Prayer for help (Ps 88:1-88:2)

A song, a psalm of the Sons of Korah. To the choirmaster leader, according to Mahalath Leannoth, a Maskil of Heman the Ezrahite

“Yahweh!

God of my salvation!

At night,

I cry out in your presence!

Let my prayer come before you!

Incline your ear to my cry!”

Psalm 88 is a psalm of the sons of Korah, the Temple singers. However, this Mahalath Leannoth refers to some kind of musical instrument for those who were sick. On top of that this is called a maskil of Heman, the Ezrahite. Who is he? He may have been a grandson of Samuel, the man called Heman appointed by David to be a Temple Singer in 1 Chronicles, chapter 6. However, there he is called a Kohathite, not an Ezrahite. This is a cry of desperation. God is his salvation. He cries all night in the presence of God. He wanted his prayers to come to God. In the classical sense he wanted God’s ear to listen to his cry.

Praise for Mount Zion (Ps 87:1-87:3)

A psalm of the Sons of Korah, a song

“On the holy mount

Stands the city he founded.

Yahweh loves the gates of Zion

More than all the dwelling places of Jacob.

Glorious things are spoken of you!

O city of God!”

Selah

Psalm 87 is in the Korahite tradition, the Temple singers. This is a short song of praise about Mount Zion in Jerusalem, as the mother of all people. This psalm seems to indicate that Yahweh founded this city. It is no longer the city of David, but the city of God, that became the inspiration of the Christan Augustine in the fourth century CE for his work of the same name. Yahweh loved this city more than any other dwelling place of Jacob. Thus it became the center of Israel. Glorious things have been spoken about this place which is now the city of God. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.

A prayer to Yahweh (Ps 85:1-85:2)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of the Sons of Korah

“Yahweh!

You were favorable to your land!

You restored the fortunes of Jacob.

You forgave the iniquity of your people.

You pardoned all their sin.”

Selah

Psalm 85 is another in the choral psalms of the Korahites, the Temple singers. This prayer to Yahweh thanks him for being favorable to the land of Jacob. Yahweh had restored the fortunes of Jacob, thus indicating a return from captivity. Yahweh has forgotten their iniquities. He has pardoned their sins. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.