Psalm 88:4
I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath 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. Psalm 88:4The poet finds himself in the midst of circumstances gloomy in the extreme, but he does not despair; he still turns towards Jahve with his complaints, and calls Him the God of his salvation. This actus directus of fleeing in prayer to the God of salvation, which urges its way through all that is dark and gloomy, is the fundamental characteristic of all true faith. Psalm 88:2 is not to be rendered, as a clause of itself: "by day I cry unto Thee, in the night before Thee" (lxx and Targum), which ought to have been יומם, but (as it is also pointed, especially in Baer's text): by day, i.e., in the time (Psalm 56:4; Psalm 78:42, cf. Psalm 18:1), when I cry before Thee in the night, let my prayer come... (Hitzig). In Psalm 88:3 he calls his piercing lamentation, his wailing supplication, רנּתי, as in Psalm 17:1; Psalm 61:2. הטּה as in Psalm 86:1, for which we find הט in Psalm 17:6. The Beth of בּרעות, as in Psalm 65:5; Lamentations 3:15, Lamentations 3:30, denotes that of which his soul has already had abundantly sufficient. On Psalm 88:4, cf. as to the syntax Psalm 31:11. איל (ἅπαξ λεγομ. like אילוּת, Psalm 22:20) signifies succinctness, compactness, vigorousness (ἁδρότης): he is like a man from whom all vital freshness and vigour is gone, therefore now only like the shadow of a man, in fact like one already dead. חפשׁי, in Psalm 88:6, the lxx renders ἐν νεκροῖς ἐλεύθερος (Symmachus, ἀφεὶς ἐλεύθερος); and in like manner the Targum, and the Talmud which follows it in formulating the proposition that a deceased person is חפשׁי מן חמצוות, free from the fulfilling of the precepts of the Law (cf. Romans 6:7). Hitzig, Ewald, Kster, and Bttcher, on the contrary, explain it according to Ezekiel 27:20 (where חפשׁ signifies stragulum): among the dead is my couch (חפשׁי equals יצועי, Job 17:13). But in respect of Job 3:19 the adjectival rendering is the more probable; "one set free among the dead" (lxx) is equivalent to one released from the bond of life (Job 39:5), somewhat as in Latin a dead person is called defunctus. God does not remember the dead, i.e., practically, inasmuch as, devoid of any progressive history, their condition remains always the same; they are in fact cut away (נגזר as in Psalm 31:23; Lamentations 3:54; Isaiah 53:8) from the hand, viz., from the guiding and helping hand, of God. Their dwelling-place is the pit of the places lying deep beneath (cf. on תּחתּיּות, Psalm 63:10; Psalm 86:13; Ezekiel 26:20, and more particularly Lamentations 3:55), the dark regions (מחשׁכּים as in Psalm 143:3, Lamentations 3:6), the submarine depths (בּמצלות; lxx, Symmachus, the Syriac, etc.: ἐν σκιᾷ θανάτου equals בצלמות, according to Job 10:21 and frequently, but contrary to Lamentations 3:54), whose open abyss is the grave for each one. On Psalm 88:8 cf. Psalm 42:8. The Mugrash by כל־משׁבריך stamps it as an adverbial accusative (Targum), or more correctly, since the expression is not עניתני, as the object placed in advance. Only those who are not conversant with the subject (as Hupfeld in this instance) imagine that the accentuation marks ענּית as a relative clause (cf. on the contrary Psalm 8:7, Psalm 21:3, etc.). ענּה, to bow down, press down; here used of the turning or directing downwards (lxx ἐπήγαγες) of the waves, which burst like a cataract over the afflicted one.
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