Psalm 16:6
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) The lines are fallen unto me.—The allusion is to the “measuring cords” by which allotments of land were measured, and they are said to “fall” possibly because after the measurement the portions were distributed by “lot” (Joshua 17:5; Micah 2:5).

Psalm 16:6. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places — In a sweet land, flowing with milk and honey, and, above all, blessed with the presence and knowledge of the true God. The allusion is the same as it was in the preceding verse, lines signifying the lot or tract of land which it was anciently the custom to divide by lines. Those have reason to speak in this language who have God for their portion, for they have a worthy portion, a goodly heritage. What can they have better? What can they desire more? Return unto thy rest, O my soul, and look no farther. “Gracious souls,”

says Henry, “though they still covet more of God, never covet more than God; but, being satisfied they possess his loving-kindness, are satisfied with it, and envy not any their carnal mirth and sensual pleasures and delights, but account themselves truly happy in what they have, and doubt not but to be completely happy in what they hope for. And those whose lot is cast, as David’s was, in a land of light, in a valley of vision, where God is known and worshipped, have, upon that account, reason to say, the lines are fallen to them in pleasant places, much more they that have not only the means but the end not only Immanuel’s land, but Immanuel’s love.”

16:1-11 This psalm begins with expressions of devotion, which may be applied to Christ; but ends with such confidence of a resurrection, as must be applied to Christ, and to him only. - David flees to God's protection, with cheerful, believing confidence. Those who have avowed that the Lord is their Lord, should often put themselves in mind of what they have done, take the comfort of it, and live up to it. He devotes himself to the honour of God, in the service of the saints. Saints on earth we must be, or we shall never be saints in heaven. Those renewed by the grace of God, and devoted to the glory of God, are saints on earth. The saints in the earth are excellent ones, yet some of them so poor, that they needed to have David's goodness extended to them. David declares his resolution to have no fellowship with the works of darkness; he repeats the solemn choice he had made of God for his portion and happiness, takes to himself the comfort of the choice, and gives God the glory of it. This is the language of a devout and pious soul. Most take the world for their chief good, and place their happiness in the enjoyments of it; but how poor soever my condition is in this world, let me have the love and favour of God, and be accepted of him; let me have a title by promise to life and happiness in the future state; and I have enough. Heaven is an inheritance; we must take that for our home, our rest, our everlasting good, and look upon this world to be no more ours, than the country through which is our road to our Father's house. Those that have God for their portion, have a goodly heritage. Return unto thy rest, O my soul, and look no further. Gracious persons, though they still covet more of God, never covet more than God; but, being satisfied of his loving-kindness, are abundantly satisfied with it: they envy not any their carnal mirth and delights. But so ignorant and foolish are we, that if left to ourselves, we shall forsake our own mercies for lying vanities. God having given David counsel by his word and Spirit, his own thoughts taught him in the night season, and engaged him by faith to live to God. Verses 8-11, are quoted by St. Peter in his first sermon, after the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Ac 2:25-31; he declared that David in them speaks concerning Christ, and particularly of his resurrection. And Christ being the Head of the body, the church, these verses may be applied to all Christians, guided and animated by the Spirit of Christ; and we may hence learn, that it is our wisdom and duty to set the Lord always before us. And if our eyes are ever toward God, our hearts and tongues may ever rejoice in him. Death destroys the hope of man, but not the hope of a real Christian. Christ's resurrection is an earnest of the believer's resurrection. In this world sorrow is our lot, but in heaven there is joy, a fulness of joy; our pleasures here are for a moment, but those at God's right hand are pleasures for evermore. Through this thy beloved Son, and our dear Saviour, thou wilt show us, O Lord, the path of life; thou wilt justify our souls now, and raise our bodies by thy power at the last day; when earthly sorrow shall end in heavenly joy, pain in everlasting happiness.The lines - The word used here refers to the "lines" employed in measuring and dividing land, Amos 7:17; 2 Samuel 8:2. Hence, the word comes to denote a portion of land that is "measured out" (or that is "surveyed off") to anyone - his possession or property; and hence, the word refers to the condition in life. The meaning here is, that in running out such a survey, "his" inheritance had been fixed in a pleasant and desirable part of the land.

Are fallen unto me - Referring to the appropriation of the different parts of the land by lot. The idea is, that the land was surveyed into distinct portions, and then that the part which fell to anyone was determined by lot. This was actually the case in distributing the land of Canaan, Numbers 26:55; Numbers 33:54; Numbers 36:2; Joshua 15-19.

