Psalms 88

PSALM 88

Psalms 88:1-18 . Upon Mahalath--either an instrument, as a lute, to be used as an accompaniment (Leannoth, "for singing") or, as others think, an or disease, for humbling," the idea of spiritual maladies being often represented by disease (compare Psalms 6:5 Psalms 6:6 , Psalms 22:14 Psalms 22:15 , &c.). On the other ( 1 Chronicles 6:18 1 Chronicles 6:33 , 15:17 ), of the family of Kohath. If the persons alluded to ( 1 Kings 4:31 , 1 Chronicles 2:6 ), they were probably adopted into the tribe of Judah. Though called a song, which usually implies joy ( Psalms 83:1 ), both the style and matter of the Psalm are very despondent; yet the appeals to God evince faith, and we may suppose that the word "song" might be extended to such compositions.

1, 2. Compare on the terms used, Psalms 22:2 , 31:2 .

3. grave--literally, "hell" ( Psalms 16:10 ), death in wide sense.

4. go . . . pit--of destruction ( Psalms 28:1 ).
as a man--literally, "a stout man," whose strength is utterly gone.

5. Free . . . dead--Cut off from God's care, as are the slain, who, falling under His wrath, are left, no longer sustained by His hand.

6. Similar figures for distress in Psalms 63:9 , 69:3 .

7. Compare Psalms 38:2 , on first, and Psalms 42:7 , on last clause.

8. Both cut off from sympathy and made hateful to friends ( Psalms 31:11 ).

9. Mine eye mourneth--literally, "decays," or fails, denoting exhaustion ( Psalms 6:7 , 31:9 ).
I . . . called--( Psalms 86:5 Psalms 86:7 ).
stretched out--for help ( Psalms 44:20 ).

10. shall the dead--the remains of ghosts.
arise--literally, "rise up," that is, as dead persons.

11, 12. amplify the foregoing, the whole purport (as Psalms 6:5 ) being to contrast death and life as seasons for praising God.

13. prevent--meet--that is, he will diligently come before God for help ( Psalms 18:41 ).

14. On the terms ( Psalms 27:9 , 74:1 , 77:7 ).

15. from . . . youth up--all my life.

16, 17. the extremes of anguish and despair are depicted.

18. into darkness--Better omit "into"--"mine acquaintances (are) darkness," the gloom of death, &c. ( Job 17:13 Job 17:14 ).

Read Psalm 88