Psalm 88

1 Jehovah, the God of my salvation,
I have cried day and night before thee.
2 Let my prayer enter into thy presence;
Incline thine ear unto my cry.
3 For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draweth nigh unto Sheol.

1 See Psalm xviii. 1. R. 279.

See Psalm xviii. 1. E. 326.

1-10, 14-19. In temptations that continue even to despair the Lord addresses the Father, that He is seemingly overcome by the infernals. P. P.

4 I am reckoned with them that go down into the pit;
I am as a man that hath no help,
5 Cast off among the dead,
Like the slain that lie in the grave,
Whom thou rememberest no more,
And they are cut off from thy hand.
6 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit,
In dark places, in the deeps. –
7 Thy wrath lieth hard upon me,
And thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. [Selah]
8 Thou hast put mine acquaintance far from me;
Thou hast made me an abomination unto them:
I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.
9 Mine eye wasteth away by reason of affliction:
I have called daily upon thee, O Jehovah;
I have spread forth my hands unto thee.
10 Wilt thou show wonders to the dead?
Shall they that are deceased arise and praise thee ?

5, 6. They that are pierced in hell, in the pit, and in the grave, stand for those who have destroyed truths and goods in themselves by falsities and evils. That they are not in hell because they were pierced with the sword — Ezekiel xxxii. 19-21 — may be known by every one. A. 4503.

5-7. See Psalm xlii. 8. E. 538.

5-7, 12. The subject here treated of is concerning temptations, in the supreme sense concerning the temptations of the Lord, the quality of which is here described, which was such that He seemed to Himself to be as it were in hell amongst the damned, so exceedingly direful and enormous were the temptations which the Lord sustained, wherefore ” I am reputed with those that go down into the pit” signifies, that He seemed to Himself as it were in hell, the pit standing for hell. ” I am become as a man that has no strength,” signifies that He then seemed to Himself as without power, for temptations immerse man into evils and falses, in which there is no power. Among the dead, neglected signifies among those in whom there is nothing of truth and good, and who are therefore rejected. “As the slain who lie in the sepulchre” signifies as those who are in falses from evil, sepulchre denoting hell, the slain those who perish by falses, because they who are in hell are spiritually dead. “Whom thou rememberest no more,” and “who are cut off from thy hand,” signifies who are deprived of all truth and good. ” Thou hast laid me in the pit of the lower parts” signifies in the places of hell where such are. “In darkness” signifies as it were in falses, in “the depths” as it were in evils. Prayer arising from grief then follows, that He may be delivered from the temptations. E. 659.

5, 6, 11, 12. In the opposite sense a sepulchre signifies death or hell. A. 2916.

5, 7. The subject is the Lord’s temptations, and deliverance from them. See also Psalm xxx. 4. A. 4728.

11 Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave ?
Or thy faithfulness in Destruction ?
12 Shall thy wonders be known in the dark?
And thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness ?
13 But unto thee, O Jehovah, have I cried;
And in the morning shall my prayer come before thee.
14 Jehovah, why castest thou off my soul?
Why hidest thou thy face from me ?
15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up:
While I suffer thy terrors I am distracted.

11 ” Shall the Rephaim — dead — arise and praise thee ? ” This likewise is said of the hell of the Rephaim, and signifies that they cannot rise and infest the sphere of the world of spirits with the venom of their most dreadful persuasions, but that it has been provided by the Lord that the human race should no longer be infected with such dreadful fantasies and persuasions. A. 581. By the dead are not meant the dead but the damned. A. 1673

11-13. God has no glory from the hells. P. P

12 Hell and the devil are called destruction and destroyer, R. 440

16 Thy fierce wrath is gone over me;
Thy terrors have cut me off.
17 They came round about me like water all the day long;
They compassed me about together.
18 Lover and friend hast thou put far from me,
And mine acquaintance into darkness.

15 See Psalm xiii. 2. A. 5585

See Psalm xxvii. 8, 9. R. 939

See Psalm xiii. 2. E. 412

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)