Psalms 116
Thanksgiving to God Who Saves from Death
1I love the Lord, who listened
to my voice in supplication,
2Who turned an ear to me
on the day I called.
3I was caught by the cords of death;#The cords of death: death is personified here; it attempts to capture the psalmist with snares and nets, cf. Ps 18:6.#Ps 18:5; Jon 2:3.
the snares of Sheol had seized me;
I felt agony and dread.
4Then I called on the name of the Lord,
“O Lord, save my life!”
5Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
yes, our God is merciful.#Ex 34:6.
6The Lord protects the simple;
I was helpless, but he saved me.
7Return, my soul, to your rest;
the Lord has been very good to you.#Ps 13:6.
8For my soul has been freed from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.#Ps 56:14; Is 25:8; Rev 21:4.
9I shall walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.#The land of the living: the phrase elsewhere is an epithet of the Jerusalem Temple (cf. Ps 27:13; 52:5; Is 38:11). Hence the psalmist probably refers to being present to God in the Temple.#Ps 27:13; 56:14; Is 38:11.
10#I kept faith, even when I said: even in the days of despair, the psalmist did not lose all hope.I kept faith, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted!”#2 Cor 4:13.
11I said in my alarm,
“All men are liars!”#Ps 12:2.
12How can I repay the Lord
for all the great good done for me?
13I will raise the cup of salvation#The cup of salvation: probably the libation of wine poured out in gratitude for rescue, cf. Ex 25:29; Nm 15:5, 7, 10.
and call on the name of the Lord.
14I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15#Dear in the eyes of the Lord: the meaning is that the death of God’s faithful is grievous to God, not that God is pleased with the death, cf. Ps 72:14. In Wis 3:5–6, God accepts the death of the righteous as a sacrificial burnt offering.Dear in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his devoted.#Ps 72:14; Is 43:4.
16Lord, I am your servant,
your servant, the child of your maidservant;#Ps 86:16; 143:12; Wis 9:5.
you have loosed my bonds.
17I will offer a sacrifice of praise
and call on the name of the Lord.#Lv 7:12ff.
18I will pay my vows to the Lord#Jon 2:10.
in the presence of all his people,
19In the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.

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