December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 A song; a psalm of the Korahites. For the leader; according to Mahalath. For singing; a maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.
- LORD, my God, I call out by day; at night I cry aloud in your presence.
- Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.
- 2 For my soul is filled with troubles; my life draws near to Sheol.
- I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit; I am weak, without strength.
- My couch is among the dead, with the slain who lie in the grave. You remember them no more; they are cut off from your care.
- You plunged me into the bottom of the pit, into the darkness of the abyss.
- Your wrath lies heavy upon me; all your waves crash over me. Selah
- Because of you my friends shun me; you make me loathsome to them; Caged in, I cannot escape;
- my eyes grow dim from trouble. All day I call on you, LORD; I stretch out my hands to you.
- 3 Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades arise and praise you? Selah
- Is your love proclaimed in the grave, your fidelity in the tomb?
- Are your marvels declared in the darkness, your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
- But I cry out to you, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
- Why do you reject me, LORD? Why hide your face from me?
- I am mortally afflicted since youth; lifeless, I suffer your terrible blows.
- Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have reduced me to silence.
- All the day they surge round like a flood; from every side they close in on me.
- Because of you companions shun me; my only friend is darkness.
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1 [Psalm 88] A lament in which the psalmist prays for rescue from the alienation of approaching death. Each of the three stanzas begins with a call to God (Psalm 88:2, 10, 14) and complains of the death that separates one from God. The tone is persistently grim.
2 [4-8] In imagination the psalmist already experiences the alienation of Sheol.
3 [11-13] The psalmist seeks to persuade God to act out of concern for divine honor: the shades give you no worship, so keep me alive to offer you praise.
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