have a worthy portion, a goodly heritage. What can they have better? What can they desire more? Return unto thy rest, O my soul! and look no further. Note, Gracious persons, though they still covet more of God, never covet more than God; but, being satisfied of his loving-kindness, they are abundantly satisfied with it, and envy not any their carnal mirth and sensual pleasures and delights, but account themselves truly happy in what they have, and doubt not but to be completely happy in what they hope for. Those whose lot is cast, as David's was, in a land of light, in a valley of vision, where God is known and worshipped, have, upon that account, reason to say, The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; much more those who have not only the means, but the end, not only Immanuel's land, but Immanuel's love.

_ _ 4. Giving thanks to God for it, and for grace to make this wise and happy choice (Psalms 16:7): “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel, this counsel, to take him for my portion and happiness.” So ignorant and foolish are we that, if we be left to ourselves, our hearts will follow our eyes, and we shall choose our own delusions, and forsake our own mercies for lying vanities; and therefore, if we have indeed taken God for our portion and preferred spiritual and eternal blessings before those that are sensible and temporal, we must thankfully acknowledge the power and goodness of divine grace directing and enabling us to make that choice. If we have the pleasure of it, let God have the praise of it.

_ _ 5. Making a good use of it. God having given him counsel by his word and Spirit, his own reins also (his own thoughts) instructed him in the night-season; when he was silent and solitary, and retired from the world, then his own conscience (which is called the reins, Jeremiah 17:10) not only reflected with comfort upon the choice he had made, but instructed or admonished him concerning the duties arising out of this choice, catechized him, and engaged and quickened him to live as one that had God for his portion, by faith to live upon him and to live to him. Those who have God for their portion, and who will be faithful to him, must give their own consciences leave to deal thus faithfully and plainly with them.

_ _ All this may be applied to Christ, who made the Lord his portion and was pleased with that portion, made his Father's glory his highest end and made it his meat and drink to seek that and to do his will, and delighted to prosecute his undertaking, pursuant to his Father's counsel, depending upon him to maintain his lot and to carry him through his undertaking. We may also apply it to ourselves in singing it, renewing our choice of God as ours, with a holy complacency and satisfaction.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 16:1

"Michtam of David." Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my (a) trust.

(a) He shows that we cannot call on God unless we trust in him.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, [that] my footsteps slip not.
Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psalms 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: [for] the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
Psalms 116:6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Proverbs 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.


Psalms 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Psalms 22:8 He trusted on the LORD [that] he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Psalms 25:20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
Psalms 84:12 O LORD of hosts, blessed [is] the man that trusteth in thee.
Psalms 125:1 [[A Song of degrees.]] They that trust in the LORD [shall be] as mount Zion, [which] cannot be removed, [but] abideth for ever.
Psalms 146:5 Happy [is he] that [hath] the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope [is] in the LORD his God:
Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee. ... Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH [is] everlasting strength:
Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed [is] the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. ... For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and [that] spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
2 Corinthians 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
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Ps 9:10; 17:5, 8; 22:8; 25:20; 31:23; 37:28; 84:12; 97:10; 116:6; 125:1; 146:5. Pv 2:8. Is 26:3. Jr 17:7. 2Co 1:9. 2Ti 1:12.

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