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Psalms 88:1

New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995) [2]
— [[A Song. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. For the choir director; according to Mahalath Leannoth. A Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O LORD, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You.
King James Version (KJV 1769) [2]
— [[A Song [or] Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day [and] night before thee:
English Revised Version (ERV 1885)
— [[A Song, a Psalm of the sons of Korah; for the Chief Musician; set to Mahalath Leannoth. Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O LORD, the God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[A Song, a Psalm of the sons of Korah; for the Chief Musician; set to Mahalath Leannoth. Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O Jehovah, the God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[A Song [or] Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day [and] night before thee:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[A Song, a Psalm for the sons of Korah. To the chief Musician. Upon Mahalath Leannoth. An instruction. Of Heman the Ezrahite.]] Jehovah, God of my salvation, I have cried by day [and] in the night before thee.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[A Song, a Melody. For the Sons of Korah. To the Chief Musician. On "Mahalath." For alternate Song. An Instructive Psalm. By Heman the Ezrahite.]] O Yahweh, God of my salvation, By day, have I made outcry, In the night, [also] before thee.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— A Song, a Psalm, by sons of Korah, to the Overseer, 'Concerning the Sickness of Afflictions.'—An instruction, by Heman the Ezrahite. O Jehovah, God of my salvation, Daily I have cried, nightly before Thee,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— A canticle of a psalm for the sons of Core: unto the end, for Maheleth, to answer understanding of Eman the Ezrahite. O Lord, the God of my salvation: I have cried in the day, and in the night before thee.
Geneva Bible (GNV 1560)
— [[A song or Psalme of Heman the Ezrahite to giue instruction, committed to the sonnes of Korah for him that excelleth vpon Malath Leannoth.]] O Lorde God of my saluation, I cry day and night before thee.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[A song [or] Psalme for the sonnes of Korah, to the chiefe Musician vpon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O LORD God of my saluation, I haue cried day [and] night before thee.
Lamsa Bible (1957)
— O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee;
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[A song of a Psalm for the sons of Korah{gr.Core} for the end, upon Maeleth for responsive [strains], of instruction for Heman{gr.Aeman} the Israelite.]] O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried by day and in the night before thee.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[A Song [or] Psalm for the sons of Qorach, to the chief Musician upon Machalath Leannoth, Maskil of Heman the Ezrachi.]] O Yahweh Elohim of my salvation, I have cried day [and] night before thee:

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[A Song 7892
{7892} Prime
The second form being feminine; from H7891; a song; abstractly singing.
[or] Psalm 4210
{4210} Prime
From H2167; properly instrumental music; by implication a poem set to notes.
for the sons 1121
{1121} Prime
From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc., (like H0001, H0251, etc.).
of Köraç קֹרַח, 7141
{7141} Prime
From H7139; ice; Korach, the name of two Edomites and three Israelites.
to the chief Musician 5329
{5329} Prime
A primitive root; properly to glitter from afar, that is, to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent.
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
upon x5921
(5921) Complement
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
Mäçálaŧ מָחֲלַת 4257
{4257} Prime
From H2470; sickness; machalath, probably the title (initial word) of a popular song.
Læ`annôŧ לְעַנּוֹת, 6031
{6031} Prime
A primitive root (possibly rather identical with H6030 through the idea of looking down or browbeating); to depress literally or figuratively, transitively or intransitively (in various applications). (sing is by mistake for H6030.).
<8763> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 790
Maŝcîl מַשׂכִּיל 4905
{4905} Prime
From H7919; instructive, that is, a didactic poem.
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
of Hêmän הֵימָן 1968
{1968} Prime
Probably from H0530; faithful; Heman, the name of at least two Israelites.
the ´Ezräçî אֶזרָחִי.]] 250
{0250} Prime
Patronymic from H2246; an Ezrachite or descendants of Zerach.
O Yähwè יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
´Élöhîm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
of my salvation, 3444
{3444} Prime
Feminine passive participle of H3467; something saved, that is, (abstractly) deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity.
I have cried 6817
{6817} Prime
A primitive root; to shriek; (by implication) to proclaim (an assembly).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
day 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
[and] night 3915
{3915} Prime
From the same as H3883; properly a twist (away of the light), that is, night; figuratively adversity.
before x5048
(5048) Complement
From H5046; a front, that is, part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate; usually (adverbially, especially with preposition) over against or before.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 88:1-2

