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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 16


1 A miktam of David. 2 Keep me safe, O God; in you I take refuge


I say to the Lord, you are my Lord, you are my only good.


Worthless are all the false gods of the land. Accursed are all who delight in them.


3 They multiply their sorrows who court other gods. Blood libations to them I will not pour out, nor will I take their names upon my lips.


LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you have made my destiny secure.


4 Pleasant places were measured out for me; fair to me indeed is my inheritance.


I bless the LORD who counsels me; even at night my heart exhorts me.


I keep the LORD always before me; with the Lord at my right, I shall never be shaken.


Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure,


5 For you will not abandon me to Sheol, nor let your faithful servant see the pit.


You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.


1 [Psalm 16] In the first section, the psalmist rejects the futile worship of false gods ( Psalm 16:2-5), preferring Israel's God ( Psalm 16:1), the giver of the land ( Psalm 16:6). The second section reflects on the wise and life-giving presence of God ( Psalm 16:7-11).

2 [1] Miktam: a term occurring six times in psalm superscriptions, always with "David." Its meaning is unknown.

3 [4] Take their names: to use the gods' names in oaths and hence to affirm them as one's own gods.

4 [6] Pleasant places were measured out for me: the psalmist is pleased with the plot of land measured out to the family, which was to be passed on to succeeding generations ("my inheritance").

5 [10] Nor let your faithful servant see the pit: Hebrew shahath means here the pit, a synonym for Sheol, the underworld. The Greek translation derives the word here and elsewhere from the verb shahath, "to be corrupt." On the basis of the Greek, Acts 2:25-32; 13:35-37 apply the verse to Christ's resurrection, "Nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption."

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