Psalm 88 – New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 88[a]

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth.[b] A maskil[c] of Heman the Ezrahite.

  1. Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.
  2. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.
  3. I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death.
  4. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength.
  5. I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.
  6. You have put me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.
  7. Your wrath lies heavily on me; you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d]
  8. You have taken from me my closest friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape;
  9. my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you.
  10. Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
  11. Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction[e]?
  12. Are your wonders known in the place of darkness, or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
  13. But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
  14. Why, Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
  15. From my youth I have suffered and been close to death; I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
  16. Your wrath has swept over me; your terrors have destroyed me.
  17. All day long they surround me like a flood; they have completely engulfed me.
  18. You have taken from me friend and neighbor— darkness is my closest friend.


a. Psalm 88:1 In Hebrew texts 88:1-18 is numbered 88:2-19.
b. Psalm 88:1 Title: Possibly a tune, “The Suffering of Affliction”
c. Psalm 88:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
d. Psalm 88:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 10.
e. Psalm 88:11 Hebrew Abaddon

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Psalm 88 – King James Version (KJV)

A Song or Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.

  1. O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:
  2. Let my prayer come before thee: Incline thine ear unto my cry;
  3. For my soul is full of troubles: And my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
  4. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
  5. 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.
  6. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, In darkness, in the deeps.
  7. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, And thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
  8. Thou hast put away 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 mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.
  10. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
  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 have I cried, O LORD; And in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
  14. LORD, 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.
  16. Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; Thy terrors have cut me off.
  17. They came round about me daily like water; They compassed me about together.
  18. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, And mine acquaintance into darkness.