_ _ Psalms 88:1-18. Upon Mahalath — either an instrument, as a lute, to be used as an accompaniment (Leannoth, “for singing”) or, as others think, an enigmatic title (see on Psalms 5:1, see on Psalms 22:1, and see on Psalms 45:1, titles), denoting the subject — that is, “sickness or disease, for humbling,” the idea of spiritual maladies being often represented by disease (compare Psalms 6:5, Psalms 6:6; Psalms 22:14, Psalms 22:15, etc.). On the other terms, see on Psalms 42:1 and see on Psalms 32:1. Heman and Ethan (see on Psalms 89:1, title) were David’s singers (1 Chronicles 6:18, 1 Chronicles 6:33; 1 Chronicles 15:17), of the family of Kohath. If the persons alluded to (1 Kings 4:31; 1 Chronicles 2:6), they were probably adopted into the tribe of Judah. Though called a song, which usually implies joy (Psalms 83:1), both the style and matter of the Psalm are very despondent; yet the appeals to God evince faith, and we may suppose that the word “song” might be extended to such compositions.

_ _ Compare on the terms used, Psalms 22:2; Psalms 31:2.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 88:1-9

_ _ It should seem, by the titles of this and the following psalm, that Heman was the penman of the one and Ethan of the other. There were two, of these names, who were sons of Zerah the son of Judah, 1 Chronicles 2:4, 1 Chronicles 2:6. There were two others famed for wisdom, 1 Kings 4:31, where, to magnify Solomon's wisdom, he is said to be wiser than Heman and Ethan. Whether the Heman and Ethan who were Levites and precentors in the songs of Zion were the same we are not sure, nor which of these, nor whether any of these, were the penmen of these psalms. There was a Heman that was one of the chief singers, who is called the king's seer, or prophet, in the words of God (1 Chronicles 25:5); it is probable that this also was a seer, and yet could see no comfort for himself, an instructor and comforter of others, and yet himself putting comfort away from him. The very first words of the psalm are the only words of comfort and support in all the psalm. There is nothing about him but clouds and darkness; but, before he begins his complaint, he calls God the God of his salvation, which intimates both that he looked for salvation, bad as things were, and that he looked up to God for the salvation and depended upon him to be the author of it. Now here we have the psalmist,

_ _ I. A man of prayer, one that gave himself to prayer at all times, but especially now that he was in affliction; for is any afflicted? let him pray. It is his comfort that he had prayed; it is his complaint that, notwithstanding his prayer, he was still in affliction. He was, 1. Very earnest in prayer: “I have cried unto thee (Psalms 88:1), and have stretched out my hands unto thee (Psalms 88:9), as one that would take hold on thee, and even catch at the mercy, with a holy fear of coming short and missing of it.” 2. He was very frequent and constant in prayer: I have called upon thee daily (Psalms 88:9), nay, day and night, Psalms 88:1. For thus men ought always to pray, and not to faint; God's own elect cry day and night to him, not only morning and evening, beginning every day and every night with prayer, but spending the day and night in prayer. This is indeed praying always; and then we shall speed in prayer, when we continue instant in prayer. 3. He directed his prayer to God, and from him expected and desired an answer (Psalms 88:2): “Let my prayer come before thee, to be accepted of thee, not before men, to be seen of them, as the Pharisees' prayers.” He does not desire that men should hear them, but, “Lord, incline thy ear unto my cry, for to that I refer myself; give what answer to it thou pleasest.”

_ _ II. He was a man of sorrows, and therefore some make him, in this psalm, a type of Christ, whose complaints on the cross, and sometimes before, were much to the same purport with this psalm. He cries out (Psalms 88:3): My soul is full of troubles; so Christ said, Now is my soul troubled; and, in his agony, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death, like the psalmist's here, for he says, My life draws nigh unto the grave. Heman was a very wise man, and a very good man, a man of God, and a singer too, and one may therefore suppose him to have been a man of a cheerful spirit, and yet now a man of sorrowful spirit, troubled in mind, and upon the brink of despair. Inward trouble is the sorest trouble, and that which, sometimes, the best of God's saints and servants have been severely exercised with. The spirit of man, of the greatest of men, will not always sustain his infirmity, but will droop and sink under it; who then can bear a wounded spirit?

_ _ III. He looked upon himself as a dying man, whose heart was ready to break with sorrow (Psalms 88:5): “Free among the dead (one of that ghastly corporation), like the slain that lie in the grave, whose rotting and perishing nobody takes notice of or is concerned for, nay, whom thou rememberest no more, to protect or provide for the dead bodies, but they become an easy prey to corruption and the worms; they are cut off from thy hand, which used to be employed in supporting them and reaching out to them; but, now there is no more occasion for this, they are cut off from it and cut off by it” (for God will not stretch out his hand to the grave, Job 30:24); “thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, as low as possible, my condition low, my spirits low, in darkness, in the deep (Psalms 88:6), sinking, and seeing no way open of escape, brought to the last extremity, and ready to give up all for gone.” Thus greatly may good men be afflicted, such dismal apprehensions may they have concerning their afflictions, and such dark conclusions may they sometimes be ready to make concerning the issue of them, through the power of melancholy and the weakness of faith.

