Psalm 88:8
Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
(8) I am shut up.—Not necessarily an actual imprisonment or incarceration on account of leprosy, but another figurative way of describing great trouble. Job 19:8 seems to have been before the poet.

Psalm 88:8-9. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me — I can have no more familiarity or intercourse with my friends than if I were in another world; for thy providence hath removed, or rendered them incapable, or disinclined, to be serviceable to me. Thou hast made me an abomination unto them — They are not only shy, but weary of me; and I am looked upon by them, not only with contempt, but with abhorrence. Reader, do not think it strange if thou should be called to encounter such a trial as this, since Heman, who was so famed for wisdom, was thus neglected when the world frowned upon him, and despised as a broken vessel, in which is no pleasure. I am shut up — A close prisoner under the arrest of the divine wrath; I cannot come forth — There being no way of escape open. He therefore lies down and sinks under his troubles, because he sees not any probability of getting out of them. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction — But though I thus give vent to my grief, my troubled spirit receives no relief thereby: nevertheless, I have called daily upon thee — My weeping has not hindered my praying. I have stretched out my hands unto thee — For help and deliverance, though hitherto without effect, for thou dost not hear nor answer me.

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.Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me - The same ground of complaint, or expression of the depth of affliction, occurs elsewhere, Psalm 31:11; Psalm 38:11; Psalm 69:8. See also Job 19:13-17.

Thou hast made me an abomination unto them - As something which they would avoid, or from which they would revolt and turn away - as we turn away from the body of a dead man, or from an offensive object. The word means properly an object to be detested or abominated, as things unclean, Genesis 43:32; or as idolatry, 1 Kings 14:24; 2 Kings 16:3; 2 Kings 23:13.

I am shut up - As in prison; to wit, by disease, as when one is confined to his house.

And I cannot come forth - I cannot leave my couch, my room, my house. Compare Job 12:14.

8. Both cut off from sympathy and made hateful to friends (Ps 31:11). I am so sad a spectacle of thy vengeance that my friends avoid and detest me, lest by conversing with me they should either be filled with terrors, which men naturally abhor, or be made partakers of my guilt or plagues.

I am shut up; either in the pit or deep, mentioned Psalm 88:6, or in my own house or chamber, being afraid or ashamed to go abroad.

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.

Thou hast put away mine {f} acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them: {g} I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.

(f) He attributes the loss and displeasure of his friends to God's providence by which he partly punishes and partly tries his.

(g) I see no end to my sorrows.

8. Like Job he is deserted even by his familiar friends (not merely acquaintance, as A.V.), and this is due to the act of God, Who has smitten him with a sickness which makes them loathe even the sight of him. Cp. Psalm 31:11; Job 19:13 ff., Job 19:19. He seems to describe himself as a leper like Job. Leprosy was a living death (Numbers 12:12): more than any other disease it was regarded as the direct ‘stroke’ of God (Job 19:21). The leper was cut off from all society and even from taking part in the public worship of God, and was compelled to live alone (Leviticus 13:46; 2 Chronicles 26:21). The reference is of course not to the temporary seclusion for the purpose of ascertaining whether a man was really a leper (Leviticus 13:4 ff.), but to the permanent separation from society, in which the leper was virtually a prisoner, not daring to expose himself to the public gaze (Job 31:34).

Possibly however the last line of the verse is not literal but metaphorical, describing the hopelessness of his condition as a prisoner who cannot escape. Cp. Job 3:23; Job 13:27; Job 19:8; Lamentations 3:7.

St Luke seems to allude to this verse in his narrative of the Crucifixion, ch. Luke 23:49.

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. Psalm 88:8The octastichs are now followed by hexastichs which belong together in pairs. The complaint concerning the alienation of his nearest relations sounds like Job 19:13., but the same strain is also frequently heard in the earlier Psalms written in times of suffering, e.g., Psalm 31:9. He is forsaken by all his familiar friends (not: acquaintances, for מידּע signifies more than that), he is alone in the dungeon of wretchedness, where no one comes near him, and whence he cannot make his escape. This sounds, according to Leviticus 13, very much like the complaint of a leper. The Book of Leviticus there passes over from the uncleanness attending the beginning of human life to the uncleanness of the most terrible disease. Disease is the middle stage between birth and death, and, according to the Eastern notion, leprosy is the worst of all diseases, it is death itself clinging to the still living man (Numbers 12:12), and more than all other evils a stroke of the chastening hand of God (נגע), a scourge of God (צרעת). The man suspected of having leprosy was to be subjected to a seven days' quarantine until the determination of the priest's diagnosis; and if the leprosy was confirmed, he was to dwell apart outside the camp (Leviticus 13:46), where, though not imprisoned, he was nevertheless separated from his dwelling and his family (cf. Job, at Job 19:19), and if a man of position, would feel himself condemned to a state of involuntary retirement. It is natural to refer the כּלא, which is closely connected with שׁתּני, to this separation. עיני, Psalm 88:10, instead of עיני, as in Psalm 6:8; Psalm 31:10 : his eye has languished, vanished away (דּאב of the same root as tābescere, cognate with the root of דּונג, Psalm 68:3), in consequence of (his) affliction. He calls and calls upon Jahve, stretches out (שׁטּח, expandere, according to the Arabic, more especially after the manner of a roof) his hands (palmas) towards Him, in order to shield himself from His wrath and to lead Him compassionately to give ear to him. In Psalm 88:11-13 he bases his cry for help upon a twofold wish, viz., to become an object of the miraculous help of God, and to be able to praise Him for it. Neither of these wishes would be realized if he were to die; for that which lies beyond this life is uniform darkness, devoid of any progressive history. With מתים alternates רפאים (sing. רפא), the relaxed ones, i.e., shades (σκιαὶ) of the nether world. With reference to יודוּ instead of להודות, vid., Ewald, 337, b. Beside חשׁך (Job 10:21.) stands ארץ נשׁיּה, the land of forgetfulness (λήθη), where there is an end of all thinking, feeling, and acting (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, Ecclesiastes 9:10), and where the monotony of death, devoid of thought and recollection, reigns. Such is the representation given in the Old Testament of the state beyond the present, even in Ecclesiastes, and in the Apocrypha (Sir. 17:27f. after Isaiah 38:18.; Baruch 2:17f.); and it was obliged to be thus represented, for in the New Testament not merely the conception of the state after death, but this state itself, is become a different one.
Psalm 88:8 Interlinear
Psalm 88:8 Parallel Texts

Psalm 88:8 NIV
Psalm 88:8 NLT
Psalm 88:8 ESV
Psalm 88:8 NASB
Psalm 88:8 KJV

Psalm 88:8 Bible Apps
Psalm 88:8 Parallel
Psalm 88:8 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 88:8 Chinese Bible
Psalm 88:8 French Bible
Psalm 88:8 German Bible

Bible Hub

Psalm 88:7
Top of Page
Top of Page