Isaiah 38:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.

New Living Translation
Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.

English Standard Version
Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

New American Standard Bible
"Lo, for my own welfare I had great bitterness; It is You who has kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

King James Bible
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Indeed, it was for my own welfare that I had such great bitterness; but Your love has delivered me from the Pit of destruction, for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back.

International Standard Version
Yes, it was for my own good that I suffered extreme anguish. But in love you have held back my life from the Pit in which it has been confined; you have tossed all my sins behind your back.

NET Bible
"Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit. You delivered me from the pit of oblivion. For you removed all my sins from your sight.

New Heart English Bible
Look, for peace I had great anguish, but you have in love for my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Now my bitter experience turns into peace. You have saved me and kept me from the rotting pit. You have thrown all my sins behind you.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Behold, for my peace I had great bitterness; But Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it From the pit of corruption; For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back.

New American Standard 1977
“Lo, for my own welfare I had great bitterness;
            It is Thou who hast kept my soul from the pit of nothingness,
            For Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness; but it has pleased thee to deliver my life from the pit of corruption, for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

King James 2000 Bible
Behold, for my peace I had great bitterness: but you have in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

American King James Version
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but you have in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

American Standard Version
Behold, it was for my peace that I had great bitterness: But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold in peace is my bitterness most bitter: but thou best delivered my soul that it should not perish, thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

Darby Bible Translation
Behold, instead of peace I had bitterness upon bitterness; but thou hast in love delivered my soul from the pit of destruction; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

English Revised Version
Behold, it was for my peace that I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

World English Bible
Behold, for peace I had great anguish, but you have in love for my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

Young's Literal Translation
Lo, to peace He changed for me bitterness, And Thou hast delighted in my soul without corruption, For Thou hast cast behind Thy back all my sins.
Study Bible
Hezekiah's Song of Thanksgiving
16"O Lord, by these things men live, And in all these is the life of my spirit; O restore me to health and let me live! 17"Lo, for my own welfare I had great bitterness; It is You who has kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back. 18"For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.…
Cross References
Job 33:24
Then let him be gracious to him, and say, 'Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom';

Psalm 30:3
O LORD, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

Psalm 55:23
But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.

Psalm 86:13
For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Isaiah 38:15
"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.

Isaiah 43:25
"I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.

Jeremiah 31:34
"They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

Jonah 2:6
"I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God.

Micah 7:19
He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.
Treasury of Scripture

Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but you have in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for you have cast all my sins behind your back.

for peace I had great bitterness. or, on my peace came great bitterness

Job 3:25,26 For the thing which I greatly feared is come on me, and that which …

Job 29:18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

Psalm 30:6,7 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved…

in love to my soul delivered it from the pit. Heb. loved my soul from the pit.

Psalm 30:3 O LORD, you have brought up my soul from the grave: you have kept …

Psalm 40:2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, …

Psalm 86:13 For great is your mercy toward me: and you have delivered my soul …

Psalm 88:4-6 I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that …

Jonah 2:6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars …

thou hast cast

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, …

Psalm 10:2 The wicked in his pride does persecute the poor: let them be taken …

Psalm 85:2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people, you have covered all …

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man …

Micah 7:18,19 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the …

(17) For peace I had great bitterness . . .--The words in the Authorised Version read like a retrospect of the change from health to suffering. Really, they express the very opposite. It was for my peace (i.e., for my salvation, in the fullest sense of the word) that it was bitter, was bitter unto me (emphasis of iteration). All things were now seen as "working together for good."

Thou hast in love to my soul . . .--The italics show that the verbs "delivered it "are not in the present Hebrew text. A slight change, such as might be made to correct an error of transcription, would give that meaning, but as it stands, we have the singularly suggestive phrase, Thou hast loved me out of the pit of corruption. The very love of Jehovah is thought of as ipso facto a deliverance.

Thou hast cast all my sins . . .--As in our Lord's miracles, the bodily healing was the pledge and earnest of the spiritual. "Arise and walk" guaranteed, "Thy sins be forgiven thee" (Matthew 9:2-5). (For the symbols of that forgiveness, comp. Micah 7:19.)

