|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 11. - I shall not see the Lord (comp. Psalm 6:5, "In death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave (Sheol) who shall give thee thanks?" and see also Psalm 30:9; Psalm 88:10-12; Psalm 115:17). The Jews had not yet attained the conception of a blissful region in Hades, where God manifested himself, and the saints, who were awaiting the resurrection, saw him and praised him. Even the Lord. (For examples of repetition for the sake of emphasis, see Isaiah 29:1; Isaiah 33:22; Isaiah 38:19; Isaiah 40:1; Isaiah 51:17, etc.) In the land of the living; i.e. "as I do now in the land of the living" (comp. Psalm 27:13; Psalm 116:9).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living,.... Not any more, in this world, though in the other, and that more clearly, even face to face: his meaning is, that he should no more see him in the glass of the word; no more praise him in his house; worship him in his temple; enjoy him in his ordinances; and see his beauty, power, and glory, in the sanctuary; and confess unto him, and praise his name (g). The Targum is,
"I shall no more appear before the face of the Lord in the land of the house of his Shechinah, in which is length of life; and I shall no more serve him in the house of the sanctuary.''
In the Hebrew text it is, "I shall not see Jah, Jah"; a word, the same with Jehovah; and is repeated, to show the vehemency of his affection for the Lord, and his ardent desire of communion with him: unless it should be rendered, "I shall not see the Lord's Lord in the land of the living (h)"; or the Lord's Christ in the flesh:
I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world; or "time" (i); of this fading transitory world, which will quickly cease, as the word for it signifies: next to God, his concern was, that he should no more enjoy the company of men, of his subjects, of his courtiers, of his relations, companions, and acquaintance; particularly of the saints, the excellent in the earth.
(g) Ben Melech observes, that seeing or appearing before the Creator signifies confession and praise before him, and consideration of his ways; and this sense of the words, he says, R. Sandiah gives. (h) , Sept. "non videbo Jah Jah", Montanus, Vatablus. (i) "cum habitoribus temporis", Montanus. So Ben Melech explains it; and which will quickly cease. "mundus, tempus cito desinens"----ldx, "prodit mundi cessabilitatem, quatenus est colectio rerum pereuntium", Gusset. Ebr. Comment. p. 242. "cum habitatoribus terrae cessationis", Vitringa.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. Lord … Lord—The repetition, as in Isa 38:19, expresses the excited feeling of the king's mind.
See the Lord (Jehovah)—figuratively for "to enjoy His good gifts." So, in a similar connection (Ps 27:13). "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living"; (Ps 34:12), "What man is he that desireth life that he may see good?"
world—rather, translate: "among the inhabitants of the land of stillness," that is, Hades [Maurer], in parallel antithesis to "the land of the living" in the first clause. The Hebrew comes from a root, to "rest" or "cease" (Job 14:6).
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