_ _ IV. He complained most of God's displeasure against him, which infused the wormwood and the gall into the affliction and the misery (Psalms 88:7): Thy wrath lies hard upon me. Could he have discerned the favour and love of God in his affliction, it would have lain light upon him; but it lay hard, very hard, upon him, so that he was ready to sink and faint under it. The impressions of this wrath upon his spirits were God's waves with which he afflicted him, which rolled upon him, one on the neck of another, so that he scarcely recovered from one dark thought before he was oppressed with another; these waves beat against him with noise and fury; not some, but all, of God's waves were made use of in afflicting him and bearing him down. Even the children of God's love may sometimes apprehend themselves children of wrath, and no outward trouble can lie so hard upon them as that apprehension.

_ _ V. It added to his affliction that his friends deserted him and made themselves strange to him. When we are in trouble it is some comfort to have those about us that love us, and sympathize with us; but this good man had none such, which gives him occasion, not to accuse them, or charge them with treachery, ingratitude, and inhumanity, but to complain to God, with an eye to his hand in this part of the affliction (Psalms 88:8): Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me. Providence had removed them, or rendered them incapable of being serviceable to him, or alienated their affections from him; for every creature is that to us (and no more) that God makes it to be. If our old acquaintance be shy of us, and those we expect kindness from prove unkind, we must bear that with the same patient submission to the divine will that we do other afflictions, Job 19:13. Nay, his friends were not only strange to him, but even hated him, because he was poor and in distress: “Thou hast made me an abomination to them; they are not only shy of me, but sick of me, and I am looked upon by them, not only with contempt, but with abhorrence.” Let none think it strange concerning such a trial as this, when Heman, who was so famed for wisdom, was yet, when the world frowned upon him, neglected, as a vessel in which is no pleasure.

_ _ VI. He looked upon his case as helpless and deplorable: “I am shut up, and I cannot come forth, a close prisoner, under the arrests of divine wrath, and no way open of escape.” He therefore lies down and sinks under his troubles, because he sees not any probability of getting out of them. For thus he bemoans himself (Psalms 88:9): My eye mourneth by reason of affliction. Sometimes giving vent to grief by weeping gives some ease to a troubled spirit. Yet weeping must not hinder praying; we must sow in tears: My eye mourns, but I cry unto thee daily. Let prayers and tears go together, and they shall be accepted together. I have heard thy prayers, I have seen thy tears.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 88:1

"A Song [or] Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath (a) Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite." O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day [and] night (b) before thee:

(a) That is, to humble. It was the beginning of a song by which tune this psalm was sung.

(b) Though many cry in their sorrows, yet they cry not earnestly to God for remedy as he did whom he confessed to be the author of his salvation.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
etc. or, A Psalm of Heman the Ezrahite, giving instruction, Supposed to have been written by Heman, son of Zerah, and grandson of Judah, on the oppression of the Hebrews in Egypt.


1 Kings 4:31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.
1 Chronicles 2:6 And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.


Psalms 27:1 [[[A Psalm] of David.]] The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalms 27:9 Hide not thy face [far] from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
Psalms 51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: [and] my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
Psalms 62:7 In God [is] my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, [and] my refuge, [is] in God.
Psalms 65:5 [By] terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; [who art] the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off [upon] the sea:
Psalms 68:19 Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah.
Psalms 79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.
Psalms 140:7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
Genesis 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
Isaiah 12:2 Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.
Luke 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Luke 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, ... That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

I have:

Psalms 22:2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
Psalms 86:3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.
Nehemiah 1:6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.
Isaiah 62:6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, [which] shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,
Luke 2:37 And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.
Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
1 Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from [my] forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
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Chain-Reference Bible SearchCross References with Concordance

Gn 49:18. 1K 4:31. 1Ch 2:6. Ne 1:6. Ps 22:2; 27:1, 9; 51:14; 62:7; 65:5; 68:19; 79:9; 86:3; 140:7. Is 12:2; 62:6. Lk 1:47; 2:30, 37; 18:7. 1Th 3:10. 2Ti 1:3. Tit 2:10, 13; 3:4.

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