Psalm 116 – Psalms Of Hallel
This Psalm is also broken up into two sections and the first section (verses 1-11) is omitted on Rosh Hodesh and the last six days of Pesach. Examine the Psalm for connections between the first and second halves. How do repeated words and phrases give structure to the Psalm?
Verse 14 is repeated word for word in verse 18. Why do you think that is? Does it add to this verses importance in this Psalm? Why would this message be important to the Psalmist?
2. Difficult words/phrases The first verse of this Psalm is cryptic. What do you think it means? In particular, how would you translate the word, כי?
We find again unusual endings in verse 7, verse 12 and verse 19. Can you find them? What can you learn about them? See Psalm 103:3, Psalm 135:9 for some similar endings.
What do you think the word יקר means in verse 15? See Psalms 49:9 and 72:14 for possible parallels.
3. Biblical Parallels–
Verse 3 Jonah 2:6, Psalm 18:5, Psalm 118:5
Verse 5 Psalm 37:21, Psalm 112:4
Verse 6 Psalm 142:7
Verse 8 Psalm 56:14
Verse 11 – Psalm 31:23
Verse 14 Psalm 22:26, Psalm 56:13
Verse 16 Psalm 86:16
4. Liturgy Where does verse 14 appear in liturgy? Is its meaning here different from how you have understood it before?
5. Spiritual issues Do you see change and development in mood over the course of this Psalm? Do you identify with one of the verses of the Psalm or with the development in the Psalm? Have you ever said, כל אדם כזב (verse 11)?
In verse 16 we find the phrase אנה השם. This phrase will be repeated two more times in Hallel, in Psalm 118:25. What can we learn from this first instance of the phrase?
What is the importance of verse 9?
6. Conclusion How does Psalm 116 develop themes we have identified in the previous Psalms of Hallel?