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:-. Upon Mahalath—either an instrument, as a lute, to be used as an accompaniment (Leannoth, "for singing") or, as others think, an enigmatic title (see on :-, Psalms 88:2, and Psalms 88:2- :, titles), denoting the subject—that is, "sickness 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 terms, see on Psalms 88:4 and Psalms 88:4- :. Heman and Ethan (see on Psalms 88:4- :, title) were David's singers (1 Chronicles 6:18 1 Chronicles 6:33; 1 Chronicles 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; Psalms 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; Psalms 69:3.
7. Compare :-, on first, and Psalms 42:7, on last clause.
8. Both cut off from sympathy and made hateful to friends ( :-).
9. Mine eye mourneth—literally, "decays," or fails, denoting exhaustion (Psalms 6:7; Psalms 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 ( :-).
14. On the terms (Psalms 27:9; Psalms 74:1; Psalms 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).
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 88". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20