In pleasant places - In a pleasant or desirable part of the land.

Yea, I have a goodly heritage - A good, a desirable inheritance. The meaning is, that he regarded it as a desirable heritage that he lived where the true God was known; where he enjoyed his favor and friendship.

5-7. God is the chief good, and supplies all need (De 10:9).

portion of mine inheritance and of my cup—may contain an allusion to the daily supply of food, and also to the inheritance of Levi (De 18:1, 2).

maintainest—or, drawest out my lot—enlargest it. Ps 16:7 carries out this idea more fully.

6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

7 I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.

Jesus found the way of obedience to lead into "pleasant places." Notwithstanding all the sorrows which marred his countenance, he exclaimed, "Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." It may seem strange, but while no other man was ever so thoroughly acquainted with grief, it is our belief that no other man ever experienced so much joy and delight in service, for no other served so faithfully and with such great results in view as his recompense of reward. The joy which was set before him must have sent some of its beams of splendour a-down the rugged places where he endured the cross, despising the shame, and must have made them in some respects pleasant places to the generous heart of the Redeemer. At any rate, we know that Jesus was well content with the blood-bought portion which the lines of electing love marked off as his spoil with the strong and his portion with the great. Therein he solaced himself on earth, and delights himself in heaven; and he asks no more "Goodly Heritage" than that his own beloved may be with him where he is and behold his glory. All the saints can use the language of this verse, and the more thoroughly they can enter into its contented, grateful, joyful spirit the better for themselves, and the more glorious to their God. Our Lord was poorer than we are, for he had not where to lay his head, and yet when he mentioned his poverty he never used a word of murmuring; discontented spirits are as unlike Jesus as the croaking raven is unlike the cooing dove. Martyrs have been happy in dungeons. "From the delectable orchard of the Leonine prison the Italian martyr dated his letter, and the presence of God made the gridiron of Laurence pleasant to him." Mr. Greenham was bold enough to say, "They never felt God's love, or tasted forgiveness of sins, who are discontented." Some divines think that discontent was the first sin, the rock which wrecked our race in paradise; certainly there can be no paradise where this evil spirit has power, its slime will poison all the flowers of the garden.

"I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel." Praise as well as prayer was presented to the Father by our Lord Jesus, and we are not truly his followers unless our resolve be, "I will bless the Lord." Jesus is called Wonderful, Counsellor, but as man he spake not of himself, but as his Father had taught him. Read in confirmation of this, John 7:16; John 8:28; and John 12:49, John 12:50; and the prophecy concerning him in Isaiah 11:2, Isaiah 11:3. It was our Redeemer's wont to repair to his Father for direction, and having received it, he blessed him for giving him counsel. It would be well for us if we would follow his example of lowliness, cease from trusting in our own understanding, and seek to be guided by the Spirit of God. "My reins also instruct me in the night seasons." By the reins understand the inner man, the affections and feelings. The communion of the soul with God brings to it an inner spiritual wisdom which in still seasons is revealed to itself. Our Redeemer spent many nights alone upon the mountain, and we may readily conceive that together with his fellowship with heaven, he carried on a profitable commerce with himself; reviewing his experience, forecasting his work, and considering his position. Great generals fight their battles in their own mind long before the trumpet sounds, and so did our Lord win our battle on his knees before he gained it on the cross. It is a gracious habit after taking counsel from above to take counsel within. Wise men see more with their eyes shut by night than fools can see by day with their eyes open. He who learns from God and so gets the seed, will soon find wisdom within himself growing in the garden of his soul; "Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand and when ye turn to the left." The night season which the sinner chooses for his sins is the hallowed hour of quiet when believers hear the soft still voices of heaven, and of the heavenly life within themselves.

The lines, i.e. my portion, which was measured with lines. Compare Joshua 17:5 Deu 32:9.

In pleasant places; in a sweet land flowing with milk and honey, and, above all, blessed with the presence, and knowledge, and service of the true God.

