For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave who shall give you thanks?
There is some obscurity in these words, literally understood. They at least seem to teach that all thought and consciousness ceased with man at his death. If that be their meaning, they certainly show that David's views of a future life were quite defective. If that be their meaning, we may well say, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. We can hardly believe, however, that David meant to teach that thought and consciousness ceased with man at death. The death here intended is probably the second death, and the grave intended the prison of the lost: that is the "death," and that the "grave," from which David prays to be saved — the death and the grave of "both body and soul in hell." And surely there is no grateful remembrance of, and giving thanks to, God there. On the contrary, all who have experienced that death, and descended into that grave, gnaw their tongues for pain, and blaspheme the God of heaven. In view of such an issue, well might David pray, "Return, O Lord, deliver my soul; O save me for Thy mercies' sake." For surely a more terrific thought cannot be presented to the human soul, than the thought that it must remain a pining and suffering creature forever, a moral blot on every part of the universe to which it may flee; hateful in its own eyes, and hateful in the eyes of God.
(David Caldwell, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?