A song. A psalm of the sons of Korah [C descendants of Kohath, son of Levi, who served as temple musicians; 1 Chr. 6:22]. For the director of music. By the ·mahalath [C perhaps “sickness”; Ps. 53] ·leannoth [C perhaps related to a word for “affliction” or a word for “chant”]. A ·maskil [skillful psalm; meditation] of Heman the Ezrahite [C perhaps a wise man (1 Kin. 4:31) or a Levitical singer (1 Chr. 6:16, 33, 39, 43–44; 15:17, 19)].
88 Lord, you are the God who ·saves me [gives me victory]. I cry out to you day and night. 2 Receive my prayer, and ·listen [L extend your ear] to my cry.
3 My life is full of ·troubles [hurt; harm], and ·I am nearly dead [L my life approaches/touches Sheol; C the grave or the underworld]. 4 They think I am ·on the way to my grave [L like someone who goes down into the Pit]. I am like a man with no strength. 5 I have been ·left as dead [L freed among the dead], like a ·body [corpse] lying in a grave whom you don’t remember anymore, cut off from your ·care [L hand]. 6 You have ·brought me close to death [L set me in a Pit below]; ·I am almost in the dark place of the dead [L …in the deepest darkness]. 7 You have ·been very angry with [L put your wrath on] me; ·all your waves crush me [L you have afflicted me with all your breakers]. ·Selah[Interlude] 8 You have ·taken [moved] my friends away from me and have made ·them hate me [me an abomination to them]. I am ·trapped [imprisoned] and cannot ·escape [get out]. 9 My eyes ·are weak [waste away] from ·crying [affliction]. Lord, I have ·prayed [called] to you every day; I have ·lifted [spread out] my hands to you [C in prayer].
10 Do you ·show [L do] your ·miracles [wonderful acts] for the dead? Do their ·spirits [shades; departed] rise up and ·praise [thank] you? ·Selah[Interlude]
11 Will your ·love [loyalty] be ·told [recounted] in the grave? Will your ·loyalty [faithfulness] be told in ·the place of death [L Abaddon/Destruction]? 12 Will your ·miracles [wonderful acts] be known in the ·dark grave [L darkness]? Will your ·goodness [righteousness] be known in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But, Lord, I have called out to you for help; every morning ·I pray to you [L my prayer comes before you]. 14 Lord, why do you reject me? Why do you hide your face from me? 15 I have been ·weak [afflicted] and dying since I was young. I suffer from your terrors, and I am ·helpless [or depressed]. 16 ·You have been angry with me [L Your wrath has passed over me], and your terrors have ·destroyed [or silenced] me. 17 They surround me daily like ·a flood [water; C representing chaos]; they ·are [go] all around me. 18 You have ·taken away [removed me from] my loved ones and friends. Darkness is my only friend.
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