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Psalms 88:9-14

Context

88:9 My eyes grow weak because of oppression.

I call out to you, O Lord, all day long;

I spread out my hands in prayer to you. 1 

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

Do the departed spirits 2  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? 3 

88:12 Are your amazing deeds experienced 4  in the dark region, 5 

or your deliverance in the land of oblivion? 6 

88:13 As for me, I cry out to you, O Lord;

in the morning my prayer confronts you.

88:14 O Lord, why do you reject me,

and pay no attention to me? 7 

1 tn Heb “I spread out my hands to you.” Spreading out the hands toward God was a prayer gesture (see Exod 9:29, 33; 1 Kgs 8:22, 38; 2 Chr 6:12-13, 29; Ezra 9:15; Job 11:13; Isa 1:15). The words “in prayer” have been supplied in the translation to clarify this.

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

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

4 tn Heb “known.”

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

6 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!”

7 tn Heb “[why] do you hide your face from me?”



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