Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Psalms 88:5

    Psalms 88:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom you remember no more: and they are cut off from your hand.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    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.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    My soul is among the dead, like those in the underworld, to whom you give no more thought; for they are cut off from your care.

    Webster's Revision

    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.

    World English Bible

    set apart among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more. They are cut off from your hand.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 88:5

    Free among the dead - במתים צפשי bammethim chophshi, I rather think, means stripped among the dead. Both the fourth and fifth verses seem to allude to a field of battle: the slain and the wounded, are found scattered over the plain; the spoilers come among them, and strip, not only the dead, but those also who appear to be mortally wounded, and cannot recover, and are so feeble as not to be able to resist. Hence the psalmist says, "I am counted with them that go down into the pit; I am as a man that hath no strength," Psalm 88:4. And I am stripped among the dead, like the mortally wounded (חללים chalalim) that lie in the grave. "Free among the dead," inter mortuos liber, has been applied by the fathers to our Lord's voluntary death: all others were obliged to die, he alone gave up his life, and could take it again, John 10:18. He went into the grave, and came out when he chose. The dead are bound in the grave; he was free, and not obliged to continue in that state as they were.

    They are cut off from thy hand - An allusion to the roll in which the general has the names of all that compose his army under their respective officers. And when one is killed, he is erased from this register, and remembered no more, as belonging to the army; but his name is entered among those who are dead, in a separate book. This latter is termed the black book, or the book of death; the other is called the book of life, or the book where the living are enrolled. From this circumstance, expressed in different parts of the sacred writings, the doctrine of unconditional reprobation and election has been derived. How wonderful!

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 88:5

    Free among the dead - Luther renders this, "I lie forgotten among the dead." DeWette renders it, "Pertaining to the dead - (den Todten angehorend) - stricken down, like the slain, I lie in the grave," and explains it as meaning, "I am as good as dead." The word rendered "free" - חפשׁי chophshı̂y - means properly, according to Gesenius (Lexicon),

    (1) prostrate, weak, feeble;

    (2) free, as opposed to a slave or a captive;

    (3) free from public taxes or burdens.

    The word is translated "free" in Exodus 21:2, Exodus 21:5,Exodus 21:26-27; Deuteronomy 15:12-13, Deuteronomy 15:18; 1 Samuel 17:25; Job 3:19; Job 39:5; Isaiah 58:6; Jeremiah 34:9-11, Jeremiah 34:14; and at liberty in Jeremiah 34:16. It occurs nowhere else except in this verse. In all these places (except in 1 Samuel 17:25, where it refers to a house or family made free, and Job 39:5, where it refers to the freedom of the wild ass), it denotes the freedom of one who had been a servant or slave. In Job 3:19, it has reference to the grave, and to the fact that the grave delivers a slave or servant from obligation to his master: "And the servant is free from his master." This is the idea, I apprehend, here. It is not, as DeWette supposes, that he was weak and feeble, as the spirits of the departed are represented to be (compare the notes at Isaiah 14:9-11), but that the dead are made free from the burdens, the toils, the calamities, the servitudes of life; that they are like those who are emancipated from bondage (compare Job 7:1-2; Job 14:6); that death comes to discharge them, or to set them at liberty. So the psalmist applies the expression here to himself, as if he had already reached that point; as if it were so certain that he must die that he could speak of it as if it had occurred; as if he were actually in the condition of the dead. The idea is that he was to all appearance near the grave, and that there was no hope of his recovery. It is not here, however, the idea of release or emancipation which was mainly before his mind, or any idea of consolation as from that, but it is the idea of death - of hopeless disease that must end in death. This he expresses in the usual language; but it is evident that he did not admit any comfort into his mind from the idea of freedom in the grave.

    Like the slain that lie in the grave - When slain in battle. They are free from the perils and the toils of life; they are emancipated from its cares and dangers. Death is freedom; and it is possible to derive solace from that idea of death, as Job did Job 3:19; but the psalmist here, as remarked above, did not so admit that idea into his mind as to be comforted by it.

    Whom thou rememberest no more - As if they were forgotten by thee; as if they were no longer the object of thy care. They are suffered to lie and waste away, with no care on thy part to restore them to life, or to preserve them from offensiveness and decay. So the great, the beautiful, and the good lie neglected in the grave.

    And they are cut off from thy hand - Margin, "by." The Hebrew is literally "from thy hand," but still the idea is that it was by the agency of God. They had been cut down, and were forgotten - as if God regarded them no more. So we shall all moulder in the grave - in that deep, dark, cold, silent, repulsive abode, as if even God had forgotten us.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 88:5

    88:5 Free - Well nigh discharged from the warfare of the present life, and entered as a member into the society of the dead. Whom - Thou seemest to neglect and bury in oblivion.