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Psalms 30:9

Context

30:9 “What 1  profit is there in taking my life, 2 

in my descending into the Pit? 3 

Can the dust of the grave 4  praise you?

Can it declare your loyalty? 5 

Psalms 88:10-12

Context

88:10 Do you accomplish amazing things for the dead?

Do the departed spirits 6  rise up and give you thanks? (Selah)

88:11 Is your loyal love proclaimed in the grave,

or your faithfulness in the place of the dead? 7 

88:12 Are your amazing deeds experienced 8  in the dark region, 9 

or your deliverance in the land of oblivion? 10 

1 sn The following two verses (vv. 9-10) contain the prayer (or an excerpt of the prayer) that the psalmist offered to the Lord during his crisis.

2 tn Heb “What profit [is there] in my blood?” “Blood” here represents his life.

3 tn The Hebrew term שָׁחַת (shakhat, “pit”) is often used as a title for Sheol (see Pss 16:10; 49:9; 55:24; 103:4).

4 tn Heb “dust.” The words “of the grave” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

5 tn The rhetorical questions anticipate the answer, “Of course not!”

sn According to the OT, those who descend into the realm of death/Sheol are cut off from God’s mighty deeds and from the worshiping covenant community that experiences divine intervention (Pss 6:5; 88:10-12; Isa 38:18). In his effort to elicit a positive divine response, the psalmist reminds God that he will receive no praise or glory if he allows the psalmist to die. Dead men do not praise God!

6 tn Heb “Rephaim,” a term that refers to those who occupy the land of the dead (see Isa 14:9; 26:14, 19).

7 tn Heb “in Abaddon,” a name for Sheol. The noun is derived from a verbal root meaning “to perish,” “to die.”

8 tn Heb “known.”

9 tn Heb “darkness,” here a title for Sheol.

10 tn Heb “forgetfulness.” The noun, which occurs only here in the OT, is derived from a verbal root meaning “to forget.”

sn The rhetorical questions in vv. 10-12 expect the answer, “Of course not!”



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