Psalm 88:9
My eye mourns by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily on you, I have stretched out my hands to you.
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(9) Mourneth.—Rather, fadeth, or pineth. So a Latin poet of the effects of weeping:—

“Mæsta neque assiduo tabescere lumina fletu.

Cessarent, tristique imbre madere genæ.”

CATULLUS: xxviii. 55.

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.Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction - I weep; my eye pours out tears. Literally, My eye pines away, or decays. Compare Job 16:20, note; Isaiah 38:3, note; Psalm 6:6, note.

Lord, I have called daily upon thee - That is, I have prayed earnestly and long, but I have received no answer.

I have stretched out my hands unto thee - I have spread out my hands in the attitude of prayer. The idea is that of earnest supplication.

9. Mine eye mourneth—literally, "decays," or fails, denoting exhaustion (Ps 6:7; 31:9).

I … called—(Ps 86:5, 7).

stretched out—for help (Ps 44:20).

Understand, without effect; for thou dost not hear nor answer me. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction,.... Or dropped tears, as the Targum, by which grief was vented; see Psalm 6:7.

Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee; in prayer, as the Targum adds, this being a prayer gesture: notwithstanding his troubles continued and increased, he did not leave off praying, though he was not immediately heard and answered, which is what is tacitly complained of, as in Psalm 22:2. Christ, in his troubles in the garden, and on the cross, prayed for himself, for divine support and assistance, as man; for his friends, disciples, and apostles, and for all that should believe in him through them; and even for his enemies.

{h} Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.

(h) My eyes and face declare my sorrows.

9. Mine eye mourneth] R.V. wasteth away. The sunken, lacklustre eye is the sure sign of suffering. Cp. Psalm 6:7; Psalm 31:9; Job 17:7.

stretched out] R.V. spread forth, in the attitude of prayer. Cp. (though the word is different) Psalm 44:20; Psalm 143:6; Isaiah 1:15.

9–12. Again (cp. Psalm 88:1) he pleads the constancy of his prayers. His strength is failing. He will soon be dead; and in the grave he will be beyond the reach of God’s love and faithfulness. Cp. Job 10:20 ff; Job 17:11 ff.Verse 9. - Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction; or, "mine eye hath grown feeble" (comp. Job 17:7). Lord, I have called daily upon thee; or, "all day." I have stretched out my hands unto thee. The attitude of earnest prayer (comp. Job 11:13; Psalm 68:31, etc.). The 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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