|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 12. - Mine age is departed; rather, my dwelling is plucked up. The body seems to be viewed as the dwelling-place of the soul. Hezekiah's is to be taken from him, and carried far away, like a shepherd's tent, while he, his true self, i.e. his soul, is left bare and naked (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:1-4). I have cut off like a weaver my life; rather, I have rolled up, like a weaver, my life. The careful weaver rolls up the web, as it advances, to keep it clean and free from dust. Hezekiah had been equally careful of his life; he had about half finished it, when lo! "Jehovah takes up the fatal scissors" (Cheyne), and severs the unfinished cloth from the loom (compare the Greek myth of Clotho, Laehesis, and Atropos). With pining sickness; rather, as in the margin, from the thrum. The "thrum" is the portion of the warp which adjoins the upper bar of the loom.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent,.... Or, my habitation (k); meaning the earthly house of his tabernacle, his body; this was just going, in his apprehension, to be unpinned, and removed like a shepherd's tent, that is easily taken down, and removed from place to place. Some understand it of the men of his age or generation; so the Targum,
"from the children of my generation my days are taken away; they are cut off, and removed from me; they are rolled up as a shepherd's tent;''
which being made of skins, as tents frequently were, such as the Arabian shepherds used, were soon taken down, and easily rolled and folded up and carried elsewhere:
I have cut off like a weaver my life; who, when he has finished his web, or a part of it, as he pleases, cuts it off from the loom, and disposes of it: this Hezekiah ascribes to himself, either that by reason of his sins and transgressions he was the cause of his being taken away by death so soon; or this was the thought he had within himself, that his life would now be cut off, as the weaver's web from the loom; for otherwise he knew that it was the Lord that would do it, whenever it was, as in the next clause:
he will cut me off with pining sickness; which was now upon him, wasting and consuming him apace: or, "will cut me off from the thrum" (l); keeping on the metaphor of the weaver cutting off his web from the thrum, fastened to the beam of his loom:
from day even tonight wilt thou make an end of me; he means the Lord by "he" in the preceding clause, and in this he addresses him; signifying that the affliction was so sharp and heavy upon him, which was the first day of it, that he did not expect to live till night, but that God would put a period to his days, fill them up, and finish his life, and dispatch him out of this world.
(k) "habitatio mea", Vatablus, Junius & Tremellius. (l) "a liciis resecturus est me", Piscator; "a primis filis resecat me", Vitringa.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. age—rather, as the parallel "shepherd's tent" requires habitation, so the Arabic [Gesenius].
departed—is broken up, or shifted, as a tent to a different locality. The same image occurs (2Co 5:1; 2Pe 1:12, 13). He plainly expects to exist, and not cease to be in another state; as the shepherd still lives, after he has struck his tent and removed elsewhere.
I have cut off—He attributes to himself that which is God's will with respect to him; because he declares that will. So Jeremiah is said to "root out" kingdoms, because he declares God's purpose of doing so (Jer 1:10). The weaver cuts off his web from the loom when completed. Job 7:6 has a like image. The Greeks represented the Fates as spinning and cutting off the threads of each man's life.
with pining sickness—rather, "from the thrum," or thread, which tied the loom to the weaver's beam.
from day … to night—that is, in the space of a single day between morning and night (Job 4:20).
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