Psalms 88
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1  A song. A psalm of the Korahites. For the leader; on mahalath leannoth. A maskil of Hayman the Ezrahite.

א  שִׁיר מִזְמוֹר לִבְנֵי קֹרַח לַמְנַצֵּחַ עַל־מָחֲלַת לְעַנּוֹת מַשְׂכִּיל לְהֵימָן הָאֶזְרָחִי׃

2  Hashem, God of my deliverance, when I cry out in the night before You,

ב  יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יְשׁוּעָתִי יוֹם־צָעַקְתִּי בַלַּיְלָה נֶגְדֶּךָ׃

3  let my prayer reach You; incline Your ear to my cry.

ג  תָּבוֹא לְפָנֶיךָ תְּפִלָּתִי הַטֵּה־אָזְנְךָ לְרִנָּתִי׃

4  For I am sated with misfortune; I am at the brink of Sheol.

ד  כִּי־שָׂבְעָה בְרָעוֹת נַפְשִׁי וְחַיַּי לִשְׁאוֹל הִגִּיעוּ׃

5  I am numbered with those who go down to the Pit; I am a helpless man

ה  נֶחְשַׁבְתִּי עִם־יוֹרְדֵי בוֹר הָיִיתִי כְּגֶבֶר אֵין־אֱיָל׃

6  abandoned among the dead, like bodies lying in the grave of whom You are mindful no more, and who are cut off from Your care.

ו  בַּמֵּתִים חָפְשִׁי כְּמוֹ חֲלָלִים שֹׁכְבֵי קֶבֶר אֲשֶׁר לֹא זְכַרְתָּם עוֹד וְהֵמָּה מִיָּדְךָ נִגְזָרוּ׃

7  You have put me at the bottom of the Pit, in the darkest places, in the depths.

ז  שַׁתַּנִי בְּבוֹר תַּחְתִּיּוֹת בְּמַחֲשַׁכִּים בִּמְצֹלוֹת׃

8  Your fury lies heavy upon me; You afflict me with all Your breakers. Selah.

ח  עָלַי סָמְכָה חֲמָתֶךָ וְכָל־מִשְׁבָּרֶיךָ עִנִּיתָ סֶּלָה׃

9  You make my companions shun me; You make me abhorrent to them; I am shut in and do not go out.

ט  הִרְחַקְתָּ מְיֻדָּעַי מִמֶּנִּי שַׁתַּנִי תוֹעֵבוֹת לָמוֹ כָּלֻא וְלֹא אֵצֵא׃

10  My eyes pine away from affliction; I call to You, Hashem, each day; I stretch out my hands to You.

י  עֵינִי דָאֲבָה מִנִּי עֹנִי קְרָאתִיךָ יְהֹוָה בְּכָל־יוֹם שִׁטַּחְתִּי אֵלֶיךָ כַפָּי׃

11  Do You work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise to praise You? Selah.

יא  הֲלַמֵּתִים תַּעֲשֶׂה־פֶּלֶא אִם־רְפָאִים יָקוּמוּ יוֹדוּךָ סֶּלָה׃

12  Is Your faithful care recounted in the grave, Your constancy in the place of perdition?

יב  הַיְסֻפַּר בַּקֶּבֶר חַסְדֶּךָ אֱמוּנָתְךָ בָּאֲבַדּוֹן׃

13  Are Your wonders made known in the netherworld, Your beneficent deeds in the land of oblivion?

יג  הֲיִוָּדַע בַּחֹשֶׁךְ פִּלְאֶךָ וְצִדְקָתְךָ בְּאֶרֶץ נְשִׁיָּה׃

14  As for me, I cry out to You, Hashem; each morning my prayer greets You.

יד  וַאֲנִי אֵלֶיךָ יְהֹוָה שִׁוַּעְתִּי וּבַבֹּקֶר תְּפִלָּתִי תְקַדְּמֶךָּ׃

15  Why, Hashem, do You reject me, do You hide Your face from me?

טו  לָמָה יְהֹוָה תִּזְנַח נַפְשִׁי תַּסְתִּיר פָּנֶיךָ מִמֶּנִּי׃

16  From my youth I have been afflicted and near death; I suffer Your terrors wherever I turn.

טז  עָנִי אֲנִי וְגֹוֵעַ מִנֹּעַר נָשָׂאתִי אֵמֶיךָ אָפוּנָה׃

17  Your fury overwhelms me; Your terrors destroy me.

יז  עָלַי עָבְרוּ חֲרוֹנֶיךָ בִּעוּתֶיךָ צִמְּתוּתֻנִי׃

18  They swirl about me like water all day long; they encircle me on every side.

יח  סַבּוּנִי כַמַּיִם כָּל־הַיּוֹם הִקִּיפוּ עָלַי יָחַד׃

19  You have put friend and neighbor far from me and my companions out of my sight.

hir-KHAK-ta mi-ME-nee o-HAYV va-RAY-a m’-yu-da-AI makh-SHAKH

יט  הִרְחַקְתָּ מִמֶּנִּי אֹהֵב וָרֵעַ מְיֻדָּעַי מַחְשָׁךְ׃

88:19   And my companions out of my sight

This psalm is similar to a lamentation, as it ends on a very sad note. Though unusual, this type of psalm also belongs in the Psalter, which depicts a range of human experiences, and not only those with “happy endings.” While scholars debate the identity of the authors of the psalm, since verse 1 attributes it to both the sons of Korach and Hayman the Ezrahite, the Sages suggest that the psalm was authored by the congregation of Israel as a whole. At times of total darkness and exile, the Jewish people struggle to find words to express faith in God’s ultimate salvation. While the last words reflect this horrible state of bleak loneliness, we should note that the entire psalm was directed to Hashem, God of salvation (verse 2). God desires our expressions of suffering and our cries. This, too, is His praise.1 comment

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Psalms 87
Psalms 89

Comments ( 2 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Simply, “honest to God.” The psalmist was “keeping it real”. HaShem responds to our hearts, not to our words.

  • This psalm while it may end in sadness and great sorry, does it? We can see this psalm brings us a range of many human emotions. Very deep and heart bending emotions of the human heart. We are told that scholars have debated who may have written these yet it may have been thought suggested the psalm was authored by the Congregation of Israel. We are told that these were times of Horrific darkness and tragedy. Exile had become way of life, if such a way of life was indeed life.

    The Jewish people were struggling as it was to find continuity nevertheless to find a way to express in words , in faith in God's ultimate Salvation. How could they any longer bear the loneliness and bleakness they had felt any more. They felt cut off from everything, especially there God. The cried out desperately to there Lord thi God. There lay bare there heart and souls to there God. God was there only Salvation and they sincerely knew this, they had no dought of this, they always knew this.

    God desires our expressions of suffering and our cries. This, too, is His praise.
    Know this being said does make so much sense. It tells us God wants us to lay out before him all of our hurts and pains. All of our fears and worries. God wants us to be straight forward with him so that there are no secrets to between us that truth is always the greatest bond. To never let anything we do come between us. God is indeed Great & Good. Carl

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Psalms 88

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