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places,.... The allusion is to the measuring of land by lines, and appropriating each part to the proper owners; and lines design the land that is measured out by them, and here the church and people of God, the chosen ones who are given to Christ, as his portion and inheritance; and the sense is, that Christ's portion lies among or in pleasant persons; such as were so to him, as he saw them in his Father's purposes and decrees; and as they are clothed in his righteousness, and washed in his blood; and as they are adorned with the graces of his Spirit; and as they will be as a bride adorned for him in the New Jerusalem state, for rather persons than places are here meant: though as the bounds of the saints' habitations are set, and they are known to Christ, so they were pleasant to him, and he took delight and rejoiced in the very spots of ground where he knew they would dwell, Proverbs 8:31; and the word "places" is supplied by Aben Ezra and Kimchi: but the former sense seems best, and agrees with what follows;

yea, I have a goodly heritage: so the Lord's people are called, 1 Peter 5:3; these are Christ's heritage, his peculiar treasure, his jewels, with whom he is greatly delighted and well pleased; more than men are with their gold and silver, houses and land, and their greatest wealth and substance: these persons are the inheritance with which he is contented and fully satisfied.

The {e} lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

(e) With which my portion is measured.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. The lines &c.] Portions of land measured by line and distributed by lot. The language is still figurative. Jehovah is to him as the choicest of possessions in the goodly land. (Psalm 16:11; Psalm 27:4; Psalm 90:17; Proverbs 3:17; Jeremiah 3:19.)

Yea &c.] The peculiar phrase in the original expresses his conscious sense of the beauty of his heritage.

Verse 6. - The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places. The "lines" which marked out the place of his abode (comp. Deuteronomy 32:9; Joshua 17:5). These had fallen to him "in pleasant places" - in Jerusalem and its near vicinity. Yea, I have a goodly heritage. Some explain "heritage" here by the "inheritance" of ver. 5. But the word used is different; and it is most natural to understand David's earthly heritage, or lot in life. This, he says, is "pleasing" or "delightsome" to him. Psalm 16:6The measuring lines (הבלים) are cast (Micah 2:5) and fall to any one just where and as far as his property is assigned to him; so that נפל חבל (Joshua 17:5) is also said of the falling to any one of his allotted portion of land. נעמים (according to the Masora defective as also in Psalm 16:11 נעמות) is a pluralet., the plural that is used to denote a unity in the circumstances, and a similarity in the relations of time and space, Ges. ֗108, 2, a; and it signifies both pleasant circumstances, Job 36:11, and, as here, a pleasant locality, Lat. amaena (to which נעמות in Psalm 16:11, more strictly corresponds). The lines have fallen to him in a charming district, viz., in the pleasurable fellowship of God, this most blessed domain of love has become his paradisaic possession. With אף he rises from the fact to the perfect contentment which it secures to him: such a heritage seems to him to be fair, he finds a source of inward pleasure and satisfaction in it. נחלת - according to Ew. 173, d, lengthened from the construct form נהלת (like נגינת Psalm 61:1); according to Hupfeld, springing from נחלתי (by the same apocope that is so common in Syriac, perhaps like אמרתּ Psalm 16:1 from אמרתּי) just like זמרת Exodus 15:2 - is rather, since in the former view there is no law for the change of vowel and such an application of the form as we find in Psalm 60:13 (Psalm 108:13) is opposed to the latter, a stunted form of נחלתה: the heritage equals such a heritage pleases me, lit., seems fair to me (שׁפר, cognate root ספר, צפר, cognate in meaning בשׂר, Arab. bs̆r, to rub, polish, make shining, intr. שׁפר to be shining, beautiful). עלי of beauty known and felt by him (cf. Esther 3:9 with 1 Samuel 25:36 טוב עליו, and the later way of expressing it Daniel 3:32). But since the giver and the gift are one and the same, the joy he has in the inheritance becomes of itself a constant thanksgiving to and blessing of the Giver, that He (אשׁר quippe qui) has counselled him (Psalm 73:24) to choose the one thing needful, the good part. Even in the night-seasons his heart keeps watch, even then his reins admonish him (יסּר, here of moral incitement, as in Isaiah 8:11, to warn). The reins are conceived of as the seat of the blessed feeling that Jahve is his possession (vid., Psychol. S. 268; tr. p. 316). He is impelled from within to offer hearth-felt thanks to his merciful and faithful God. He has Jahve always before him, Jahve is the point towards which he constantly directs his undiverted gaze; and it is easy for him to have Him thus ever present, for He is מימיני (supply הוּא, as in Psalm 22:29; Psalm 55:20; Psalm 112:4), at my right hand (i.e., where my right hand begins, close beside me), so that he has no need to draw upon his power of imagination. The words בּל־אמּוט, without any conjunction, express the natural effect of this, both in consciousness and in reality: he will not and cannot totter, he will not yield and be overthrown.
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