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Psalm chapter 16

New International Version

1 A miktam of David. Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, 'You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.' 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, 'They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.'
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. 5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
English Standard Version

1 A Miktam of David. Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” 3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. 4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. 5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. 6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. 7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. 10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. 11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
King James Version

1 {Michtam of David.} Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. 2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; 3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. 4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. 5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. 6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. 7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. 9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
New American Standard Bible

1 Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You. 2 I said to the LORD, 'You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.' 3 As for the saints who are on the earth, They are the majestic ones; all my delight is in them. 4 The pains of those who have acquired another god will be multiplied; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips. 5 The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. 6 The measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; Indeed, my inheritance is beautiful to me. 7 I will bless the LORD who has advised me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. 8 I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
New Living Translation

1 A psalm of David. Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, 'You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.' 3 The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! 4 Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.
5 LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. 6 The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
7 I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. 10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. 11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Protect me, God, for I take refuge in you. 2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides you." 3 As for the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them.
4 The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips. 5 Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. 7 I will bless the Lord who counsels me -- even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
8 I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my body also rests securely. 10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful one to see decay. 11 You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

What does Psalm chapter 16 mean?

David draws a strong contrast between those who honor God, versus those who dishonor God. The ones who acknowledge their need for the Lord, as David does, see God as their security. He is the ultimate source of good in their lives. This leads those who love God to love God's people. Godly people also resist associating themselves with idolatry and evil. Those who reject the one true God can expect an increasing pile of sorrows (Psalm 16:1–4).

In an Old Testament context, a "portion" was symbolic of what people today may call "fate," or "destiny," except it was not considered as random or impersonal as those modern words might suggest. All things were seen as subject to God's will; that which a person experienced in life was the "portion" assigned by God. Israel's tribes were each destined to inherit a certain part of the Promised Land, other than the Levites, whose "portion" was their priesthood under God. These inheritances were each a "portion" of Canaan. David celebrates that God's grace has resulted in his relationship with the Lord. This, along with God's influence over David's conscience, gives him confidence (Psalm 16:5–8).

Even in the face of death, David is willing to trust God and celebrate His goodness. As much as David trusts God to see him through earthly dangers, he knows his ultimate security is in eternity. David rejects the idea that he will be "abandoned" in death or merely allowed to rot away. This statement is referenced several times in the New Testament as evangelists refer to the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:25–28; 13:35; . Looking forward to eternity adds to the believer's courage and confidence in all things (Psalm 16:9–11).