Psalm 88:8

Hebrew Bible

6 You place me in the lowest regions of the Pit, in the dark places, in the watery depths. 7 Your anger bears down on me, and you overwhelm me with all your waves. (Selah) 8 You cause those who know me to keep their distance; you make me an appalling sight to them. I am trapped and cannot get free. 9 My eyes grow weak because of oppression. I call out to you, O Lord, all day long; I spread out my hands in prayer to you. 10 Do you accomplish amazing things for the dead? Do the departed spirits rise up and give you thanks? (Selah)

Job 19:13

Hebrew Bible

11 Thus his anger burns against me, and he considers me among his enemies. 12 His troops advance together; they throw up a siege ramp against me, and they camp around my tent. 13He has put my relatives far from me; my acquaintances only turn away from me. 14 My kinsmen have failed me; my friends have forgotten me. 15 My guests and my servant girls consider me a stranger; I am a foreigner in their eyes.

 Notes and References

"... Not all individual laments of the Psalter have complaints against God; indeed, only about a third do. That fact might lead one to question how important complaint against God is for understanding the individual lament within the Psalter. In view of their daring character, however, it is amazing that so many laments accuse God. The frequency suggests that the entire Yahwistic community was aware of the possibility and legitimacy of approaching God in this manner. If the stakes were high enough, the people had little reticence. Accusation Against Enemies Alongside the accusation leveled against God are complaints and denunciation of enemies. Psalm 13:2, for example, reads: 'How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?' In Psalm 22, others are 'mocking' the supplicant (verse 7), 'encompassing' him (verse 12), even attacking him (verses 16-17) and dividing his clothes (verse 18). Psalm 35 describes the enemies as betrayers: For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a [pit] for my life. (verse 7) The supplicant claims to have befriended those who are now his accusers (verses 12-14); they have returned evil for good, and take pleasure in his fall (verses 11, 15-16). The rhetorical strategy of the complaint against enemies is to enlist God's support against members of the supplicant's community who have harmed him or who rejoice over his fall. Sometimes they are family members and friends who seem to be waiting for the supplicant to die. Occasionally the enemies are 'blamed' on God, e.g., 'You have caused lover and friend to shun me' (Psalm 88:8; Compare Job 19:13-22). In this case, the complaint about enemies is subordinated to the accusation against God. In most cases, though, the supplicant is seeking to arouse pity in God for his or her plight, to recruit God to his side in a conflict, to find someone with whom to share her feelings in a situation of isolation and loneliness ..."

Patrick, Dale and Kenneth Diable "Persuading the One and Only God to Intervene" in Foster, Robert L., and David M. Howard (eds.) My Words Are Lovely: Studies in the Rhetoric of the Psalms (pp. 19-32) T&T Clark, 2008

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