Psalm 16:9
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
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(9) Glory.—Heb., khabôd; but probably the poet wrote khabed, i.e., liver, or (comp. “reins” above, and the common use of the word “bowels”) heart. The LXX. paraphrase tongue. The passage was so quoted in Acts 2:25. (Comp. Psalm 57:8; Psalm 108:1.) “With the best member that I have” (Prayer Book).

Shall rest in hope.—This follows the Vulg. The LXX. also have “shall tabernacle in hope.” The true rendering, however, is shall rest in security. In “heart, soul, flesh,” the poet comprises the whole living man. (Comp. 1Thessalonians 5:23.) The psalmist feels that the body must share with the soul the immunity from evil which is insured by fellowship with God. Carried out to its full issue, the logical conclusion of this is the doctrine of immortality; but we must not see a conscious reference to it here.

Psalm 16:9. Therefore — Upon this ground and confidence; my heart is glad — I feel, not only a perfect satisfaction, but joy and triumph in my heart. And my glory — My tongue, as St. Peter explains it, Acts 2:26. For the Hebrews give the tongue the name of glory, Psalm 30:12; Psalm 57:8; Psalm 108:1, because it was bestowed upon us that we might thereby glorify God and because it is our glory, as being the instrument of expressing our thoughts by words, a privilege not vouchsafed to any of the inferior creatures; rejoiceth — Hebrew, יגל, jagel, exulteth; declares my inward joy. For this word signifies, not so much inward joy, as the outward demonstrations of it. My flesh also shall rest in hope — My body shall quietly and sweetly rest in the grave, to which I am hastening, in confident assurance of its not suffering corruption there, and of its resurrection to immortal life. The flesh, or body, is in itself but a dead lump of clay; yet hope is here ascribed to it figuratively, as it is to the brute creatures, Romans 8:19, because there is a sufficient cause and foundation for such hope, if it were capable of it, the good promised and expected being future and certain.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.Therefore my heart is glad - In view of this fact, that my confidence is in God alone, and my belief that he is my Protector and Friend. See the notes at Acts 2:26.

And my glory rejoiceth - The Septuagint translate this, "my tongue," and this translation is followed by Peter in his quotation of the passage in Acts 2:26. See the notes at that passage. The meaning here is, that whatever there was in him that was honorable, dignified, or glorious - all the faculties of his soul, as well as his heart - had occasion to rejoice in God. His whole nature - his undying soul - his exalted powers as he was made by God - all - all, found cause of exultation in the favor and friendship of God. The heart - the uuderstanding - the imagination - the whole immortal soul, found occasion for joy in God.

My flesh also - My body. Or, it may mean, his whole person, he himself, though the direct allusion is to the body considered as lying in the grave, Psalm 16:10. The language is such as one would use of himself when he reflected on his own death, and it is equivalent to saying, "I myself, when I am dead, shall rest in hope; my soul will not be left to abide in the gloomy place of the dead; nor will my body remain permanently in the grave under the power of corruption. In reference to my soul and my body - my whole nature - I shall descend to the grave in the hope of a future life."

Shall rest - Margin, "dwell confidently." The Hebrew is literally "shall dwell in confidence" or hope. The word here rendered "shall rest" means properly to let oneself down; to lie down, Numbers 9:17; Exodus 24:16; then, to lay oneself down, to lie down, as, for example, a lion lying down, Deuteronomy 33:20; or a people in tents, Numbers 24:2; and hence, to rest, to take rest, Judges 5:17; and then to abide, to dwell. Gesenius, Lexicon. Perhaps the sense here is that of "lying down," considered as lying in the grave, and the expression is equivalent to saying, "When I die I shall lie down in the grave in hope or confidence, not in despair. I shall expect to rise and live again."

In hope - The word used here means "trust, confidence, security." It is the opposite of despair. As used here, it would refer to a state of mind in which there was an expectation of living again, as distinguished from that state of mind in which it was felt that the grave was the end of man. What is particularly to be remarked here is, that this trust or confidence extended to the "flesh" as well as to the "soul;" and the language is such as would be naturally used by one who believed in the resurrection of the body. Language of this kind occurs elsewhere in the Old Testament, showing that the doctrine of the resurrection of the body was one to which the sacred writers were not strangers, and that although the doctrine was not as explicitly and formally stated in the Old Testament as in the New, yet that it was a doctrine which had been at some time communicated to man. See Isaiah 26:19, note; Daniel 12:2, note. As applicable to David, the language used here is expressive of his belief that "he" would rise again, or would not perish in the grave when his body died; as applicable to the Messiah, as applied by Peter Acts 2:26, it means that when "he" should die it would be with the hope and expectation of being raised again without seeing corruption. The language is such as to be applicable to both cases; and, in regard to the interpretation of the "language," it makes no difference whether it was supposed that the resurrection would occur before the body should moulder back to dust, or whether it would occur at a much more remote period, and long after it had gone to decay. In either case it would be true that it was laid in the grave "in hope."

