Isaiah 38:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew weak as I looked to the heavens. I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!"

New Living Translation
Delirious, I chattered like a swallow or a crane, and then I moaned like a mourning dove. My eyes grew tired of looking to heaven for help. I am in trouble, Lord. Help me!"

English Standard Version
Like a swallow or a crane I chirp; I moan like a dove. My eyes are weary with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!

New American Standard Bible
"Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter; I moan like a dove; My eyes look wistfully to the heights; O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I chirp like a swallow or a crane; I moan like a dove. My eyes grow weak looking upward. Lord, I am oppressed; support me.

International Standard Version
Like a swallow or a crane I chirp, I moan like a dove. My eyes look weakly upward. O Lord, I am oppressed, so stand up for me!

NET Bible
Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp, I coo like a dove; my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky. O sovereign master, I am oppressed; help me!

New Heart English Bible
I chattered like a swallow or a crane. I moaned like a dove. My eyes weaken looking upward. Lord, I am oppressed. Be my security."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I chirped like swallows and cranes. I cooed like doves. My eyes were tired from looking up to heaven. I've suffered miserably, O Lord! Please help me!

JPS Tanakh 1917
Like a swallow or a crane, so do I chatter, I do moan as a dove; Mine eyes fail with looking upward. O LORD, I am oppressed, be Thou my surety.

New American Standard 1977
“Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter;
            I moan like a dove;
            My eyes look wistfully to the heights;
            O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Like a crane or a swallow, so did I complain; I mourned as a dove; I raised my eyes upward, O LORD, I am suffering violence; comfort me.

King James 2000 Bible
Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: my eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

American King James Version
Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: my eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

American Standard Version
Like a swallow or a crane, so did I chatter; I did moan as a dove; mine eyes fail with looking upward: O Lord, I am oppressed, be thou my surety.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I will cry like a young swallow, I will meditate like a dove: my eyes are weakened looking upward: Lord, I suffer violence, answer thou for me.

Darby Bible Translation
Like a swallow [or] a crane, so did I chatter; I mourned as a dove; mine eyes failed [with looking] upward: Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

English Revised Version
Like a swallow or a crane, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward; O LORD, I am oppressed, be thou my surety.

Webster's Bible Translation
Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered: I mourned as a dove: my eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

World English Bible
I chattered like a swallow or a crane. I moaned like a dove. My eyes weaken looking upward. Lord, I am oppressed. Be my security."

Young's Literal Translation
As a crane -- a swallow -- so I chatter, I mourn as a dove, Drawn up have been mine eyes on high, O Jehovah, oppression is on me, be my surety.
Study Bible
Hezekiah's Song of Thanksgiving
13"I composed my soul until morning. Like a lion-- so He breaks all my bones, From day until night You make an end of me. 14"Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter; I moan like a dove; My eyes look wistfully to the heights; O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security. 15"What shall I say? For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it; I will wander about all my years because of the bitterness of my soul.…
Cross References
Hebrews 7:22
Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Job 17:3
"Lay down, now, a pledge for me with Yourself; Who is there that will be my guarantor?

Job 30:29
"I have become a brother to jackals And a companion of ostriches.

Psalm 55:2
Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,

Psalm 69:3
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

Psalm 102:6
I resemble a pelican of the wilderness; I have become like an owl of the waste places.

Psalm 119:82
My eyes fail with longing for Your word, While I say, "When will You comfort me?"

Psalm 119:122
Be surety for Your servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me.

Psalm 119:123
My eyes fail with longing for Your salvation And for Your righteous word.

Isaiah 59:11
All of us growl like bears, And moan sadly like doves; We hope for justice, but there is none, For salvation, but it is far from us.
Treasury of Scripture

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: my eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

a crane

Job 30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.

Psalm 102:4-7 My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to …

I did mourn

Isaiah 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, …

Ezekiel 7:16 But they that escape of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains …

Nahum 2:7 And Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, and …

mine eyes

Psalm 69:3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: my eyes fail while I …

Psalm 119:82,123 My eyes fail for your word, saying, When will you comfort me…

Psalm 123:1-4 To you lift I up my eyes, O you that dwell in the heavens…

Lamentations 4:17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching …

I am

Psalm 119:122 Be surety for your servant for good: let not the proud oppress me.

Psalm 143:7 Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit fails: hide not your face from …

undertake for me. or, ease me.

(14) Like a crane . . .--The three birds--strictly, the "swift," the "crane," the "dove"--each with its special note of lamentation, represent, as it were, the cries of pain and the low suppressed wail of the sufferer. The three appear again together in Jeremiah 8:7.

