English Standard Version
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
King James Bible
The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
American Standard Version
Jehovah is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: Thou maintainest my lot.
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me.
English Revised Version
The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
Webster's Bible Translation
The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
Psalm 16:5 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The distich which contains the question and that containing the general answer are now followed by three tristichs, which work the answer out in detail. The description is continued in independent clauses, which, however, have logically the value of relative clauses. The perff. have the signification of abstract presents, for they are the expression of tried qualities, of the habitual mode of action, of that which the man, who is the subject of the question, never did and what consequently it is not his wont to do. רגל means to go about, whether in order to spie out (which is its usual meaning), or to gossip and slander (here, and the Piel in 2 Samuel 19:28; cf. רכל, רכיל). Instead בּלשׁנו we have על־לּשׁנו (with Dag. in the second ל, in order that it may be read with emphasis and not slurred over),
(Note: Vid., the rule for this orthophonic Dag. in the Luther. Zeitschrift, 1863, S. 413.)
because a word lies upon the tongue ere it is uttered, the speaker brings it up as it were from within on to his tongue or lips, Psalm 16:4; Psalm 50:16; Ezekiel 36:3. The assonance of לרעהוּ רעה is well conceived. To do evil to him who is bound to us by the ties of kindred and friendship, is a sin which will bring its own punishment. קרוב is also the parallel word to רע in Exodus 32:27. Both are here intended to refer not merely to persons of the same nation; for whatever is sinful in itself and under any circumstances whatever, is also sinful in relation to every man according to the morality of the Old Testament. The assertion of Hupfeld and others that נשׂא in conjunction with חרפּה means efferre equals effari, is opposed by its combination with על and its use elsewhere in the phrase נשׁא חרפה "to bear reproach" (Psalm 69:8). It means (since נשׁא is just as much tollere as ferre) to bring reproach on any one, or load any one with reproach. Reproach is a burden which is more easily put on than cast off; audacter calumniare, semper aliquid haeret.
In Psalm 15:4 the interpretation "he is little in his own eyes, despised," of which Hupfeld, rejecting it, says that Hitzig has picked it up out of the dust, is to be retained. Even the Targ., Saad., Aben-Ezra, Kimchi, Urbino (in his Grammar, אהל מועד) take נבזה בעיניו together, even though explaining it differently, and it is accordingly accented by Baer נמאס נבזה בּע יניו (Mahpach, Asla Legarme, Rebia magnum).
(Note: The usual accentuation בּעיניו נמאס נבזה forcibly separates בעיניו from נבזה to which according to its position it belongs. And Heidenheim's accentuation נבזה בעיניו נמאס is to be rejected on accentuological grounds, because of two like distinctives the second has always a less distinctive value than the first. We are consequently only left to the one given above. The MSS vary.)
God exalts him who is קטן בּעיניו, 1 Samuel 15:17. David, when he brought up the ark of his God, could not sufficiently degrade himself (נקל), and appeared שׁפל בּעניו, 2 Samuel 6:22. This lowliness, which David also confesses in Psalm 131:1-3, is noted here and throughout the whole of the Old Testament, e.g., Isaiah 57:15, as a condition of being well-pleasing before God; just as it is in reality the chief of all virtues. On the other hand, it is mostly translated either, according to the usual accentuation, with which the Beth of בעיניו is dageshed: the reprobate is despised in his eyes (Rashi, Hupf.), or in accordance with the above accentuation: despised in his eyes is the reprobate (Maurer, Hengst., Olsh., Luzzatto); but this would say but little, and be badly expressed. For the placing together of two participles without an article, and moreover of similar meaning, with the design of the one being taken as subject and the other as predicate, is to be repudiated simply on the ground of style; and the difference among expositors shows how equivocal the expression is.
On the other hand, when we translate it: "despicable is he in his own eyes, worthy to be despised" (Ges. 134, 1), we can appeal to Psalm 14:1, where השׁהיתוּ is intensified just in the same way by התעיבוּ, as נבזה is here by נמאס; cf. also Genesis 30:31; Job 31:23; Isaiah 43:4. The antithesis of Psalm 15:4 to Psalm 15:4 is also thus fully met: he himself seems to himself unworthy of any respect, whereas he constantly shows respect to others; and the standard by which he judges is the fear of God. His own fear of Jahve is manifest from the self-denying strictness with which he performs his vows. This sense of נשׁבּע להרע is entirely misapprehended when it is rendered: he swears to his neighbour (רע equals רע), which ought to be לרענוּ, or: he swears to the wicked (and keeps to what he has thus solemnly promised), which ought to be לרע; for to what purpose would be the omission of the elision of the article, which is extremely rarely (Psalm 36:6) not attended to in the classic style of the period before the Exile? The words have reference to Leviticus 5:4 : if any one swear, thoughtlessly pronouncing להרע או להיטיב, to do evil or to do good, etc. The subject spoken of is oaths which are forgotten, and the forgetting of which must be atoned for by an asham, whether the nature of the oath be something unpleasant and injurious, or agreeable and profitable, to the person making the vow. The retrospective reference of להרע to the subject is self-evident; for to injure another is indeed a sin, the vowing and performance of which, not its omission, would require to be expiated. On להרע equals להרע vid., Ges. 67, rem. 6. The hypothetical antecedent (cf. e.g., 2 Kings 5:13) is followed by ולא ימר is an apodosis. The verb המיר is native to the law of vows, which, if any one has vowed an animal in sacrifice, forbids both changing it for its money value (החליף) and exchanging it for another, be it טוב ברע או־רע בּטוב, Leviticus 27:10, Leviticus 27:33. The psalmist of course does not use these words in the technical sense in which they are used in the Law. Swearing includes making a vow, and לא ימר disavows not merely any exchanging of that which was solemnly promised, but also any alteration of that which was sworn: he does not misuse the name of God in anywise, לשּׁוא.
In Psalm 15:5 the psalmist also has a passage of the Tra before his mind, viz., Leviticus 25:37, cf. Exodus 22:24; Deuteronomy 23:20; Ezekiel 18:8. נתן בּנשׁך signifies to give a thing away in order to take usury (נשׁך( yrusu ekat ot r from נשׁך to bite, δάκνειν) for it. The receiver or demander of interest is משּׁיך, the one who pays interest נשׁוּך, the interest itself נשׁך. The trait of character described in Psalm 15:5 also recalls the language of the Mosaic law: שׁחד לא לקח, the prohibition Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19; and על־נקי, the curse Deuteronomy 27:25 : on account of the innocent, i.e., against him, to condemn him. Whether it be as a loan or as a gift, he gives without conditions, and if he attain the dignity of a judge he is proof against bribery, especially with reference to the destruction of the innocent. And now instead of closing in conformity with the description of character already given: such a man shall dwell, etc., the concluding sentence takes a different form, moulded in accordance with the spiritual meaning of the opening question: he who doeth these things shall never be moved (ימּוט fut. Niph.), he stands fast, being upheld by Jahve, hidden in His fellowship; nothing from without, no misfortune, can cause his overthrow.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
mine inheritance. [Heb.] my part
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
The LORD is my portion; I promise to keep your words.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong.
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
Not like these is he who is the portion of Jacob, for he is the one who formed all things, and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; the LORD of hosts is his name.
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