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Isa 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
Ver. 1. In those days was Hezekiah sick. ] See 2Ki 20:1-2 2 Chronicles 32:24 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:1 " See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:2 " See Trapp on " 2Ch 32:24 "
Isa 38:2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
Ver. 2. See 2 Kings 20:2 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:2 "
Isa 38:3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
Ver. 3. See 2 Kings 20:3 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:3 "
Isa 38:4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
Ver. 4. See 2 Kings 20:4 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:4 "
Isa 38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
Ver. 5. See 2 Kings 20:5 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:5 "
Isa 38:6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
Ver. 6. See 2 Kings 20:6-7 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:6 " See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:7 "
Isa 38:7 And this [shall be] a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;
Ver. 7. See 2 Kings 20:8 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:8 "
Isa 38:8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
Ver. 8. See 2 Kings 20:9-12 See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:9 " See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:10 " See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:11 " See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:12 "
Isa 38:9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:
Ver. 9. The writing of Hezekiah. ] Scriptum confessionis, a song of thanksgiving set forth by Hezekiah, and here inserted by the prophet Isaiah, as a public instrument and lasting monument of God’s great goodness to him in his late recovery; such a thankful man is worth his weight in the gold of Ophir. Heathens in such a case were wont to hang up tables in the temples of their gods. Papists build chapels, erect altars, hang up memories, as they call them, and vow presents to their he saints and she saints. But among us, alas! it is according to the Italian proverb, a When the disease is once removed, God is utterly defrauded:
“ Aegrotus surgit, sed pia vota iacent. ”
We may he wondered at, not without cause, as the Emperor Constantine marvelled at his people that were newly become Christians: I marvel, said he, how it comes to pass that many of my people are worse now than before they were Christians.
a Sciapato il morbo, fraudato il sancto.
Isa 38:10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.
Ver. 10. I said in the cutting off of my days. ] When I looked upon myself as a dead man. Here he telleth us what passed between God and him while he lay desperately sick. The utmost of a danger escaped is to be recognised and recorded. This will both instruct the judgment, enlarge the heart, and open the mouth.
I shall go to the gates of the grave. ] He maketh the grave to have gates, either by a poetic fiction, or else by a proverbial expression. So "the gates of death." Psalms 9:13 ; Psa 107:18 1Sa 2:6
I am deprived of the residue of my years, ] sc., That I might have lived in a natural course. Vox haec queritantis quidem est: Quis enim vult mori? prorsus nemo. Nature shunneth death as its slaughter man.
Isa 38:11 I said, I shall not see the LORD, [even] the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
Ver. 11. I said, I shall not see the Lord. ] In the glass of his ordinances, his love whereunto made Hezekiah so loath to depart; as also his delight in the communion of saints, and his desire to do more good among them on all occasions. This made good Paul "in a strait" also. Php 1:23-24 I loved the man, said Theodosius concerning Ambrose, for that when he died he was more solicitous of the Church’s welfare than of his own.
Even the Lord. ] Non videbo Iah Iah. I shall not see the Lord of the Lord, Deum Dei, vel Deum de Deo, a - that is, Christ in the flesh, as I had well hoped to have done: so some sense it. Others say he redoubleth the word "Jah" to express his ardent affection to God’s service, and to intimate his desire of life to that purpose. Isa 38:22
a Leo Castrius.
Isa 38:12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd’s tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day [even] to night wilt thou make an end of me.
Ver. 12. Mine age is departed. ] Or, My generation, or my habitation: here I have no settled abode, no continuing city, but am flitting, as a shepherd’s shed.
I have cut off like a weaver my life. ] By my sins I have shortened my days. as Genesis 38:7 ; Gen 38:10 Or rather, God as a weaver that hath finished his web, cutteth me out of the loom of life. We know what the poets fain of the fates,
“ Clotho colum baiulat, Lachesis trahit, Atropos occat. ”
He will cut me off with pining sickness. ] Or, From the thrum , for the same Hebrew word signifieth both, because of the thinness and weakness of it.
From day even to night. ] So that by night I shall be dead, as they story of the Ephemerobii and as Aristotle writes that the river Hypanis in Thracia every day bringeth forth little bladders out of which come certain flies, which are thus bred in the morning, fledged at noon, and dead at night.
Isa 38:13 I reckoned till morning, [that], as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day [even] to night wilt thou make an end of me.
Ver. 13. I reckoned until morning. ] And then, at utmost, I thought there would be an end of my life and pain together; for what through troubles without and terrors within, he was in a woe case, even as if a lion had broke all his bones. Hoc sentinnt qui magnis febribus aestuant, saith an interpreter. Now, whereas some say all die of a fever, let us take care we die not of a cold shaking fit of fear.
Isa 38:14 Like a crane [or] a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail [with looking] upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.
