Psalm 16:1-11

A Michtam of David.

1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.

O my soul, you have said to the Lord,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”

As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”

Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.

O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.

I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.

10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

michtam (heading) = to cut in, or engrave … The Septuagint renders it stelographia — a sculptured writing … a sepulchral monument. The word, therefore, points to a graven and therefore a permanent writing; graven on account of its importance. The [six] Michtam psalms are all pervaded by the common characteristic of being personal, direct, and more or less private. — Pettingill, page 37.

preserve (v.1) = keep, watch over

Lord (v.2) — First use = Yahweh— Second use – Adonai (Master). David — and the Messiah — say “You (as opposed to another god) are my Lord.”

 my goodness (v.2) = my good, welfare, benefit — David is stating that God alone is the source of anything good (or beneficial).

saints (v.3) — saved Israel who share David’s faith in the Lord

hasten after (v.4) = bartered, acquired after paying a purchase price

inheritance (vs.5-6) — the Lord and their (Israel’s) and Jesus Christ’s worship of Him.

cup (v.5) — used in this verse as it is used in Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd … my cup runneth over.” The word is used figuratively of a pleasant, refreshing drink.

lot (v.5) = as in casting lots — destiny as determined by lots

lines (v.6) = the portion of land measured out to him by line

glory (v.9) — translated “tongue” in the quote by Peter (see below). His Words were God’s Words and, therefore, His glory. (See John 7:16-17).

Sheol (v.10) — Our Lord did not descend into hell. He descended into Sheol, which is the Hebrew way of saying Hades —  the place of departed spirits which we find described in Luke 16:19-31. The saved are no longer in Hades, for at His ascension our Lord delivered them all and escorted them into the Father’s presence, moving the Paradise section of Hades into “the third heaven” (cf. Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4). — Pettingill, page 42.


There can be absolutely no question that this statement was knowingly intended by David to refer directly and exclusively to the resurrection of the Messiah, for such is precisely what Peter says after quoting this passage (starting from verse 8) in Acts 2:30-31 — to wit, that “because he [David] was a prophet … he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah.” David understood that it was essential for the Messiah to be raised from the dead first, as the “first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20), and that in so doing He would serve as the model and guarantee for the rest of the”crop” of His “holy ones” to follow in kind. — Wechsler, pages 58-59

Peter speaks of this passage in Acts 2:25-35.

For David says concerning Him:
‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face,
For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
“Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
“For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself:
‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”

And Paul speaks of it in Acts 13:35-38.

Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.

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