Psalm 88[a]

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth.[b] A maskil[c] of Heman the Ezrahite.

Lord, you are the God who saves me;(A)
    day and night I cry out(B) to you.
May my prayer come before you;
    turn your ear to my cry.

I am overwhelmed with troubles(C)
    and my life draws near to death.(D)
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;(E)
    I am like one without strength.(F)
I am set apart with the dead,
    like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
    who are cut off(G) from your care.

You have put me in the lowest pit,
    in the darkest depths.(H)
Your wrath(I) lies heavily on me;
    you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d](J)
You have taken from me my closest friends(K)
    and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined(L) and cannot escape;(M)
    my eyes(N) are dim with grief.

I call(O) to you, Lord, every day;
    I spread out my hands(P) to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
    Do their spirits rise up and praise you?(Q)
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
    your faithfulness(R) in Destruction[e]?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
    or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?

13 But I cry to you for help,(S) Lord;
    in the morning(T) my prayer comes before you.(U)
14 Why, Lord, do you reject(V) me
    and hide your face(W) from me?

15 From my youth(X) I have suffered(Y) and been close to death;
    I have borne your terrors(Z) and am in despair.(AA)
16 Your wrath(AB) has swept over me;
    your terrors(AC) have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;(AD)
    they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend(AE) and neighbor—
    darkness is my closest friend.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 88:1 In Hebrew texts 88:1-18 is numbered 88:2-19.
  2. Psalm 88:1 Title: Possibly a tune, “The Suffering of Affliction”
  3. Psalm 88:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
  4. Psalm 88:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 10.
  5. Psalm 88:11 Hebrew Abaddon

Psalm 88

Prayer for Help in Despondency

A Song. A Psalm of the Korahites. To the leader: according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

O Lord, God of my salvation,
    when, at night, I cry out in your presence,
let my prayer come before you;
    incline your ear to my cry.

For my soul is full of troubles,
    and my life draws near to Sheol.
I am counted among those who go down to the Pit;
    I am like those who have no help,
like those forsaken among the dead,
    like the slain that lie in the grave,
like those whom you remember no more,
    for they are cut off from your hand.
You have put me in the depths of the Pit,
    in the regions dark and deep.
Your wrath lies heavy upon me,
    and you overwhelm me with all your waves.Selah

You have caused my companions to shun me;
    you have made me a thing of horror to them.
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
    my eye grows dim through sorrow.
Every day I call on you, O Lord;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you work wonders for the dead?
    Do the shades rise up to praise you?Selah
11 Is your steadfast love declared in the grave,
    or your faithfulness in Abaddon?
12 Are your wonders known in the darkness,
    or your saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O Lord, cry out to you;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 O Lord, why do you cast me off?
    Why do you hide your face from me?
15 Wretched and close to death from my youth up,
    I suffer your terrors; I am desperate.[a]
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your dread assaults destroy me.
17 They surround me like a flood all day long;
    from all sides they close in on me.
18 You have caused friend and neighbor to shun me;
    my companions are in darkness.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 88:15 Meaning of Heb uncertain