Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
Ps 116:1-19. The writer celebrates the deliverance from extreme perils by which he was favored, and pledges grateful and pious public acknowledgments.
1, 2. A truly grateful love will be evinced by acts of worship, which calling on God expresses (Ps 116:13; Ps 55:16; 86:7; compare Ps 17:6; 31:2).
Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
3, 4. For similar figures for distress see Ps 18:4, 5.
gat hold upon me—Another sense ("found") of the same word follows, as we speak of disease finding us, and of our finding or catching disease.
Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
5-8. The relief which he asked is the result not of his merit, but of God's known pity and tenderness, which is acknowledged in assuring himself (his "soul," Ps 11:1; 16:10) of rest and peace. All calamities [Ps 116:8] are represented by death, tears, and falling of the feet (Ps 56:13).
The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
9. walk before the Lord—act, or live under His favor and guidance (Ge 17:1; Ps 61:7).
land of the living—(Ps 27:13).
I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
10, 11. Confidence in God opposed to distrust of men, as not reliable (Ps 68:8, 9). He speaks from an experience of the result of his faith.
I said in my haste, All men are liars.
11. in my haste—literally, "terror," or "agitation," produced by his affliction (compare Ps 31:22).
What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
12-14. These are modes of expressing acts of worship (compare Ps 116:4; Ps 50:14; Jon 2:9).
I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
13. the cup of salvation—the drink offering which was part of the thank offering (Nu 15:3-5).
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
14. now—(compare Ps 115:2). "Oh, that (I may do it)" in the presence, &c.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
15, 16. By the plea of being a homeborn servant, he intimates his claim on God's covenant love to His people.
O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
17-19. An ampler declaration of his purpose, designating the place, the Lord's house, or earthly residence in Jerusalem.
I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.