|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 8. - Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me. Compare the similar complaint of Job (Job 19:13, 14); and see also Psalm 31:11; and infra, ver. 18. Thou hast made me an abomination unto them. So Job (Job 9:31; Job 19:19; Job 30:10). It may be suspected that the psalmist's affliction was of a kind which made him "unclean." I am shut up. Not in prison, as Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:2; Jeremiah 33:1; Jeremiah 36:5), but probably as unclean, or as suspected of Being unclean (see Leviticus 13:4-33). And I cannot come forth. I am not allowed to quit my chamber.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me,.... His familiar friends, who were well known to him, and he to them: it is a mercy and privilege to have good acquaintance, and hearty faithful friends, to converse and advise with, whether about things civil or religious; and it is an affliction to be deprived of them; and oftentimes in distress and adversity they drop and fail, which is an additional trouble: this was the ease of Job and of David, Job 19:13 and here of Heman, who attributes it to God, as done by him; as also Job does, in the place referred to; for as it is the Lord that gives favour in the sight of men, he can take it away when he pleases: this is true of Christ, and the like is said of him, Psalm 69:8, and by his "acquaintance", familiars, and friends, may be meant his apostles, who, upon his being apprehended, forsook him, and fled; who, though they were not all alienated in their affections, yet stood at a distance from him; Peter, though he followed him, it was afar off, and at last he denied him; and others of acquaintance and intimates stood afar off, beholding was done to him on the cross; and his familiar friend, Judas, lifted up his heel against him, and basely betrayed him, Matthew 26:50,
thou hast made me an abomination unto them; to some of them, as to Judas, and to many that hosanna'd him into Jerusalem, and within a few days cried "Crucify him, crucify him", Matthew 21:9 compare with this Isaiah 53:3.
I am shut up, and I cannot come forth; the Targum renders it,
"shut up in the house of prison,''
in a prison; and so some literally understand it of the author of the psalm being in a prison, or dungeon, in the time of the captivity: but it is rather to be understood of some bodily disease, by which he was detained a prisoner at home, and of his being bound in fetters, and held in the cords of affliction; which was as a prison to him, and in which when the Lord "shuts up a man, there can be no opening", Job 36:8, or else of soul troubles, being in great darkness and desertion; so that his soul was as in a prison, and could not come forth in the free exercise of grace, and needed the free Spirit of God to set him at liberty; see Psalm 142:7, this may be applied to Christ, when in the hands of Judas, and the hand of soldiers with him, who took him, and bound him, and led him to the high priest; and when he was encompassed with bulls of Bashan, and enclosed by the assembly of the wicked, as he hung on the cross, Psalm 22:12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Both cut off from sympathy and made hateful to friends (Ps 31:11).
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