New American Standard Bible
For there is no mention of You in death; In Sheol who will give You thanks?
King James Bible
For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Darby Bible Translation
For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in Sheol who shall give thanks unto thee?
World English Bible
For in death there is no memory of you. In Sheol, who shall give you thanks?
Young's Literal Translation
For there is not in death Thy memorial, In Sheol, who doth give thanks to Thee?
Psalm 6:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For in death - In the state of the dead; in the grave.
There is no remembrance of thee - They who are dead do not remember thee or think of thee. The "ground" of this appeal is, that it was regarded by the psalmist as a "desirable" thing to remember God and to praise him, and that this could not be done by one who was dead. He prayed, therefore, that God would spare his life, and restore him to health, that he might praise him in the land of the living. A sentiment similar to this occurs in Psalm 30:9, "What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?" So also Psalm 88:11, "Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave? or thy faithfulness in destruction?" So also in Isaiah 38:18, in the language of Hezekiah, "The grave cannot praise thee; death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth." See the notes at that passage. A similar sentiment also is found in Job 10:21-22. See the notes at that passage. In regard to the meaning of this it may be remarked
(a) that it is to be admitted that there was among the ancient saints much less light on the subject of the future state than there is with us, and that they often, in giving utterance to their feelings, seemed to speak as if all were dark beyond the grave.
(b) But, though they thus spoke in their sorrow and in their despondency, they also did, on other occasions, express their belief in a future state, and their expectation of happiness in a coming world (compare, for example, Psalm 16:10-11; Psalm 17:15).
(c) Does not their language in times of despondency and sickness express the feelings which "we" often have now, even with all the light which we possess, and all the hopes which we cherish? Are there not times in the lives of the pious, even though they have a strong prevailing hope of heaven, when the thoughts are fixed on the grave as a dark, gloomy, repulsive prison, and "so" fixed on it as to lose sight of the world beyond? And in such moments does not "life" seem as precious to us, and as desirable, as it did to David, to Hezekiah, or to Job?
In the grave - Hebrew, בשׁאול bishe'ôl, "in Sheol." For the meaning of the word, see Isaiah 5:14, note; Isaiah 14:9, note; Job 7:9, note. Its meaning here does not differ materially from the word "grave."
Who shall give thee thanks? - Who shall "praise" thee? The idea is that "none" would then praise God. It was the land of "silence." See Isaiah 38:18-19. This language implies that David "desired" to praise God, but that he could not hope to do it in the grave.
LibraryPleading for Mercy. Ps 6
John Newton—Olney Hymns
The Tears of the Penitent.
"What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah.
The dead do not praise the LORD, Nor do any who go down into silence;
I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD.
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.
"For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.
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