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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 116


1 I love the LORD, who listened to my voice in supplication,


Who turned an ear to me on the day I called.


2 I was caught by the cords of death; the snares of Sheol had seized me; I felt agony and dread.


Then I called on the name of the LORD, "O LORD, save my life!"


Gracious is the LORD and just; yes, our God is merciful.


The LORD protects the simple; I was helpless, but God saved me.


Return, my soul, to your rest; the LORD has been good to you.


For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.


3 I shall walk before the LORD in the land of the living.


4 I kept faith, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted!"


I said in my alarm, "No one can be trusted!"


How can I repay the LORD for all the good done for me?


5 I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.


I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.


6 Too costly in the eyes of the LORD is the death of his faithful.


LORD, I am your servant, your servant, the child of your maidservant; you have loosed my bonds.


I will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.


I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,


In the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!



1 [Psalm 116] A thanksgiving in which the psalmist responds to divine rescue from mortal danger ( Psalm 116:3-4) and from near despair (10-11) with vows and temple sacrifices ( Psalm 116:13-14, 17-19). The Greek and Latin versions divide the psalm into two parts: Psalm 116:1-9 and 10-19, corresponding to its two major divisions.

2 [3] The cords of death: death is personified here; it attempts to capture the psalmist with snares and nets. Cf Psalm 18:6.

3 [9] The land of the living: the phrase elsewhere is an epithet of the Jerusalem Temple (cf Psalm 27:13; 52:5; Isaiah 38:11). Hence the psalmist probably refers to being present to God in the temple.

4 [10] I kept faith, even when I said: even in the days of despair, the psalmist did not lose all hope.

5 [13] The cup of salvation: probably the libation of wine poured out in gratitude for rescue. Cf Exodus 25:29; Numbers 15:5, 7, 10.

6 [15] Too costly in the eyes of the LORD: the meaning is that the death of God's faithful is grievous to God, not that God is pleased with the death. Cf Psalm 72:14. In Wisdom 3:5-6 God accepts the death of the righteous as a sacrificial burnt offering.

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