God the Supreme Good

1aA miktam* of David.


Keep me safe, O God;

in you I take refuge.

2I say to the LORD,

you are my Lord,

you are my only good.

3As for the holy ones who are in the land,

they are noble,

in whom is all my delight.

4*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.

5LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,

you have made my destiny secure.b

6*Pleasant places were measured out for me;

fair to me indeed is my inheritance.


7I bless the LORD who counsels me;

even at night my heart exhorts me.

8I keep the LORD always before me;

with him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken.c

9Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices;

my body also dwells secure,

10For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,

nor let your devout one see the pit.*d

11You will show me the path to life,

abounding joy in your presence,

the delights at your right hand forever.

* [Psalm 16] In the first section, the psalmist rejects the futile worship of false gods (Ps 16:25), preferring Israel’s God (Ps 16:1), the giver of the land (Ps 16:6). The second section reflects on the wise and life-giving presence of God (Ps 16:711).

* [16:1] Miktam: a term occurring six times in Psalm superscriptions, always with “David.” Its meaning is unknown.

* [16:4] Take their names: to use the gods’ names in oaths and hence to affirm them as one’s own gods.

* [16:6] 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”).

* [16:10] Nor let your devout one 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 2:2532; 13:3537 apply the verse to Christ’s resurrection, “Nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.”

a. [16:1] Ps 25:20.

b. [16:5] Ps 23:5; 73:26; Nm 18:20; Lam 3:24.

c. [16:8] Ps 73:23; 121:5; Acts 2:2528.

d. [16:10] Ps 28:1; 30:4; 49:16; 86:13; Jon 2:7; Acts 13:35.

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