Psalm 16

Psalm 16  •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Christ comes in to give its full character and hope to faith. In this He trusts in Jehovah, and identifies Himself with the excellent of the earth, sets Jehovah before His face.
Here first Christ formally takes His place in the midst of Israel, and then, note, it is distinctly and definitely with the godly Remnant. Thus He enters into every sorrow they can go through, even to death. He enters into them, but it is to their state in general that the Psalms refer, though many things have had a literal fulfillment in Him as so entering into their sorrows. There was integrity in them, and this was put there by His Spirit (and so all feeling according to it) provided by His Spirit here, but they were guilty, and that there might be peace through deliverance, He charges Himself with it—but this in death. Compare Isa. 49 and John 15, and see the connection with Israel in Psa. 22:4. Here we have the path of life. Psa. 32 the forgiven one; Psa. 22 the forsaken One.
This Psalm (16) places Christ fully (though perfect) amongst men-His walk of righteousness in owning Jehovah. The living God takes up His cause, so that death is not to have dominion over Him.
The Lord assumes fellowship with the saints, a most blessed truth; i.e., with the Jewish Remnant (we know it on higher ground, see John 17). Though commencing here in exhibition, stated for us in John 17, because to us consequent de facto on resurrection, and by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, and on the ground "I am no more in the world"—here, though the principle of fellowship be the same, He is in the world; yet He comes in this marvelous self-abasing, yet exalted purpose. In Psa. 17 it is in contrast with the world, but illustrated in resurrection, and in consequence, in Psa. 18, the resurrection is applied to all the history of the Jews from beginning to end.
The expression of His place conjointly with the Jews (where we see its carrying on into the Church) as reasoned on in Heb. 2 is seen in verse I of this Psalm. The prominence of “Jehovah" is not sufficiently noticed here—Jehovah, God over all, was the personal God of the Jews, in covenant trust as of a known character, and relationship name, as Father to us more fully.
I should, from the Hebrew, translate this: "Thou hast said unto the Lord" (Jehovah) "Thou art my Lord; my goodness reacheth not up to thee; to the saints that are in the earth, and the excellent, in them is all my delight"; compare Matt. 19:1717And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:17), and Luke 18:1919And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. (Luke 18:19), given in both as identified with Jew and Gentile, with the suitable differences, and the first associate promises in direct connection with the matter of this Psalm. We may also compare John 17. I do not think it means morally excellent; compare the Septuagint.
" Thou hast said unto Jehovah " compare Psa. 91, where the recognition of this by Messiah, i.e., His identification with Jewish sorrows and interests, as the secret place of the Most High, puts Him under the shadow of the Almighty-the two Abrahamic names of God. So here “Preserve me, 0 God." "Thou hast said unto Jehovah," the Jewish Lord, "Thou art, my Lord."
The translation is quite wrong; it should be as above. “[Thou hast said] unto the saints that are in the earth."
“The sorrows of those that hasten after another” not Jehovah; “Jehovah is the portion of mine inheritance."
He has a heritage, receives counsel of the Lord, and is instructed in the secret watches of the night, by thoughts as a man learning obedience, so He sets Jehovah before Him as a righteous Jew, and He will not be moved, being perfect in all this. Resurrection is His hope, and His right hand where are pleasures for evermore.
The close of the Psalm shows that having taken the portion of the afflicted, nothing was His hope here but God, but this portion goes on here to death-presence with Him in resurrection is His joy and crown. So ours with Him!
10. Is it quite certain that “Thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol," refers to the resurrection? It is not quoted in Acts 13. In this case, Paradise would not be Sheol at all. Christ went where we go on dying, like the thief. The word is Lo-taazov (Thou will not forsake); this may surely mean, He went there, and left it directly, but it might mean He would not, if others had, have His place there. The resurrection is quite sufficient to meet the expression; the only question is if it be the true explanation. I do not know that Acts 2:2727Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Acts 2:27) affects the question, unless verse 31, that seems to decide; but I am not quite certain.
That Christ went down fully into the place of death is quite certain, only did His soul go up thereon immediately to Paradise?—Paradise not being Hades.
As far as I see, always in the New Testament, and generally, it may be always in the Old, it is the expression of the power of death, the place of the departed where death still reigns over them. Capernaum goes down “to Hades." The rich man in torment is in Hades. Hades delivered up its dead in the second resurrection; Rev. 1:1818I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:18) and 6: 8 would not alter this idea.
In Job 14, he clearly does not go beyond this present world of sight, and in the bitterness of his spirit has no sense of resurrection. The tree sprouts now and visibly in this present world-man does not, and in fact never will, unless miraculously as Lazarus; death has wholly passed upon him as an inhabitant of this world—a child of Adam. Such life he never recovers. Job was right, only he did not see beyond, nor here know Him who is the resurrection and the life. But Christ never rose according to His previous life in this world, though according to the divine power of it. Psa. 19 may go farther, and I think there is, by the Spirit, a mysterious looking out to Christ's resurrection as victory over dust, but not without hope of present deliverance, in Job. Prov. 14:3232The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death. (Proverbs 14:32) is very remarkable as to their state in those days-vague but showing the effect of grace, when life and incorruptibility were not brought to light.
It is to be remarked that in the judgment on Adam, only his present temporal condition is formally announced; " He drove the man," etc., may give far more to a spiritual mind, but the judgment on all three even is limited to this earth. Sheol itself was a proof that something more was seen, though all was dark there, for it supposed living souls after death. Kore and his company go to Sheol.
There is a note in Delitsch, p. 412, which treats this point all falsely, as is the text he quotes, but he seems to say that Bengel and two moderns take it as I have said above, but all is discussed here on the ground of 1 Peter 3:1818For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1 Peter 3:18), not on Acts 2:2727Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Acts 2:27). Of 1 Peter 3:1818For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1 Peter 3:18), I reject the whole interpretation, save that I am satisfied zoopoietheis (made alive, quickened) is resurrection.
Thus the condition of Messiah in the midst of the Jews is entered into, as we have seen, but the great secret of resurrection, which is the center of all economy, is not brought out till this Psalm. Psa. 8, to us, supposes it, but it is facts as regards inheritance, not the passage as regards means and principles. Here, i.e., in Psa. 16 the resurrection is introduced, but this and the two following Psalms contain the general history of what conducted to, and the history and effects of resurrection. One with the godly Jews (Psa. 16), He is brought there, then (Psa. 17) what is the world; Psa. 18 what the history of the Jews founded on this, from the beginning and at the end. Psa. 19 gives the two great general principles of judgment, because of testimony-Creation and the Law. Psa. 20 gives the specialty of Christ's position viewed by the Spirit in the Remnant's piety. It embraces, with Psa. 21, all the relation produced between Jehovah and the people by Christ in what He did or is. Psa. 22 gives the details of suffering necessary to this end. Blessed be He!
This Psalm then is the Beloved's placing Himself in association with His people, and His hope as connected with them. It is His word in His human nature as Christ, and then the Spirit's address as in Him—the divine Spirit—the word of the Son, as a divine Person, by the Spirit to Christ, i.e., the communication to His human nature, giving it the ground of its assurance when taking all the circumstances of the Beloved; and hence Peter says " Because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." We shall see the developments of it in the following Psalm, and His supplication, on this ground, is fully exhibited in Psa. 22, as see verse 20.
This is the answer of the human nature, under the trial of His soul that is, to the very truth contained in this; the results are then fully stated.