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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary
Psalms 116

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 116:1 I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice [and] my supplications.

Ver. 1. I love the Lord] Heb. I love, because the Lord hath heard, &c., Vex abrupta et ecliptica, an abrupt concise ecliptical expression, betokening an inexpressible, inconceivable passion, or rather pang of love, such as intercepteth his voice for a time, till recollecting himself, and recovering his speech, he becometh able to tell us, not only that he loveth, or is well satisfied ( Sat habeo. Tremel.), but also why he loveth, and is all on a light flame, as it were, viz.

Because he hath heard my voice] Though but an articulate incondite voice: Lamentations 3:56, "Thou hast heard my voice; hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry."

And my supplications] My prayers for grace, when better formed and methodized.


Verse 2

Psalms 116:2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon [him] as long as I live.

Ver 2. Because he hath inclined his ear] As loth to lose any part of my prayer, though never so weakly uttered; therefore be shall have my custom; Psalms 65:2, "O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come."

As long as I live] Heb. In my days, that is, say some, while I have a day to live. Others sense it thus, in the time of my affliction, {confer Psalms 137:7 Lamentations 1:21} which by the word days he noteth to be of long continuance.


Verse 3

Psalms 116:3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.

Ver. 3. The sorrows of death compassed me] See Psalms 18:4-5, Pictura poetica ingentium periculorum. Sorrows, or pangs, and those deadly ones, and these compassed me as a bird in a snare, or a beast in a gin.

The pains of hell (or the griefs of the grave) gat hold] Heb. found me, as Numbers 32:23.

I found trouble and sorrow] Straits inextricable cause sorrows inexplicable. The word signifieth such sorrow as venteth itself by sighing, Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 51:11.


Verse 4

Psalms 116:4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.

Ver. 4. Then called I upon the name of the Lord] That strong tower, whereunto the righteous run and are safe, Proverbs 18:10. Others have other refuges, the witch of Endor, the god of Ekron, the arm of flesh, &c.

O Lord, I beseech thee] Ana, blandientis et deprecantis particula. The psalmist here hath a sweet way of insinuating, and getting within the Lord; which, oh that we could skill of ( Sic et Nαι, Philemon 1:20, Revelation 1:7).

Deliver my soul] q.d. It is my soul, Lord, my precious soul, "that is sought after; oh, deliver my soul, from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog," Psalms 22:20.


Verse 5

Psalms 116:5 Gracious [is] the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God [is] merciful.

Ver. 5. Gracious is the Lord, &c.] Gracious God is said to be, and merciful, that we despair not; righteous also, that we presume not. Or, faithful in performing his promises, as 1 John 1:9, and this was David’s comfort amidst his sorrows.


Verse 6

Psalms 116:6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.

Ver. 6. The Lord preserveth, the simple] Heb. the persuasible (opposed to the scorner, Proverbs 19:25), the plain hearted (opposed to the guileful, 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 11:3, Romans 16:19), the destitute of human help, that committeth himself to God, and patiently resteth on him for support and help, Psalms 102:1-17.

I was brought low] Or, drawn dry; I was at a great under, at a low ebb; I was exhausted or emptied as a pond, strengthless, succourless, clean gone in a manner.

And he helped me] The knowledge that David had of God’s goodness was experimental. See the like Romans 8:2. A carnal man knoweth God’s excellencies and will revealed in his word only, as we know far countries by maps; but an experienced Christian, as one that hath himself been long there, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16.


Verse 7

Psalms 116:7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.

Ver. 7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul] The psalmist had been at a great deal of unrest, and much off the hooks, as we say; now, having prayed (for prayer hath vim pacativum, a pacifying property), he calleth his soul to rest, and rocketh it asleep in a spiritual security. Oh, learn this holy art; acquaint thyself with God, acquiesce in him, and be at peace; so shall good be done unto thee, Job 22:21 Sis Sabbathum Christi (Luther).

For the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee] Of Sertorius it is said, that he performed his promises with words only. And of the Emperor Pertinax, that he was magis blandus quam beneticus, rather kind spoken than beneficial to any; not so the Almighty, Hinc dictus est χρηστολογος.


Verse 8

Psalms 116:8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, [and] my feet from falling.

Ver. 8. For thou hast delivered my soul, &c.] The better to excite himself to true thankfulness he entereth into a particular enumeration of God’s benefits. It is not enough that we acknowledge what God has done for us in the lump, and by wholesale. See, Exodus 18:8, how Moses brancheth out God’s benefits. So must we, rolling them as sugar, and making our utmost of them.


Verse 9

Psalms 116:9 I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.

Ver. 9. I will walk before the Lord] Indesinenter ambulabo. I will not only take a turn or two with God, go three or four steps with him, &c., but walk constantly and in all duties before him, with him, after him. Hypocrites do not walk with God, but halt with him, they follow him as a dog doth his master, till he comes by a carrion; they will launch no farther out into the main than they may be sure to return at pleasure safe again to the shore.

In the land] i.e. Here in this world, called also "the light of the living," Psalms 56:13; Psalms 52:5, Job 28:13.


Verse 10

Psalms 116:10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:

Ver. 10. I believed, therefore have I spoken] Fundamentum et fulcrum verae spei est fides viva. Hope is the daughter of faith, but such as is a staff to her aged mother; and will produce a bold and wise profession of the truth before men, as also earnest prayer to God. It is as the cork upon the net, though the lead on the one side sink it down, yet the cork on the other keeps it up. Some translate the words thus: "I believed when I said I am greatly afflicted: I believed when I said in my haste all men are liars." q.d. Though I have had my offs and my ons, though I have passed through several frames of heart and tempers of soul in my trials, yet I believed still, I never let go my hold, my grip of God, in any perturbation.


