Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 116:16

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I am thy servant - Thou hast preserved me alive. I live with, for, and to Thee. I am thy willing domestic, the son of thine handmaid - like one born in thy house of a woman already thy property. I am a servant, son of thy servant, made free by thy kindness; but, refusing to go out, I have had my ear bored to thy door-post, and am to continue by free choice in thy house for ever. He alludes here to the case of the servant who, in the year of jubilee being entitled to his liberty, refused to leave his master's house; and suffered his ear to be bored to the door-post, as a proof that by his own consent he agreed to continue in his master's house for ever.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

O Lord, truly I am thy servant - In view of thy mercy in delivering me from death, I feel the obligation to give myself to thee. I see in the fact that thou hast thus delivered me, evidence that I am thy servant - that I am so regarded by thee; and I recognize the obligation to live as becomes one who has had this proof of favor and mercy.

The son of thine handmaid - Of a pious mother. I see now the result of my training. I call to my recollection the piety of a mother. I rememberer how she served thee; how she trained me up for thee; I see now the evidence that her prayers were heard, and that her efforts were blessed in endeavoring to train me up for thee. The psalmist saw now that, under God, he owed all this to the pious efforts of a mother, and that God had been pleased to bless those efforts in making him his child, and in so guiding him that it was not improper for him to speak. of himself as possessing and carrying out the principles of a sainted mother. It is not uncommon - and in such cases it is proper - that all the evidence which we may have that we are pious - that we are living as we ought to live, that we are receiving special favors from God - recalls to our minds the instructions of early years, the counsels and prayers of a holy father or mother.

Thou hast loosed my bonds - The bonds of disease; the fetters which seemed to have made me a prisoner to Death. I am now free again. I walk at large. I am no longer the captive - the prisoner - of disease and pain.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
When troubled, we do best to hold our peace, for we are apt to speak unadvisedly. Yet there may be true faith where there are workings of unbelief; but then faith will prevail; and being humbled for our distrust of God's word, we shall experience his faithfulness to it. What can the pardoned sinner, or what can those who have been delivered from trouble or distress, render to the Lord for his benefits? We cannot in any way profit him. Our best is unworthy of his acceptance; yet we ought to devote ourselves and all we have to his service. I will take the cup of salvation; I will offer the drink-offerings appointed by the law, in token of thankfulness to God, and rejoice in God's goodness to me. I will receive the cup of affliction; that cup, that bitter cup, which is sanctified to the saints, so that to them it is a cup of salvation; it is a means of spiritual health. The cup of consolation; I will receive the benefits God bestows upon me, as from his hand, and taste his love in them, as the portion not only of mine inheritance in the other world, but of my cup in this. Let others serve what masters they will, truly I am thy servant. Two ways men came to be servants. By birth. Lord, I was born in thy house; I am the son of thine handmaid, and therefore thine. It is a great mercy to be children of godly parents. By redemption. Lord, thou hast loosed my bonds, thou hast discharged me from them, therefore I am thy servant. The bonds thou hast loosed shall tie me faster unto thee. Doing good is sacrifice, with which God is well pleased; and this must accompany giving thanks to his name. Why should we offer that to the Lord which cost us nothing? The psalmist will pay his vows now; he will not delay the payment: publicly, not to make a boast, but to show he is not ashamed of God's service, and to invite others to join him. Such are true saints of God, in whose lives and deaths he will be glorified.