Yahweh allowed the psalmist to fall, to become a person of no account, to hit bottom––not for punishment but for redemption. “Precious in the sight of Yahweh is the death of his saints” (Hebrew: hasiyd) (v. 15). But oddly enough, after acknowledging his servitude, the psalmist also acknowledges his God-given freedom. When the psalmist prays for Yahweh to deliver his soul, he is really asking for Yahweh to save his life. In the Psalm, he is expressing his gratitude and praise. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:5-9. Or he might have known a fisherman who fell out of his boat and became entrapped in his own net. 116:11b). Love is a natural response to being saved. Pride stands in the way of listening to wise counsel. A just person wants adherence to high standards. While the psalmist believed in Yahweh, he determined that he couldn’t believe in men. Those of us who have attained a certain age can appreciate the meaning of that gesture. Many of our wounds are self-inflicted, and that may be how the psalmist sees his problems––self-inflicted. A name expressed the person’s essential character––something of the person’s power or authority. 3 The cords of death surrounded me, “Then I called on the name of Yahweh” (v. 4a). Samuel Johnson wrote, “When a man knows he is to be hanged, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”. “I will walk before Yahweh in the land of the living” (v. 9). Some die young, and others die old. What does he have that Yahweh needs? “He hath inclined his ear” — stooped down, as it were, as you do to a sick person to catch his faintest word. I am your servant, the son of your handmaid” (v. 16). Graciousness and mercy (hannun) and just and righteous (saddiq) would seem to be polar opposites. 15 Precious in the sight of Yahweh is the death of his saints. Like Psalm 118, Psalm 116 is also a psalm of thanksgiving. To call upon the name of the Lord, then, means something more than appealing for relief from a crisis. Posted on Jan 18, 2006 by Beyond Today Editor Estimated reading time: 10 minutes. Such a vow could be, “Save me, Lord, and I will do (whatever).”. The Court of Priests (restricted to priests). In addition to these audio and video commentaries, you can review the available text commentaries. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. So the psalmist is describing his anguish at the thought of his impending death. The Hebrew word yah is an abbreviated form of Yahweh (the name of God, often translated “the Lord.”)  It is found twice in Exodus (15:2; 17:16), once in Isaiah (38:11), and a number of times in the Psalms. A cup is a vessel from which one drinks. All Rights Reserved. 2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. 6. Audio Commentary: Psalm 116 Psalm 116 1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. This is one of those passages in Psalms where the writer has enjoyed deliverance from peril by the hand of Jehovah. and Kahane, Ahuvia, The Oxford English-Hebrew Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1998), Fohrer, Georg, Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament (SCM Press, 2012), Freedman, David Noel (ed. 14 I will pay my vows to Yahweh, Yahweh not only heard the psalmist’s plea for mercy, but also did something to save him. I love the LORD, because He has heard my voice: The A wise counselor once told me, “We do what works for us.”  His point was that, when rewarded for our effort, we will continue to do the same thing again and again. ), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, 6 vol. There is a presence of Aramaisms in the psalm which has been interpreted by a few as evidence of a late date, though this is not definitive. I Love the LORD - I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. (1-9) His desire to be thankful. It is only natural, then, that the psalmist will pledge true loyalty to Yahweh. I will receive the cup of affliction; that cup, that bitter cup, which is sanctified to the saints, so that to them it is a cup of salvation; it is a means of spiritual health. He may have in mind ropes or nets that he has used to ensnare game. “Yahweh, truly I am your servant. and my feet from falling. Thanksgiving (Psalms 116:10-19) Redeemed Israel expresseth in this Psalm her love to Jehovah for His gracious deliverances, for answered prayer and for His salvation. There is a tone of great gladness of heart—perhaps we may detect some exuberance of spirit—in this outpouring. If so, the context of this Psalm is not sickness but treachery (cf. therefore I will call on him as long as I live. The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. The psalmist’s question is rhetorical. “Because he has turned his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live” (v. 2). 