Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 38

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Isaiah 36-39. This section has been extracted from 2 Kings 18:13 to 2 Kings 20:19, and the Song of Hezekiah has been added. For an exposition see the notes on 2 K.; here we have simply to deal with the Song of Hezekiah.

Isaiah 38:10-20 . Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Imminent Death.— This is now generally regarded as a post-exilic psalm. Its absence in the parallel narratine in Kings is significant. Apparently it was inserted here by an editor who thought it suitable to Hezekiah’ s circumstances. If, as seems likely, it has been influenced by the Book of Job, it must be post-exilic. The title cannot, any more than the Psalm titles, weigh against internal evidence.

Hezekiah’ s writing after his recovery from sickness. I thought that when I had reached the zenith of my life I should be banished to Sheol, where I should have fellowship with Yahweh no longer, nor yet with my fellow-men. My habitation ( mg.) is torn from the soil. I have rolled up my life as a weaver rolls up his web when it is finished; He will cut me off from the thrum ( mg.) , day and night Thou deliverest me to my pain. I cried out until morning, my bones broken with torment. I twittered like a swallow, moaned like a dove; my failing eyes looked up with appeal to Yahweh, that He would be my surety. What shall I say to Him? It is He who has done it. I toss all the time I am sleeping, because of the bitterness of my soul. Lord, for this my heart waits on Thee. Quicken me and restore me to health. Affliction was bitter, but it has been for my peace. Thou hast kept back my soul from the pit, and utterly forgotten all my sins. For in Sheol there can be no praise of Yahweh. Those who descend to the pit cannot hope for His faithfulness. Only the living can praise God. the father can declare to his children Yahweh’ s faithfulness. Here the song closes. Isaiah 38:20 seems to be an addition fitting it for use in the Temple.

Isaiah 38:10 . noontide: lit. “ stillness.” The metaphor is of the sun having risen to its height and pausing before it descends.

Isaiah 38:12 . loom: better “ thrum ( mg.) , i.e. the threads that fasten the web to the loom.— From day. . . of me: better “ day and night thou didst deliver me up.”

Isaiah 38:13 . quieted myself: better “ cried.”

Isaiah 38:14 c. He is like a debtor who is being taken to prison; he appeals to Yahweh, to the creditor Himself, to become his surety ( Job 17:3).

Isaiah 38:15 . Very difficult. Duhm’ s restoration, adopted above, gives the probable sense.

Isaiah 38:16 . Duhm’ s emendations of the obscure text are adopted above

Isaiah 38:18 f.— Observe the characteristic Hebrew conception of Sheol.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 38". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/isaiah-38.html. 1919.
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