מִכְתָּם לְדָוִד שָׁמְרֵנִי אֵל כִּי־חָסִיתִי בָךְ׃ 16:1
Psal. 16:1 An epigram of David's.
Save me, O God, for I trust in You.
The meaning of the word I translate as epigram is thought to be a type of short poem or a musical title. I prefer
the former, but what kind of poem is an epigram?. An epigram is supposed to be a pithy and clever way of expressing an idea. Does this psalm appear to be such? Other translators resolve the problem this word
presents in one of five ways: (1) ignoring the word altogether, (2) translating it as prayer, (3) translating it as inscription, (4) translating it as Secret Treasure (the Lord?), or (5) transliterating it to Mikhtam.
[Return to Psal. 56:1]
אָמַרְתְּ לַיהוָה אֲדֹנָי אָתָּה טוֹבָתִי בַּל־עָלֶיךָ׃ 16:2
Psal. 16:2 It says to the Lord, “You are My Master.
I have pleasure only about You.”
The pronoun it starting this verse is feminine singular, probably referring to David’s soul. It can’t be referring back to epigram, because that word is masculine.
לִקְדוֹשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־בָּאָרֶץ הֵמָּה וְאַדִּירֵי כָּל־חֶפְצִי־בָם׃ 16:3
Psal. 16:3 “For the saints who are on the earth,
they, and the excellent ones,
all My delight is in them.”
It’s virtually impossible to understand who is speaking this verse, and therefore its meaning. Is it still David? Is
God answering his statement in the previous verse? I suspect that this verse is David’s imagining the Lord’s
יִרְבּוּ עַצְּבוֹתָם אַחֵר מָהָרוּ בַּל־אַסִּיךְ נִסְכֵּיהֶם מִדָּם וּבַל־אֶשָּׂא אֶת־שְׁמוֹתָם עַל־שְׂפָתָי׃ 16:4
Psal. 16:4 Let their sorrows be multiplied after they make haste
-- I will not offer their drink offerings from blood,
and I will not take their names upon my lips.
I believe the antecedent of the third-person plural pronouns their and they (in the first translated line in this verse) is those who are too hasty to remove the blood from their sacrifices, not the saints of the previous verse.
יְהוָה מְנָת־חֶלְקִי וְכוֹסִי אַתָּה תּוֹמִיךְ גּוֹרָלִי׃ 16:5
Psal. 16:5 The Lord is the Portion of my inheritance and my Cup;
You are the Maintainer of my lot.
חֲבָלִים נָפְלוּ־לִי בַּנְּעִמִים אַף־נַחֲלָת שָׁפְרָה עָלָי׃ 16:6
Psal. 16:6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, a heritage of goodness is with me.
אֲבָרֵךְ אֶת־יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר יְעָצָנִי אַף־לֵילוֹת יִסְּרוּנִי כִלְיוֹתָי׃ 16:7
Psal. 16:7 I will bless the Lord Who counsels me;
my Reins even instruct me in the nights.
שִׁוִּיתִי יְהוָה לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד כִּי מִימִינִי בַּל־אֶמּוֹט׃ 16:8
Psal. 16:8 I always consider the Lord to be as my sight,
for He is as my right hand; I shall not slip.
לָכֵן שָׂמַח לִבִּי וַיָּגֶל כְּבוֹדִי אַף־בְּשָׂרִי יִשְׁכֹּן לָבֶטַח׃ 16:9
Psal. 16:9 Therefore, my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;
yes, my body may rest securely.
כִּי לֹא־תַעֲזֹב נַפְשִׁי לִשְׁאֹול לֹא־תִתֵּן חֲסִידְךָ לִרְאֹות שָׁחַת׃ 16:10
Psal. 16:10 For You will not commit my soul to the netherworld;
You will not permit Your saints to see destruction.
תֹּודִיעֵנִי אֹרַח חַיִּים שֹׂבַע שְׂמָחֹות אֶת־פָּנֶיךָ נְעִמֹות בִּימִינְךָ נֶצַח׃ 16:11
Psal. 16:11 May You show me the path of life, the fullness of joy, with Your presence,
the pleasures in Your right hand, constantly.
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