9. glory—as heart (Ps 7:5), for self. In Ac 2:26, after the Septuagint, "my tongue" as "the glory of the frame"—the instrument for praising God.

flesh—If taken as opposed to soul (Ps 16:10), it may mean the body; otherwise, the whole person (compare Ps 63:1; 84:2).

rest in hope—(compare Margin).

Therefore; upon this ground and confidence. My heart; the proper seat of joy, and of all the affections.

My glory; either,

1. My soul, which isindeed the glory of a man. Or rather,

2. My tongue, which also is a man’s glory and privilege above all other living creatures, and the instrument of glorifying both God and man; and which is oft called a man’s glory, as Genesis 49:6 Psalm 30:12 57:8 108:1 149:5. And so this very word is translated Acts 2:26. And thus the distinction between heart, and glory, and

flesh is more certain and evident. Rejoiceth; or, exulteth, i.e. declares or expresseth my inward joy. For this verb signifies not so much internal joy, as the outward and visible demonstrations of it in words or gestures and carriages.

My flesh shall rest, i.e. my body shall quietly and sweetly rest in the grave, to which I am hastening.

In hope, i.e. in confident assurance of its incorruption there, and of its resurrection to a blessed and immortal life, as it is explained, Psalm 16:10,11. The flesh or body is in itself but a dead and senseless lump of clay, yet hope is here ascribed to it figuratively, as it is to the brute creatures, Romans 8:19, because there is matter and foundation for such hope, if it were capable of it, the good promised and expected being certainly future. Therefore my heart is glad,.... Because he had the Lord always in view; he was at his right hand, for his support and assistance, as well as because of what is expressed in the next verses: this is the same with rejoicing in spirit, Luke 10:21; it denotes an inward joy, and fulness of it, because of the Lord's presence with him; see Acts 2:28;

and my glory rejoiceth; meaning either his soul, which is the most glorious and noble part of man, as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech interpret it; or rather his tongue, as in Acts 2:26; the faculty of speaking in man being what gives him a superior glory and excellency to other creatures, and is that whereby he glorifies God; and so the word is often used in this book; see Psalm 30:12; and here the phrase designs Christ's glorifying God, and singing his praise with joyful lips, among his disciples, a little before his sufferings and death;

my flesh also shall rest in hope; in the grave, which, as it is a resting place to the members of Christ, from all their sorrow, toil, and labour here; so it was to Christ their head, who rested in it on the Jewish sabbath, that day of rest, and that berth "in safety" (t), as the word used may signify, and in of his resurrection from the dead, as follows.

(t) "in tuto", Tigurine version; "secure", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "in confidence", Ainsworth.

Therefore {h} my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

(h) That is, I rejoice both in body and in soul.

9. my glory] i.e. my soul. See note on Psalm 7:5. The LXX renders freely my tongue.

my flesh also shall rest in hope] So the Vulg., insurer et caro mea requiescet in spe. Beautiful and suggestive as this rendering is, it is inaccurate and misleading, and must be replaced by that of R.V.

My flesh also shall dwell in safety (marg. securely).

Cp. Jer., et caro mea habitavit [v.l. habitabit] confidenter.

Dwell in safety is a phrase repeatedly used of a life of undisturbed security in the promised land. See Deuteronomy 33:12; Deuteronomy 33:28; Proverbs 1:33; Jeremiah 23:6; Jeremiah 33:16. Fellowship with Jehovah guarantees outward security as well as inward joy. The words do not refer, primarily at least, to the rest of the body in the grave in the hope of a joyful resurrection. Flesh does not denote the dead corpse, but the living organism in and through which the soul works: together with heart and soul it makes up the whole man (Psalm 63:1; Psalm 73:26; Psalm 84:2; cp. 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

