Psalm 88:7
Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
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(7) And thou hast afflicted.—Literally, And thou hast pressed (me) down with all thy breakers, supplying the object, and taking the accusative in the text as the instrument, as in Psalm 102:23, where the same verb is used (Authorised Version, “weakened”).

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.Thy wrath lieth hard upon me - Presses me down; burdens me. The meaning is, that that which was the proper and usual expression of wrath or displeasure - to wit, bodily and mental suffering - pressed hard on him. and crushed him to the earth. These bodily sufferings he interpreted, in the sad and gloomy state of mind in which he was, as evidences of the divine displeasure against himself.

And thou hast afflicted me - Thou hast oppressed me, or broken me down.

With all thy waves - literally, "thy breakers;" that is, with expressions of wrath like the waves of the sea, which foam and break on the shore. Nothing could be a more striking image of wrath. Those "breakers" seem to be so furious and angry, they rush along with so much impetuosity, they are so mighty, they dash with such fury on the shore, that it seems as if nothing could stand before them. Yet they find a barrier such as we should little expect. The low and humble beach made of shifting sand, where there seems to be no stability, is an effectual barrier against all their rage; as the humble piety of the child of God, apparently without strength to resist calamity, bears all the beatings of affliction, and maintains its place as the heavy waves of sorrow roll upon it. On the meaning of the word used here, and on the idea expressed, see the notes at Psalm 42:7.

7. Compare Ps 38:2, on first, and Ps 42:7, on last clause. Thy wrath; either, first, the sense of thy wrath; or rather, secondly, the effects of it; as the next clause explains this.

With all thy waves; with thy judgments, breaking in furiously upon me like the waves of the sea.

The wrath lieth hard upon me,.... So some good men apprehend, when they are under afflictive dispensations of Providence, and are left of God, and have not his immediate presence, and the discoveries of his love; though fury is not in him, nor does any wrath in reality fall upon them, only it seems so to them; see Psalm 38:1, but the wrath of God did really lie with all the effects of it upon Christ, as the surety of his people, when he was made sin, and a curse for them; see Psalm 89:38,

and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves; the afflictions of God's people are compared to waves and billows of the sea, which are many, and come one upon the back of another, and threaten to overwhelm and sink; see Psalm 42:7 and so the sufferings of Christ are signified by waters coming into him, and floods overflowing him; and hence they are called a baptism, Psalm 69:1, and these were brought upon him by the Lord; he spared him not; he laid the whole chastisement, all the punishment due to the sins of his people, on him; he caused every wave to come upon him, and him to endure all sorrows and sufferings the law and justice of God could require.

Selah. See Gill on Psalm 3:2.

Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy {e} waves. Selah.

(e) The storms of your wrath have overwhelmed me.

7. Thy wrath &c.] Cp. Psalm 32:4; Psalm 38:2.

thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves] Cp. Psalm 42:7 for the metaphor.

Verse 7. - Thy wrath lieth hard upon me. Here the cause of all the psalmist's sufferings is touched; God was angry with him (comp. ver. 16). And thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves (comp. Psalm 42:7, "All thy waves and thy billows have gone over me"). Psalm 88:7The 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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