|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
38:9-22 We have here Hezekiah's thanksgiving. It is well for us to remember the mercies we receive in sickness. Hezekiah records the condition he was in. He dwells upon this; I shall no more see the Lord. A good man wishes not to live for any other end than that he may serve God, and have communion with him. Our present residence is like that of a shepherd in his hut, a poor, mean, and cold lodging, and with a trust committed to our charge, as the shepherd has. Our days are compared to the weaver's shuttle, Job 7:6, passing and repassing very swiftly, every throw leaving a thread behind it; and when finished, the piece is cut off, taken out of the loom, and showed to our Master to be judged of. A good man, when his life is cut off, his cares and fatigues are cut off with it, and he rests from his labours. But our times are in God's hand; he has appointed what shall be the length of the piece. When sick, we are very apt to calculate our time, but are still at uncertainty. It should be more our care how we shall get safe to another world. And the more we taste of the loving-kindness of God, the more will our hearts love him, and live to him. It was in love to our poor perishing souls that Christ delivered them. The pardon does not make the sin not to have been sin, but not to be punished as it deserves. It is pleasant to think of our recoveries from sickness, when we see them flowing from the pardon of sin. Hezekiah's opportunity to glorify God in this world, he made the business, and pleasure, and end of life. Being recovered, he resolves to abound in praising and serving God. God's promises are not to do away, but to quicken and encourage the use of means. Life and health are given that we may glorify God and do good.
Verse 10. - In the cutting off of my days; literally, in the pausing of my days - which is taken by some to mean "the noon-tide of my life" - when my sun had reached its zenith, and might have been expected to begin to decline; by others to signify "the still tranquillity of my life," when it was gliding quietly and peacefully along without anything to disturb it. Ver. 6 is against this latter view. I shall go to the gates of the grave; rather, I shall enter in at the gates of hell (or, Hades) - the place of departed spirits (see the comment on Isaiah 14:9). Hezekiah bewails his fate somewhat as Antigone: Ἀλλ ἔμ ὁ παγκοίτας Αἴδης ζῶσαν ἄγει τὰν Ἀχέροντος ἀκτάν (Soph., 'Ant.,' 11. 810-813).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I said, in the cutting off of my days,.... When he was told that he should die, and he believed he should; this he calls a "cutting off" in allusion to the weaver's web, Isaiah 38:12 and a cutting off "his days", he being now in the prime of his age, about thirty nine or forty years of age, and not arrived to the common period of life, and to which, according to his constitution, and the course of nature, he might have attained. The Jews call such a death a cutting off, that is, by the hand of God, which is before a man is fifty years of age. The Vulgate Latin version is, "in the midst of my days"; as it was, according to the common term of life, being threescore and ten, and at most eighty, Psalm 90:10,
I shall go to the gates of the grave; and enter there into the house appointed for all living, which he saw were open for him, and ready to receive him:
I am deprived of the residue of my days; the other thirty or forty years which he might expect to have lived, according to the course of nature; of these he was bereaved, according to the sentence of death he now had in him; what if the words were rendered, "I am visited with more of my years (f)?" and so the sense be, when I was apprehensive that I was just going to be cut off, and to be deprived of the days and years I might have lived, and hoped I should, to the glory of God, and the good of my subjects; just when I saw it was all over with me, I had a gracious visit or message from the Lord, assuring me that fifteen years should be added to my life: and so this is mentioned as a singular instance of divine goodness, in the midst of his distress; and to this sense the Targum agrees,
"because he remembered me for good, an addition was made to my years.''
(f) "visitatus sum, eum adhuc superessent anni", Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. cutting off—Rosenmuller translates, "the meridian"; when the sun stands in the zenith: so "the perfect day" (Pr 4:18). Rather, "in the tranquillity of my days," that is, that period of life when I might now look forward to a tranquil reign [Maurer]. The Hebrew is so translated (Isa 62:6, 7).
go to—rather, "go into," as in Isa 46:2 [Maurer].
residue of my years—those which I had calculated on. God sends sickness to teach man not to calculate on the morrow, but to live more wholly to God, as if each day were the last.
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