Undertake for me--i.e., as in Genesis 43:9; Genesis 44:32; Job 17:3, Be surety for me. The idea is that of Death, who, yet in another sense, is but the minister of Jehovah, as being the creditor pressing for immediate payment. The words involve (as Cheyne points out) something like an appeal to the judge, who is also the accuser, to be bail for the accused.

Verse 14. - Like a crane or a swallow. The sus, here translated "crane," is probably "the swift," which has a loud, shrill note. The, agur is, perhaps, "the crane;" but this is very uncertain. The two words occur as the names of birds only here and in Jeremiah 8:7. So did I chatter; rather, so did I scream (Cheyne). I did mourn; rather, I did moan. Mine eyes fail with looking upward; rather, mine eyes are weak to look upward; i.e. I have scarcely the courage or the strength to look to Jehovah; yet still I do look to him falteringly, and make my appeal: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me (comp. Job 17:3); literally, be Surety for me. "The image," as Mr. Cheyne says, "is that of a debtor, who is being dragged to prison" at the suit of an exacting creditor, and for whom there is but one hope of relief; viz. if he can obtain a sufficient surety. Hezekiah calls on God to be the Surety; but God is the Creditor! Still, there is an appeal from God's justice to God's mercy - from Jehovah who punishes to Jehovah who forgives sin; and this appeal Hezekiah seems to intend to make when he beseeches God to "undertake for him." Like a crane, or a swallow, so did I chatter,.... Rather, "like a crane and a swallow", like both; sometimes loud and clamorous, like a crane (o), when the pain was very acute and grievous; and sometimes very low, through weakness of body, like the twittering of a swallow; or the moan he made under his affliction was like the mournful voices of these birds at certain times. Some think he refers to his prayers, which were quick and short, and expressed not with articulate words, but in groans and cries; at least were not regular and orderly, but interrupted, and scarce intelligible, like the chattering of the birds mentioned:

I did mourn as a dove; silently and patiently, within himself, for his sins and transgressions; and because of his afflictions, the fruit of them:

mine eyes fail with looking upwards; or, "on high"; or, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions express it, "to the height of heaven"; to the Lord there, whose Shechinah, as the Targum, is in the highest heavens: in his distress he looked up to heaven for help, but none came; he looked and waited till his eyes were weak with looking, and he could look no longer; both his eyes and his heart failed him, and he despaired of relief; and the prayer he put up was as follows:

O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me; or, "it oppresseth me (p)"; that is, the disease; it lay so heavy upon him, it bore him down with the weight of it, he could not stand up under it; it had seized him, and crushed him; it held him fast, and he could not get clear of it; and therefore entreats the Lord to "undertake" for him, to be his surety for good, as in Psalm 119:122, he represents his disease as a bailiff that had arrested him, and was carrying him to the prison of the grave; and therefore prays that the Lord would bail him, or rescue him out of his hands, that he might not go down to the gates of the grave. So souls oppressed with the guilt of sin, and having fearful apprehensions of divine justice, should apply to Christ their surety, and take refuge in his undertakings, where only peace and safety are to be enjoyed. So Gussetius renders the words, "I have unrighteousness, be surety for me" (q); and takes them to be a confession of Hezekiah, acknowledging himself guilty of unrighteousness, praying and looking to Christ the Son of God, and to his suretyship engagements, who, though not yet come to fulfil them, certainly would.

(o) So it is said in the Talmud, "Resh-Lakish cried like a crane", T. Bab. Kiddushin, Colossians 42. 1.((p) "Opprimit me, sub.infirmitas, vel morbus", Munster. (q) "njustitia est mihi hoc est, habeo injustitiam, reus suro injustitia, sponde pro me", Ebr. Comment, p. 654. 14. Rather, "Like a swallow, or a crane" (from a root; "to disturb the water," a bird frequenting the water) [Maurer], (Jer 8:7).

chatter—twitter: broken sounds expressive of pain.

dove—called by the Arabs the daughter of mourning, from its plaintive note (Isa 59:11).

looking upward—to God for relief.

undertake for—literally, "be surety for" me; assure me that I shall be restored (Ps 119:122).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.
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Aid Bird Cause Chatter Clamor Crane Cried Cries Crushed Desire Dove Drawn Eyes Fail Failed Grew Grief Heavens Heights Moan Moaned Mourn Mourned Mourning Oppressed Security Sounds Surety Swallow Swift Undertake Upward Weak Weaken Weary
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Aid Bird Cause Chatter Clamor Crane Cried Cries Crushed Desire Dove Drawn Eyes Fail Failed Grew Grief Heavens Heights Moan Moaned Mourn Mourned Mourning Oppressed Security Sounds Surety Swallow Swift Undertake Upward Weak Weaken Weary
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