in my descending into the Pit? 3
Can the dust of the grave 4 praise you?
Can it declare your loyalty? 5
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
or your deliverance in the land of oblivion? 10
2 tn Heb “What profit [is there] in my blood?” “Blood” here represents his life.
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!
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!”