|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
88:1-9 The first words of the psalmist are the only words of comfort and support in this psalm. Thus greatly may good men be afflicted, and such dismal thoughts may they have about their afflictions, and such dark conclusion may they make about their end, through the power of melancholy and the weakness of faith. He complained most of God's displeasure. Even the children of God's love may sometimes think themselves children of wrath and no outward trouble can be so hard upon them as that. Probably the psalmist described his own case, yet he leads to Christ. Thus are we called to look unto Jesus, wounded and bruised for our iniquities. But the wrath of God poured the greatest bitterness into his cup. This weighed him down into darkness and the deep.
Verse 3. - For my soul is full of troubles (see Job 10:15). And my life draweth nigh unto the grave; literally, unto Sheol - the place of departed spirits (comp. Job 10:21, 22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For my soul is full of troubles,.... Or "satiated or glutted" (e) with them, as a stomach full of meat that can receive no more, to which the allusion is; having been fed with the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, so that he had his fill of trouble: every man is full of trouble, of one kind or another, Job 14:1 especially the saint, who besides his outward troubles has inward ones, arising from indwelling sin, the temptations of Satan, and divine desertions, which was now the case of the psalmist: this may be truly applied to Christ, who himself said, when in the garden, "my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death", Matthew 26:38, he was a man of sorrows all his days, but especially at that time, and when upon the cross, forsaken by his Father, and sustaining his wrath: "his soul" was then "filled with evil things" (f), as the words may be rendered:
innumerable evils compassed him about, Psalm 40:12, the sins of his people, those evil things, were imputed to him; the iniquity of them all was laid upon him, as was also the evil of punishment for them; and then he found trouble and sorrow enough:
and my life draweth nigh unto the grave: a phrase expressive of a person's being just ready to die, Job 33:22 as the psalmist now thought he was, Psalm 88:5, it is in the plural number "my lives" (g); and so may not only denote the danger he was in of his natural life, but of his spiritual and eternal life, which he might fear, being in darkness and desertion, would be lost, though they could not; yea, that he was near to "hell" itself, for so the word (h) may be rendered; for when the presence of God is withdrawn, and wrath let into the conscience, a person in his own apprehension seems to be in hell as it were, or near it; see Jonah 2:2. This was true of Christ, when he was sorrowful unto death, and was brought to the dust of it, and under divine dereliction, and a sense of the wrath of God, as the surety of his people.
(e) "saturata", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius; "satiata", Tigurine version. (f) "in malis", Pagninus, Montanus; "malis", Junius & Tremellius, &c. (g) "vitae meae", Montanus, Michaelis. (h) "ad orcum", Cocceius; "inferno", Gejerus; "ad infernum", Michaelis; so Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. grave—literally, "hell" (Ps 16:10), death in wide sense.
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