9–11. The blessed outcome of this fellowship is joy, confidence, progress.Verse 9. - Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth. The thought of God's continual presence at his right hand causes David's "heart" to be "glad," and his "glory" - i.e. his soul, or spirit (Genesis 49:6), man's true glory - to rejoice. My flesh also shall rest in hope. His "flesh" - his corporeal nature, united closely with his "heart" and "spirit" - rests, and will rest, secure, confident that God will watch over it, and make the whole complex man - body, soul, and spirit - to "dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8). The Psalm begins with a prayer that is based upon faith, the special meaning of which becomes clear from Psalm 16:10 : May God preserve him (which He is able to do as being אל, the Almighty, able to do all things), who has no other refuge in which he has hidden and will hide but Him. This short introit is excepted from the parallelism; so far therefore it is monostichic, - a sigh expressing everything in few words. And the emphatic pronunciation שׁמרני shāmereni harmonises with it; for it is to be read thus, just as in Psalm 86:2; Psalm 119:167 shāmerah (cf. on Isaiah 38:14 עשׁקה), according to the express testimony of the Masora.

(Note: The Masora observes גרשין בספרא ב, i.e., twice in the Psalter שׁמרה is in the imperative, the o being displaced by Gaja (Metheg) and changed into aa, vid., Baer, Torath Emeth p. 22f. In spite of this the grammarians are not agreed as to the pronunciation of the imperative and infinitive forms when so pointed. Luzzatto, like Lonzano, reads it shŏmereni.)

The text of the next two verses (so it appears) needs to be improved in two respects. The reading אמרתּ as addressed to the soul (Targ.), cf. Lamentations 3:24., is opposed by the absence of any mention of the thing addressed. It rests upon a misconception of the defective form of writing, אמרתּ (Ges. 44, rem. 4). Hitzig and Ewald (190, d) suppose that in such cases a rejection of the final vowel, which really occurs in the language of the people, after the manner of the Aramaic (אמרת or אמרת), lies at the bottom of the form. And it does really seem as though the frequent occurrence of this defective form (ידעת equals ידעתי Psalm 140:13; Job 42:2, בנית equals בניתי 1 Kings 8:48, עשׂית equals עשׂיתי Ezekiel 16:59, cf. 2 Kings 18:20, אמרת now pointed אמרת, with Isaiah 36:5) has its occasion at least in some such cutting away of the i, peculiar to the language of the common people; although, if David wrote it so, אמרת is not intended to be read otherwise than it is in Psalm 31:15; Psalm 140:7.

(Note: Pinsker's view (Einleit. S. 100-102), who considers פּעלתּ to have sprung from פּללת as the primary form of the 1 pers. sing., from which then came פּלתּי and later still פּלתּי, is untenable according to the history of the language.)

First of all David gives expression to his confession of Jahve, to whom he submits himself unconditionally, and whom he sets above everything else without exception. Since the suffix of אדני (properly domini mei equals domine mi, Genesis 18:3, cf. Psalm 19:2), which has become mostly lost sight of in the usage of the language, now and then retains its original meaning, as it does indisputably in Psalm 35:23, it is certainly to be rendered also here: "Thou art my Lord" and not "Thou art the Lord." The emphasis lies expressly on the "my." It is the unreserved and joyous feeling of dependence (more that of the little child, than of the servant), which is expressed in this first confession. For, as the second clause of the confession says: Jahve, who is his Lord, is also his benefactor, yea even his highest good. The preposition על frequently introduces that which extends beyond something else, Genesis 48:22 (cf. Psalm 89:8; Psalm 95:3), and to this passage may be added Genesis 31:50; Genesis 32:12; Exodus 35:22; Numbers 31:8; Deuteronomy 19:9; Deuteronomy 22:6, the one thing being above, or co-ordinate with, the other. So also here: "my good, i.e., whatever makes me truly happy, is not above Thee," i.e., in addition to Thee, beside Thee; according to the sense it is equivalent to out of Thee or without Thee (as the Targ., Symm., and Jerome render it), Thou alone, without exception, art my good. In connection with this rendering of the על, the בּל (poetic, and contracted from בּלי), which is unknown to the literature before David's time, presents no difficulty. As in Proverbs 23:7 it is short for בּל־תּהיה. Hengstenberg remarks, "Just as Thou art the Lord! is the response of the soul to the words I am the Lord thy God (Exodus 20:2), so Thou only art my salvation! is the response to Thou shalt have no other gods beside Me (על־פּני)." The psalmist knows no fountain of true happiness but Jahve, in Him he possesses all, his treasure is in Heaven.

