Lexham English Bible
A Prayer for Help in Despair
A song. A psalm of the sons of Korah.
For the music director; according to Mahalath Leannoth.
A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.[a]
88 O Yahweh, God of my salvation,
I cry out by day and through the night before you.
2 Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my cry.
3 For my soul is full with troubles,
and my life approaches Sheol.
4 I am reckoned with those descending to the pit.
I am like a man[b] without strength,[c]
5 set free[d] among the dead,
like the slain lying in the grave,
whom you no longer remember,
even those cut off from your hand.
6 You have set me in the pit below,
in dark places, in the depths.
7 Your wrath presses upon me,
and you afflict me with all your waves. Selah
8 You have removed my acquaintances far from me.
You have made me detestable[e] to them.
I am confined and cannot go out.
9 My eye languishes from misery.
I call on you, O Yahweh, every day;
I spread out my hands[f] to you.
10 Do you work wonders[g] for the dead?
Or do the departed spirits[h] rise up to praise you? Selah
11 Is your loyal love told in the grave,
or your faithfulness in the underworld?[i]
12 Are your wonders[j] known in the darkness,
or your righteousness[k] in the land of forgetfulness?
13 But as for me, I cry for help to you, O Yahweh,
and in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why do you reject my soul, O Yahweh?
Why do you hide your face from me?
15 I am afflicted and perishing from my youth.
I bear your terrors. I am distraught.[l]
16 Your burning anger has passed over me;
your sudden fears have destroyed me.
17 They surround me like water all the day;
they circle about me altogether.
18 You have removed loved one and friend far from me,
my acquaintances far from my darkness.
- Psalm 88:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
- Psalm 88:4 The Hebrew suggests a strong, vigorous man
- Psalm 88:4 Or “without help”
- Psalm 88:5 Or “forsaken”
- Psalm 88:8 Hebrew “an abomination”
- Psalm 88:9 Hebrew “palms”
- Psalm 88:10 Hebrew “wonder”
- Psalm 88:10 Hebrew rephaim, sometimes translated “shades”; the weakened state of those who have died
- Psalm 88:11 Hebrew abaddon, the place of destruction
- Psalm 88:12 Hebrew “wonder”
- Psalm 88:12 Or “deed of justice”
- Psalm 88:15 Hebrew meaning uncertain