Verse 11

Psalms 116:11 I said in my haste, All men [are] liars.

Ver. 11. I said in my haste] In my heat, trepidation, concussion, outburst. Saints may have such, as being but men, subject to like passions; and as meeting with many molestations, Satanic and secular; and left sometimes to themselves by God, as was good Hezekiah, for their trial and exercise. The sea is not so calm in summer, but hath its commotions; the mountain so firm, but may be moved with an earthquake. Dogs in a chase bark sometimes at their own masters; so do men in a passion let fly at their best friends. When the taste is vitiated it mistastes. When there is a suffusion in the eye (as in case of the jaundice) it apprehends colours like itself. So here: Abraham felt the motion of trepidation; meek Moses was overangry at Meribah; so was Job, Jonah, Jeremiah, &c. Ira comes of ire, say grammarians; because an angry man goes out of himself, off from his reason; and when pacified, he is said redire ad se, to return to himself.

All men are liars] Prophets and all. Samuel hath deluded me, I doubt, in promising me the kingdom, which I shall never come to. See 1 Samuel 27:1. Some make the meaning to be thus, What can I hope for, seeing every man betrayeth me, and that I can trust nobody? The truth is, that every man is a liar, either by imposture, and so in purpose, or by impotence, and so in the event, deceiving those that rely on him, Psalms 62:9.


Verse 12

Psalms 116:12 What shall I render unto the LORD [for] all his benefits toward me?

Ver. 12. What shall I render unto the Lord] This he speaketh as one in an ecstasy ( Amor Dei est ecstaticus), or in a deep demur what to do best for so good a God. Such self-deliberations are very useful and acceptable, and thereunto are requisite, 1. Recognition of God’s favours. 2. Estimation. 3. Retribution, as here.


Verse 13

Psalms 116:13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

Ver. 13. I will take the cup of salvation] Calicem salutum, vel omnis salutis (Vatab. Trem.). As in the drink offerings, or as at the feast after the peace offerings. See 1 Chronicles 16:3. Wherein the feast maker was wont to take a festival great cup; and in lifting it up to declare the occasion of that feast; and then, in testimony of thankfulness, to drink thereof to the guests, that they in order might pledge him. This was called a cup of salvation, or a health cup, but not in the drunkard’s sense. To this the apostle seemeth to allude, 1 Corinthians 10:17, when he calleth the sacramental cup the cup of blessing. Jerome rendereth it, Calicem Iesu accipiam.

And call upon the name of the Lord] Pray unto him, and so praise him. Or, I will proclaim and preach his praises, as 1 Peter 2:9.


Verse 14

Psalms 116:14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.

Ver. 14. I will pay my vows] This word "pay" importeth that vows lawfully made are due debt; and debt, till paid, is a disquieting thing to an honest mind, Romans 13:8. The saints, in distress especially, used to make their prayers with vows. Hence prayer is in Greek called προσευχη, a service with vows. Mr Philpot, martyr, first coming into Smithfield to suffer, kneeled down, and said, I will pay my vows in thee, O Smithfield (Acts & Mon.).


Verse 15

Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.

Ver. 15. Precious in the sight of the Lord] Rara, chara, God doth not often suffer his saints to be slain, Psalms 37:32-33; or, if he do, he will make inquisition for every drop of that precious blood, Psalms 9:12. See Psalms 72:14. {See Trapp on "Psalms 72:14"} This David delivereth here as a truth that he had experimented.


Verse 16

Psalms 116:16 O LORD, truly I [am] thy servant; I [am] thy servant, [and] the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.

Ver. 16. O Lord, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant] Euge, O Iehovah, &c., by a real and a heavenly compliment; thus he insinuateth, and, therefore, promiseth praise to God, Psalms 116:17, and safety to himself, according to that, Psalms 119:94, "I am thine, save me."

And the son of thine handmaid] That is, of Ruth, say the Rabbis; or rather of his immediate mother, a good woman, and haply better than his father, Quia religiosior patre (Genebrard); as Manoah’s wife had a stronger faith than himself; and Priscilla is named before her husband Aquila.

And the son of thine handmaid] Not born abroad, and bought or brought into thy family; but tuus quasi vernaeulus, et a ventre ad serviendum dispositus, born and bred up to thy service, of a child little.

Thou hast loosed my bonds] Of affliction, of corruption, and made me Christ’s freeman, brought me into the glorious liberty of thine own children.


Verse 17

Psalms 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Ver. 17. I will offer to thee, &c.] I will perform to thee not ceremonial service only, but moral and spiritual; such as thou shalt accept through Christ, Colossians 3:17.

And will call, &c.] See Psalms 116:13.


Verse 18

Psalms 116:18 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,

Ver. 18. I will pay] See Psalms 116:14.

Now] Vows were to be paid without either diminution or delays, Deuteronomy 23:21; Deuteronomy 23:23. And herein Jacob (who is by the Hebrews called Votorum Pater, the father of vows) was too short; for it was long ere he went up to Bethel.

In the presence of all his people] For good example’ sake. This also was prince-like, Ezekiel 46:10, the king’s seat in the sanctuary was open, that all might see him there, 2 Kings 11:14; 2 Kings 23:3.


Verse 19

Psalms 116:19 In the courts of the LORD’S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

Ver. 19. In the courts of the Lord’s house] In coetu sacro; in the great congregation, Psalms 22:25; Psalms 35:18, where there is a more powerful, lively, and effectual working of the Spirit, Psalms 89:7, Hebrews 4:1, 1 Corinthians 14:24.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 116:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-116.html. 1865-1868.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, August 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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