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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 88

Verses 1-18

LXXXVIII. A Leper’ s Prayer.— This Ps. has striking peculiarities. The suffering here portrayed has been long and terrible. The Psalmist has been tormented by sickness from his youth ( Psalms 88:15). Yahweh has “ put lover and friend away from him.” This seclusion was, no doubt, due to leprosy, which was a living death, separating a man from his dearest. The malady was supposed to come directly from God: it was His “ stroke” par excellence. The Psalmist mentions no enemies, he confesses no sin, he pleads no merits. Nor does he draw comfort from the thought of an afterlife. On the contrary, he shares the common belief in Sheol ( Psalms 88:10-12). But he still holds to his faith in God, and assumes ( Psalms 88:14) that there is some reason for God’ s wrath, for he did not doubt that the leprosy came from God’ s anger ( Psalms 88:7; Psalms 88:14; Psalms 88:16).

Psalms 88:1. Read, “ Yahweh my God I have cried in the daytime, and my plaint is before thee in the night.”

Psalms 88:5 . Cast off: the meaning is doubtful, perhaps “ my bed” ; or we may read “ I have been reckoned” or “ I have been made to dwell.”

Psalms 88:15 . distracted: read, “ benumbed.”

Psalms 88:18 . Read perhaps, “ and only darkness is my familiar.”

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Psalms 88". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.