Such is his confession to Jahve. But he also has those on earth to whom he makes confession. Transposing the w we read:

ולקדושׁים אשׁר בּארץ

המּה אדּירי כל־חפצי־בם׃

While Diestel's alteration: "to the saints, who are in his land, he makes himself glorious, and all his delight is in them," is altogether strange to this verse: the above transfer of the Waw

(Note: Approved by Kamphausen and by the critic in the Liter. Blatt of the Allgem. Kirchen-Zeitung 1864 S. 107.)

suffices to remove its difficulties, and that in a way quite in accordance with the connection. Now it is clear, that לקדושׁים, as has been supposed by some, is the dative governed by אמרתּי, the influence of which is thus carried forward; it is clear what is meant by the addition אשׁר בארץ, which distinguishes the object of his affection here below from the One above, who is incomparably the highest; it is clear, as to what המּה defines, whereas otherwise this purely descriptive relative clause אשׁר בּארץ המּה (which von Ortenberg transposes into אשׁר ארצה בהמּה) appears to be useless and surprises one both on account of its redundancy (since המה is superfluous, cf. e.g., 2 Samuel 7:9; 2 Samuel 2:18) and on account of its arrangement of the words (an arrangement, which is usual in connection with a negative construction, Deuteronomy 20:15; 2 Chronicles 8:7, cf. Genesis 9:3; Ezekiel 12:10); it is clear, in what sense אדירי alternates with קדושׁים, since it is not those who are accounted by the world as אדיריס on account of their worldly power and possessions (Psalm 136:18, 2 Chronicles 23:20), but the holy, prized by him as being also glorious, partakers of higher glory and worthy of higher honour; and moreover, this corrected arrangement of the verse harmonises with the Michtam character of the Psalm. The thought thus obtained, is the thought one expected (love to God and love to His saints), and the one which one is also obliged to wring from the text as we have it, either by translating with De Welte, Maurer, Dietrich and others: "the saints who are in the land, they are the excellent in whom I have all my delight," - a Waw apodoseos, with which one could only be satisfied if it were והמּה (cf. 2 Samuel 15:34) - or: "the saints who are in the land and the glorious-all my delight is in them." By both these interpretations, ל would be the exponent of the nom. absol. which is elsewhere detached and placed at the beginning of a sentence, and this l of reference (Ew. 310, a) is really common to every style (Numbers 18:8; Isaiah 32:1; Ecclesiastes 9:4); whereas the ל understood of the fellowship in which he stands when thus making confession to Jahve: associating myself with the saints (Hengst.), with (von Lengerke), among the saints (Hupf., Thenius), would be a preposition most liable to be misapprehended, and makes Psalm 16:3 a cumbersome appendage of Psalm 16:2. But if l be taken as the Lamed of reference then the elliptical construct ואדּירי, to which הארץ ought to be supplied, remains a stumbling-block not to be easily set aside. For such an isolation of the connecting form from its genitive cannot be shown to be syntactically possible in Hebrew (vid., on 2 Kings 9:17, Thenius, and Keil); nor are we compelled to suppose in this instance what cannot be proved elsewhere, since כל־חפצי־בם is, without any harshness, subordinate to ואדירי as a genitival notion (Ges. 116, 3). And still in connection with the reading ואדירי, both the formation of the sentence which, beginning with ל, leads one to expect an apodosis, and the relation of Psalm 16:3 to Psalm 16:2, according to which the central point of the declaration must lie just within כל־חפצי־בם, are opposed to this rendering of the words ואדירי כל־חפצי־כם.

Thus, therefore, we come back to the above easy improvement of the text. קושׁים are those in whom the will of Jahve concerning Israel, that it should be a holy nation (Exodus 19:6; Deuteronomy 7:6), has been fulfilled, viz., the living members of the ecclesia sanctorum in this world (for there is also one in the other world, Psalm 89:6). Glory, δόξα, is the outward manifestation of holiness. It is ordained of God for the sanctified (cf. Romans 8:30), whose moral nobility is now for the present veiled under the menial form of the עני; and in the eyes of David they already possess it. His spiritual vision pierces through the outward form of the servant. His verdict is like the verdict of God, who is his all in all. The saints, and they only, are the excellent to him. His whole delight is centred in them, all his respect and affection is given to them. The congregation of the saints is his Chephzibah, Isaiah 62:4 (cf. 2 Kings 21:1).

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