Introduction to Psalm 16
Michtam of David. This is a new title, not met with before, though it afterwards is prefixed to "five" psalms running, the fifty sixth, the fifty seventh, the fifty eighth, the fifty ninth, and the sixtieth psalms. Some take the word "michtam" to be the name of a musical instrument, as Kimchi on Psalms 4:1; others the name of one of the tunes, as Jarchi; and others the tune of a song which began with this word, as Aben Ezra observes, to which this psalm was sung; the Septuagint translate it "stelography", or an inscription upon a pillar; such an one as is erected by conquerors, as Theodoret observes, having writing on it declaring the victory obtained; suggesting that the psalm, or the subject of it, the death and resurrection of Christ, was worthy to be inscribed on a pillar of marble; and the Targum renders it, "a right engraving", that deserves to be engraven in a monument of brass: but what seems to be the best sense of the word is, that it signifies a work of gold, and may be rendered, "a golden [psalm] of David"; so called, either because it was a dear and favourite song of his; or from the subject matter, which is more valuable and precious than the most fine gold: the title of it in the Syriac and Arabic versions is,
"concerning the election of the church, and the resurrection of Christ;''
and certain it is from Psalms 16:10, the resurrection of Christ is spoken of in it, as is clear from the testimonies of two apostles, Peter and Paul, who cite it in proof of it, Acts 2:25; and since there is but one person speaking throughout the psalm, and Christ is he that speaks in Psalms 16:10, and which cannot be understood of David, nor of any other person but Christ, the whole of the psalm must be interpreted of him.