Ver. 14. Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter. ] Ita pipiebam; peraptae sunt similitudines. Broken petitions coming from a broken heart are of singular avail with God. Psa 51:17 Ah Pater brevissima quidem vex est, sed omnia complectitur, saith Luther - i.e., Ah, Father, is a short prayer, but very complexive and effectual. So is the prayer here recorded.
O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me. ] a Miserere mihi misero. Hezekiah, though a most holy man, begged pardon at his death, and flees to Christ, his surety. So did Augustine (he prayed over the seven penitential psalms) and Fulgentius, and Archbishop Ussher. Some render it Pertexe me, weave me out, lengthen my life to its due period.
a Tu tuam fldem interpone.
Isa 38:15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done [it]: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.
Ver. 15. What shall I say? ] This he seemeth to speak in a way of wondering at God’s goodness in delivering him from so great a death. The like doth the apostle in Romans 8:31 , "What shall we then say to these things?"
He hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it. ] He no sooner bade me be well, but he made me so. a Thus he attributeth his recovery to the most faithful promise of God, and not to the lump of figs, &c.
I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. ] Or, I shall go quietly and cheerfully all my years after my soul’s bitternsss - sc., When it is past and gone. b
a Dixit et fecit.
Isa 38:16 O Lord, by these [things men] live, and in all these [things is] the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.
Ver. 16. O Lord, by these things men live. ] By thy promises so performed "the just do live by faith," and live long in a little while; for life consisteth in action, and some live more in a day than others do in a year. An elephant liveth two hundred years, saith Aristotle; three hundred and fifty, saith Philostratus; and yet man, though of much shorter a continuance, is not inferior to an elephant. For this is not the best thing in nature, saith Scaliger, to live longest, but to live to best purpose. Now, man’s life is a way to life eternal. Other creatures have what they live for: not so man, while here.
And in all these things is the life of my spirit. ] The godly esteem of life by that stirring they find in their souls; else they lament as over a dead soul.
So wilt thou recover me. ] Or, Hast thou recovered me?
Isa 38:17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul [delivered it] from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
Ver. 17. Behold, for peace I had great bitterness. ] Mar Mar; the approach of death was to this good man bitter bitterness, and yet Christ had taken away from him the sting or gall of death, so that he might better say than Agag did, "Surely the bitterness of death is past," or than Lucan doth of the Gauls and Britons.
- “ Animmque capaces
“Life and spaceous corpse.”
But thou hast in love to my soul. ] Or, Thou hast embraced my soul out of the corrupting pit. Complectendi verbum, affectum plane paternum, et stadium iuvandi singulare exprimit.
For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. ] As an old overworn evidence, that is out of date, and of no use. Here it is well noted that we must set our sins before our face, if we would have God to cast them behind his back. Psalms 50:21 ; Psa 51:3
Isa 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can [not] celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
Ver. 18. For the grave cannot praise thee, ] i.e., Palam et cum aliis, openly and exemplarily. See Psalms 6:5 . See Trapp on " Psa 6:5 " David desires to live for no other end, and so Hezekiah, than to be glorifying of God.
They that go down into the pit. ] Of the grave; so of despair. It is a sin for any man to say, I am a reprobate, for it keeps him in sin, and cuts the sinews of endeavour.
Isa 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I [do] this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
Ver. 19. The living, the living, he shall praise thee. ] Those that live the life of nature, if withal they live the life of grace, and so are living living, and not "dead while they live": for the wicked cannot praise God; they can say God a thank, and that is all. But as it is with the hand dial - the finger of the dial standeth at twelve, when the dial hath not moved one minute; so though their tongues are forward in praises, yet their hearts stand still. What they do this way is but "dead work."
The father to the son shall make known. ] And for this end parents may desire to live longer. Hezekiah did his part, no doubt, by wicked Manasseh, who also at length repented and was saved.
Isa 38:20 The LORD [was ready] to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.
Ver. 20. The Lord was ready to save. ] Heb., The Lord to save. Servati sumus ut serviamus. Hezekiah was the better for his sickness: God had brought health out of it, as he doth out of all his, by bringing the body of death into a consumption.
Therefore we will sing my songs. ] Quales quaeso illi? saith Scultetus; what kind of songs would he sing in the house of the Lord and in the hearing of all the people, as long as he had a day to live? Surely this here recorded among and above the rest, though it set forth his queritations and infirmities: Deprimunt se sancti ut Deus exaltetur. The saints gladly abase themselves, if thereby God may be exalted.
Isa 38:21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay [it] for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.
Ver. 21. Let them take a lump of figs. ] Commenciatur hic usus medicinae. The patient must pray, but withal make use of means; trust God, but not tempt him. See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:7 "
Isa 38:22 Hezekiah also had said, What [is] the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?
Ver. 22. See Trapp on " 2Ki 20:8 "
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 38". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29