Verse 17. - Behold, for peace I had great bitterness; rather, behold, it was for my peace that I had such bitterness, such bitterness. The pain that I underwent was for the true peace and comfort of my soul (comp. Psalm 94:12; Psalm 119:75; Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:5-11). Thou hast in love, etc.; literally, thou hast loved my soul back from the pit of destruction - as if God's love, beaming on the monarch's soul, had drawn it back from the edge of the pit (comp. Hosea 11:4, "I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love"). For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. Where they could be no more seen, and therefore would be no more remembered (comp. Micah 7:19; Psalm 25:7; Psalm 79:8; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 64:9, etc.). Hezekiah, though lately he protested his integrity (ver. 3). did not mean to say that he was sinless, lie knew that he had sinned; he regarded his sins as having brought down upon him the sentence of death; as God has revoked the sentence, he knows that he has pardoned his sins and put them away from his remembrance. Behold, for peace I had great bitterness,.... Meaning not that instead of peace and prosperity, which he expected would ensue upon the destruction of Sennacherib's army, came a bitter affliction upon him; for he is not now dwelling on that melancholy subject; but rather the sense is, that he now enjoyed great peace and happiness, though he had been in great bitterness; for the words may be rendered, "behold, I am in peace, I had great bitterness"; or thus, "behold my great bitterness is unto peace": or, "he has turned it into peace" (u); it has issued in it, and this is my present comfortable situation: "but", or rather,

and thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: the grave, where bodies rot and corrupt, and are quite abolished, as the word signifies; see Psalm 30:3 or "thou hast embraced my soul from the pit of corruption (w)"; it seems to be an allusion to a tender parent, seeing his child sinking in a pit, runs with open arms to him, and embraces him, and takes him out. This may be applied to a state of nature, out of which the Lord in love delivers his people; which is signified by a pit, or dark dungeon, a lonely place, a filthy one, very uncomfortable, where they are starving and famishing; a pit, wherein is no water, Zechariah 9:11 and may fitly be called a pit of corruption, because of their corrupt nature, estate, and actions; out of this the Lord brings his people at conversion, and that because of his great love to their souls, and his delight in them; or it may be applied to their deliverance from the bottomless pit of destruction, which is owing to the Lord's being gracious to them, and having found a ransom for them, his own Son, Job 33:24, and to this sense the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions seem to incline; "for thou hast delivered my soul that it might not perish": in love to their souls, and that they may not perish, he binds them up in the bundle of life, with the Lord their God; he redeems their souls from sin, Satan, and the law; he regenerates, renews, and converts them, and preserves them safe to his everlasting kingdom and glory; in order to which, and to prevent their going down to the pit, they are put into the hands of Christ, redeemed by his precious blood, and are turned out of the broad road that leads to destruction:

for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back; as loathsome and abominable, and so as not to be seen by him; for though God sees all the sins of his people with his eye of omniscience, and in his providence takes notice of them, and chastises for them, yet not with his eye of avenging justice; because Christ has took them on himself, and made satisfaction for them, and an end of them; they are removed from them as far as the east is from the west, and no more to be seen upon them; nor will they be any more set before his face, or in the light of his countenance; but as they are out of sight they will be out of mind, never more remembered, but forgotten; as what is cast behind the back is seen and remembered no more. The phrase is expressive of the full forgiveness of sins, even of all sins; see Psalm 85:2, the object of God's love is the souls of his people; the instance of it is the delivery of them from the pit of corruption; the evidence of it is the pardon of their sins.

(u) Abendana, after Joseph Kimchi, interprets it of changing bitterness into peace; he observes in the phrase that the first signifies change or permutation as in Jer. xlvlii. 11. and the second bitterness: and that the sense is this, behold, unto peace he hath changed my bitterness, that is the bitterness and distress which I had, he hath changed into peace. (w) "et tu amplexus es amore animam meam a fovea abolitionis"; Montanus; "tu vero propenso amore complexus es animam meam", Piscator; "tu tenero amore complexus animam meam", Vitringa. 17. for peace—instead of the prosperity which I had previously.

great bitterness—literally, "bitterness to me, bitterness"; expressing intense emotion.

in love—literally, "attachment," such as joins one to another tenderly; "Thou hast been lovingly attached to me from the pit"; pregnant phrase for, Thy love has gone down to the pit, and drawn me out from it. The "pit" is here simply death, in Hezekiah's sense; realized in its fulness only in reference to the soul's redemption from hell by Jesus Christ (Isa 61:1), who went down to the pit for that purpose Himself (Ps 88:4-6; Zec 9:11, 12; Heb 13:20). "Sin" and sickness are connected (Ps 103:3; compare Isa 53:4, with Mt 8:17; 9:5, 6), especially under the Old Testament dispensation of temporal sanctions; but even now, sickness, though not invariably arising from sin in individuals, is connected with it in the general moral view.

cast … behind back—consigned my sins to oblivion. The same phrase occurs (1Ki 14:9; Ne 9:26; Ps 50:17). Contrast Ps 90:8, "Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance."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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OT Prophets: Isaiah 38:17 Behold for peace I had great anguish (Isa Isi Is) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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