Psalm 88:4
I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that has no strength:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) As a man . . .—Rather, like a hero whose strength is gone.

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.I am counted with them that go down into the pit - I am so near to death that I may be reckoned already as among the dead. It is so manifest to others that I must die - that my disease is mortal - that they already speak of me as dead. The word "pit" here means the grave - the same as Sheol in the previous verse. It means properly

(1) a pit,

(2) a cistern, Genesis 37:20,

(3) a prison or dungeon, Isaiah 24:22,

(4) the grave, Psalm 28:1; Psalm 30:4; Isaiah 38:18.

I am as a man that hath no strength - Who has no power to resist disease, no vigor of constitution remaining; who must die.

4. go … pit—of destruction (Ps 28:1).

as a man—literally, "a stout man," whose strength is utterly gone.

I am given up by my friends and acquaintance for a lost man. I am counted with them that go down into the pit,.... With the dead, with them that are worthy of death, with malefactors that are judicially put to death, and are not laid in a common grave, but put into a pit together: thus Christ was reckoned and accounted of by the Jews; the sanhedrim counted him worthy of death; and the common people cried out Crucify him; and they did crucify him between two malefactors; and so he was numbered or counted with transgressors, and as one of them, Isaiah 53:3.

I am as a man that hath no strength; for his "strength" was "dried up like a potsherd", Psalm 22:15, though he was the mighty God, and, as man, was made strong by the Lord for himself.

I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. He is regarded as a dying man. The pit is the grave or Sheol. Cp. Psalm 28:1; Psalm 143:7; Psalm 22:29; Proverbs 1:12.

that hath no strength] Like the feeble shadows of the dead. Or as R.V., that hath no help: cp. the cognate word in Psalm 22:19, rendered in R.V., O thou my succour.Verse 4. - I am counted with them that go down into the pit; i.e. "to the grave." I am reckoned as one just about to die. I am as a man that hath no strength. All my strength is departed from me; I am utterly feeble and weak - a mere shadow of my former self. Physical weakness, something like paralysis, seems to be meant. Inasmuch now as the nations come thus into the church (or congregation) of the children of God and of the children of Abraham, Zion becomes by degrees a church immeasurably great. To Zion, however, or of Zion (ל of reference to), shall it be said אישׁ ואישׁ ילּד־בּהּ. Zion, the one city, stands in contrast to all the countries, the one city of God in contrast to the kingdoms of the world, and אישׁ ואישׁ in contrast to זה. This contrast, upon the correct apprehension of which depends the understanding of the whole Psalm, is missed when it is said, "whilst in relation to other countries it is always only the whole nation that comes under consideration, Zion is not reckoned up as a nation, but by persons" (Hofmann). With this rendering the ילּד retires into the background; in that case this giving of prominence to the value of the individual exceeds the ancient range of conception, and it is also an inadmissible appraisement that in Zion each individual is as important as a nation as a whole. Elsewhere אישׁ אישׁ, Leviticus 17:10, Leviticus 17:13, or אישׁ ואישׁ, Esther 1:8, signifies each and every one; accordingly here אישׁ ואישׁ (individual and, or after, individual) affirms a progressus in infinitum, where one is ever added to another. Of an immeasurable multitude, and of each individual in this multitude in particular, it is said that he was born in Zion. Now, too, והוּא כוננה עליון has a significant connection with what precedes. Whilst from among foreign peoples more and more are continually acquiring the right of natives in Zion, and thus are entering into a new national alliance, so that a breach of their original national friendships is taking place, He Himself (cf. 1 Samuel 20:9), the Most High, will uphold Zion (Psalm 48:9), so that under His protection and blessing it shall become ever greater and more glorious. Psalm 87:6 tells us what will be the result of such a progressive incorporation in the church of Zion of those who have hitherto been far removed, viz., Jahve will reckon when He writeth down (כּתוב as in Joshua 18:8) the nations; or better - since this would more readily be expressed by בּכתבו, and the book of the living (Isaiah 4:3) is one already existing from time immemorial - He will reckon in the list (כתוב after the form חלום, חלו, פּקוד equals כּתב, Ezekiel 13:9) of the nations, i.e., when He goes over the nations that are written down there and chosen for the coming salvation, "this one was born there;" He will therefore acknowledge them one after another as those born in Zion. The end of all history is that Zion shall become the metropolis of all nations. When the fulness of the Gentiles is thus come in, then shall all and each one as well singing as dancing say (supply יאמרוּ): All my fountains are in thee. Among the old translators the rendering of Aquila is the best: καὶ ᾄδοντες ὡς χοροί· πᾶσαι πηγαὶ ἐν σοί, which Jerome follows, et cantores quasi in choris: omnes fontes mei in te. One would rather render cholaliym, "flute-players" (lxx ὡς ἐν αὐλοῖς); but to pipe or play the flute is חלּל (a denominative from חליל), 1 Kings 1:40, whereas to dance is חלל (Pilel of חוּל); it is therefore equals מחוללים, like לצצים, Hosea 7:5. But it must not moreover be rendered, "And singers as well as dancers (will say);" for "singers" is משׁררים, not שׁרים, which signifies cantantes, not cantores. Singing as dancing, i.e., making known their festive joy as well by the one as by the other, shall the men of all nations incorporated in Zion say: All my fountains, i.e., fountains of salvation (after Isaiah 12:3), are in thee (O city of God). It has also been interpreted: my looks (i.e., the object on which my eye is fixed, or the delight of my eyes), or: my thoughts (after the modern Hebrew עיּן of spiritual meditation); but both are incongruous. The conjecture, too, of Bttcher, and even before him of Schnurrer (Dissertationes, p. 150), כל־מעיני, all who take up their abode (instead of which Hupfeld conjectures מעיני, all my near-dwellers, i.e., those who dwell with me under the same roof)

(Note: Hupfeld cites Rashi as having thus explained it; but his gloss is to be rendered: my whole inmost part (after the Aramaic equals מעי) is with thee, i.e., they salvation.)),

is not Hebrew, and deprives us of the thought which corresponds to the aim of the whole, that Jerusalem shall be universally regarded as the place where the water of life springs for the whole of mankind, and shall be universally praised as this place of fountains.

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