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PSALM 16.

In the beginning David commends himself to the protection of God. He then meditates upon the benefits which he received from God, and thereby stirs himself up to thanksgiving. By his service, it is true, he could in no respect be profitable to God, but he, notwithstanding, surrenders and devotes himself entirely to him, protesting that he will have nothing to do with superstitions. He also states the reason of this to be, that full and substantial happiness consists in resting in God alone, who never suffers his own people to want any good thing.

Mictam of David.

As to the meaning of the word mictam, the Jewish expositors are not of one mind. Some derive it from כתם, catham, 302302     The word means gold, the finest gold, and those who understand it in this sense here, think the psalm receives this title to denote that it is fit to be written in letters of gold; and some conjecture that the psalms distinguished by this title were, on some occasion or other, thus written and hung up in the sanctuary. Others are of opinion that the word mictam is derived from כתם, catham, which signifies to mark, to engrave, to denote that the psalm is fit to be engraven on a valuable and durable pillar, to be preserved in everlasting remembrance. This is the meaning attached to the word by the Septuagint, which translates it στηλογραφία, an inscription on a pillar or monument. In either of these views the title cannot but be regarded as peculiarly appropriate to this sacred poem. “As a sepulchral inscription,” remarks Bishop Mant, “it might have been written on our Redeemer’s tomb; as a triumphal monument, it might have been sung by him in the region of departed spirits; and in either, or in any sense, it may well be considered as a golden composition, as apples of gold in network of which occur in the titles of the psalms, are the names of old melodies. as if it were a golden crest or jewel. Others think it is the beginning of a song, which at that time was very common. To others it seems rather to be some kind of tune, and this opinion I am inclined to adopt.


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