World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
116. Psalm 116
1I love Jehovah, because he heareth
My voice and my supplications.
2Because he hath inclined his ear unto me,
Therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3The cords of death compassed me,
And the pains of Sheol agat hold upon me:
I found trouble and sorrow.
4Then called I upon the name of Jehovah:
O Jehovah, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5Gracious is Jehovah, and righteous;
Yea, our God is merciful.
6Jehovah preserveth the simple:
I was brought low, and he saved me.
7Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
For Jehovah hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8For thou hast delivered my soul from death,
Mine eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.
9I will walk before Jehovah
In the land of the living.
10I abelieve, for I will speak:
I was greatly afflicted:
11I said in my ahaste,
All men are liars.
12What shall I render unto Jehovah
For all his benefits toward me?
13I will take the cup of salvation,
And call upon the name of Jehovah.
14I will pay my vows unto Jehovah,
Yea, in the presence of all his people.
15Precious in the sight of Jehovah
Is the death of his saints.
16O Jehovah, truly I am thy servant:
I am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid;
Thou hast loosed my bonds.
17I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And will call upon the name of Jehovah.
18I will pay my vows unto Jehovah,
Yea, in the presence of all his people,
19In the courts of Jehovah's house,
In the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.
aPraise ye Jehovah.
5. Jehovah is gracious and just; our God is merciful. 6. Jehovah guards the simple; I was brought low, and he saved me. 7. Return, O my soul! into thy rest; for Jehovah hath recompensed unto thee. 8. Because thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. 9. I will walk in the presence of Jehovah in the land of the living.
5 Jehovah is gracious. He comes now to point out the fruits of that love of which he spoke, setting before him God’s titles, in order that they might serve to preserve his faith in him. First, he denominates him gracious, because he is so ready graciously to render assistance. From this source springs that justice which he displays for the protection of his own people. To this is subjoined mercy, without which we would not deserve God’s aid. And as the afflictions which overtake us frequently appear to preclude the exercise of his justice, hence it follows that there is nothing better than to repose upon him alone; so that his fatherly kindness may engross our thoughts, and that no voluptuous pleasure may steal them away to any thing else. He then accommodates the experience of God’s benignity and equity to the preserving of the simple, that is, of such as, being undesigning, do not possess the requisite prudence for managing their own affairs. The term, rendered simple, is often understood in a bad sense, denoting persons inconsiderate and foolish, who will not follow wholesome advice. But, in this place, it is applied to those who are exposed to the abuse of the wicked, who are not sufficiently subtle and circumspect to elude the snares which are laid for them, — in short, to those who are easily overreached; while, on the contrary, the children of this world are full of ingenuity, and have every means at their command for maintaining and protecting themselves. David, therefore, acknowledges himself to be as a child, unable to consult his own safety, and totally unfit to ward off the dangers to which he was exposed. Hence the LXX. have not improperly translated the Hebrew term by the Greek, τὰ νήπια, little children. 378378 This rendering of the LXX. also suggests the idea of weakness, which Fry has adopted, who reads, “Jehovah preserveth the weak.” “The usual meaning of פתאים,” says he, “is simplices, fatui, persuasu faciles; but I believe the Septuagint has preserved the true meaning of the passage, Φυλάσσων τὰ νήπια ὁ κυριος. The leading idea of פתה is laxity or yielding, and may as well apply to the weakness of the body, or of the faculties of the mind, under the pressure of grief and pain, as to the relaxing of the powers of the understanding, in yielding to the seductions of folly or vice.” The amount is, that when those who are liable to suffering have neither the prudence nor the means of effecting their deliverance, God manifests his wisdom towards them, and interposes the secret protection of his providence between them and all the dangers by which their safety may be assailed. In fine, David holds forth himself as a personal example of this fact, in that, after being reduced to the greatest straits, he had, by the grace of God, been restored to his former state.