(Mikʹtam) [perhaps, psalm of expiation].
A Hebrew word of obscure meaning and uncertain etymology contained in the superscriptions of six psalms ascribed to David. (Ps. 16, 56-60) Various attempts have been made to define the Hebrew term mikh·tamʹ. Lexicographers Koehler and Baumgartner indicate that mikh·tamʹ may be akin to the Akkadian katamu, meaning “cover,” and give “psalm of expiation” as a possible definition. (Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, p. 523) Hence, “miktam” may designate a song or psalm intended to cover or atone for sin, guilt or uncleanness. Atonement seems to be implied because David’s mikh·tamʹ psalms contain lamentations to an extent, though they also reflect gratitude for Jehovah’s aid and confidence in him. The “writing” King Hezekiah composed “when he got sick and revived from his sickness” was possibly also a miktam.—Isa. 38:9-20.