19 in the courts of Yahweh’s house, The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc. the pains of Sheol got a hold of me. “All men are liars.”. “Yahweh preserves the simple” (Hebrew: peti) (v. 6a). Psalm 116 . 4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul. Calling on the name of the Lord requires allegiance––commitment––faith. In ancient times, after the Passover feast, this psalm would be read immediately following the third cup of wine called “the cup of Salvation.” For them, this represented the image of a redeemed life provided by God. “Praise (Hebrew: hallel) Yah!” (Hebrew: yah) (v. 19b). This is a psalm of individual thanksgiving. Psalms 113 and 114 are read before the meal; Psalm 115-118 are read at its conclusion, while drinking the fourth cup of celebratory wine. The writer celebrates the deliverance from extreme perils by which he was favored, and pledges grateful and pious public acknowledgments. Psalms 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Psalm 116:12(HCSB) Verse Thoughts. The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. The old Greek Bible does this. He felt “the cords of death” and “the pains of Sheol” (v. 3). Return, O my soul! 8 For you have delivered my soul from death, Psalm 116 . I love the LORD, because He has heardMy voice and my supplications.Because He has inclined His ear to me,Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.a. Let others serve what masters they will, truly I am thy servant. But he is not only a servant, but the son of a servant––Yahweh’s handmaid. The proud person is likely to feel “self-made”––and thus feels no obligation to God or man. Jehovah guards the simple; I was brought low, and he saved me. my voice and my pleas for mercy. “I said in my haste, ‘All men are liars'” (v. 11). This verse stands in dramatic contrast to verse 10. The offering had to be eaten the same day. John Calvin comments on today’s passage that the distress of the psalmist “was removed from him, because he felt that God was indeed propitious towards him.” Knowing that the Lord has good things for His people and is eager to hear us is an encouragement for us to call out to Him, and His deliverance gives us further reason to love and worship Him. But God sent a man who had trained as a lifeguard to swim to me and pull me to shore. The word tahanun means a prayer of supplication or a plea for mercy. into thy rest; for Jehovah hath recompensed unto thee. The Court of the Gentiles (open to Gentiles). 4:13, but the MT is uncertain. The word peti means foolish or simpleminded. Psalm 116 is without a title in the Hebrew. Because thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine … What can the pardoned sinner, or what can those who have been delivered from trouble or distress, render to the Lord for his benefits? 7 Return to your rest, my soul, “I found trouble and sorrow” (v. 3c). In these verses, the psalmist paints a picture of desperation. We cannot in any way profit him. They are also precious because their lives, their faith, and their witness help to move this world toward the ideal that Yahweh wants it to be. Once a person is dead, he/she feels no more pain. 3  (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2016), Tate, Marvin E., Word Biblical Commentary: Psalms 51-100 (Dallas: Word Books, 1990), Waltner, James H., Believers Church Bible Commentary: Psalms (Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2006), Baker, Warren (ed. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths he will be glorified. Praise Yah! The psalm was translated into the Greek Septuagint (about 250BC) in Hellenistic Egypt. We have many reasons for loving the Lord, but are most affected by his loving-kindness when relieved out of deep distress. I didn’t know that I should swim parallel to the shore to get out of the rip tide. Psalm 116:8 Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament With "gracious" and "compassionate" is here associated, as in Psalm 112:4 , the term "righteous," which comprehends within itself everything that Jahve asserts concerning Himself in Exodus 34:6 . “Yahweh, I beg you, deliver my soul.”, “I love Yahweh, because he listens (Hebrew: sama) to my voice” (v. 1a). The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. Of Israelites ( open to ritually pure Israelite men ). ” and therefore.... Give thanks but the person ’ s will you will be glorified this context it obviously more! Let all such call upon him as long as I live pains ( Hebrew: saddiq ) v.! Affliction amply repaid by the same day the midst of you, Jerusalem pull me to.. Me ; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me ; I distress. Feet from falling 5a ). ” his service of me ; our is! 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