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Psalm 16:5

ESV The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
NIV LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
NASB The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.
CSB Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future.
NLT Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
KJV The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

What does Psalm 16:5 mean?

David rejoices in his relationship with the Lord. As used in the Old Testament, references to a "portion" implied sharing in something. It also suggested that with which a person was gifted, or allotted, either in life or some other situation (Ecclesiastes 9:9). To say that God is one's "portion" is to celebrate being part of the family of God (Galatians 4:5; 1 John 3:1). Similar symbolism comes in the concept of a "cup;" this can also refer to something a person has been assigned or allotted, for good or for bad (Matthew 20:22; 26:39).

The Levites were the tribe who received no land in Canaan but were honored with priestly duties. Their "portion" was God: "You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel" (Numbers 18:20). This idea is part of the reference to "lines" in the following verse (Psalm 16:6). Likewise, David's most valuable inheritance was his relationship with the Lord. God is all David needs. In Psalm 23:1, David confesses, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."

Psalm 73 reveals how Asaph wondered why the wicked prospered, but he didn't (Psalm 73:2–3). However, he learned to see matters from the Lord's perspective and concluded, "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you [the Lord]" (Psalm 73:25). The believer whose attitude matches that of David and Asaph enjoys true riches and perfect peace (1 Timothy 6:6).
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