Psalms 116 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
i. 1. Answered prayer evokes love and lifelong praise (Psa 116:1-4).
2. Jehovah has proved Himself true to His revealed character by His gracious dealings with the Psalmist, who can now look forward to a prolonged life of tranquil service (Psa 116:5-9).
ii. 1. In his sorest trouble he had not lost faith, and now he will give thanks for Jehovah’s mercy (Psa 116:10-14).
2. Jehovah’s care for His beloved ones, illustrated by his recent experience, shall be gratefully acknowledged by the public performance of his vows and eucharistic sacrifices in the Temple (Psa 116:15-19).
The Psalm thus falls into two main divisions, each with two subdivisions. The LXX, followed by the Vulg., divides the Psalm into two, and according to their numeration Psa 116:1-9 form Psalms 114; Psa 116:10-19 form Psalms 115. The separation of the Ps. into two is doubtless wrong, but it recognises that a fresh division begins at Psa 116:10. ‘I believed’ corresponds to ‘I love’ in Psa 116:1.
Psalms 115 is a congregational prayer; Psalms 116 is an individual thanksgiving for deliverance from imminent danger of death. The language is general, and the precise nature of the danger does not appear: most likely it was sickness. In many points the Psalm reminds us of Hezekiah’s thanksgiving (Isaiah 38). But whatever it was, the danger had been extreme, and the thanksgiving is correspondingly earnest. The Psalmist was familiar with older Psalms, and freely adapts language from them (especially Psalms 18, 27, 31, 56) but gives it fresh force from the depths of his own recent experience.
The strong Aramaic colouring of the language  , together with this free use of earlier Psalms, points to a late, possibly a very late, date. It is however hardly probable that the Hasidaeans of the Maccabaean period ( 1Ma 7:13 ff.) are meant by the ‘saints’ ( chasîdîm) of Psa 116:15.
Part of this Psalm is used in the office for the Thanksgiving of Women after Child-birth.
Consult other comments:
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".