Isaiah 38:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

New Living Translation
For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness.

English Standard Version
For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness.

New American Standard Bible
"For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

King James Bible
For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For Sheol cannot thank You; Death cannot praise You. Those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

International Standard Version
For Sheol cannot thank you, death cannot sing your praise; and those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

NET Bible
Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks; death does not praise you. Those who descend into the pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Sheol doesn't thank you! Death doesn't praise you! Those who go down to the pit cannot expect you to be faithful.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the grave shall not confess thee, nor shall death praise thee; nor shall those that go down into the pit wait for thy truth.

King James 2000 Bible
For the grave cannot praise you, death can not celebrate you: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth.

American King James Version
For the grave cannot praise you, death can not celebrate you: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth.

American Standard Version
For Sheol cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For hell shall not confess to thee, neither shall death praise thee: nor shall they that go down into the pit, look for thy truth.

Darby Bible Translation
For not Sheol shall praise thee, nor death celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit do not hope for thy truth.

English Revised Version
For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

World English Bible
For Sheol can't praise you. Death can't celebrate you. Those who go down into the pit can't hope for your truth.

Young's Literal Translation
For Sheol doth not confess Thee, Death doth not praise Thee, Those going down to the pit hope not for Thy truth.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18. The grave cannot praise thee (cormpare the comment on ver. 11). It is avoiding the plain force of these passages to say that Hezekiah only means that those who go to Hades in a state of condemnation cannot be expected there to praise God (Kay). He speaks broadly and generally of all: "The living, the living, shall praise thee; Sheol cannot praise thee; Death cannot celebrate thee." Manifestly, though he believes in a future state, it is one in which there is either no energy at all, or at any rate no devotional energy. He may think, with Isaiah. that "the righteous man," when he is "taken away," will "enter into peace" (Isaiah 57:1, 2); but absolute "peace" precludes energy (see Arist., 'Eth. Nit.,' 1. 10. § 2). Hezekiah shrinks from losing all his activities, including his sense of personal communion with God. He does not, perhaps, "look on the condition of the faithful departed as one of comfortless gloom;" but he views it as one of deprivation, and is unwilling to enter into it. It was by the coming of Christ and the preaching of his gospel that "life and immortality" were first truly "brought to light" (2 Timothy 1:10).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee,.... That is, they that are in the grave, and under the power of death, they cannot celebrate the praises of God with their bodily organs; their souls may praise him in heaven, but they in their bodies cannot till the resurrection morn, or as long as they are under the dominion of the grave; so the Targum,

"they that are in the grave cannot confess before thee, and the dead cannot praise thee;''

in like manner the Septuagint and Arabic versions: this shows the design of God in restoring him from his sickness, and the view he himself had in desiring life, which was to praise the Lord; and which end could not have been answered had he died, and been laid in the grave:

they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth: for the performance of promises, in which the truth and faithfulness of God appear; or for the Messiah, the truth of all the types of the former dispensation; those that go down to the pit of the grave, or are carried and laid there, can have no exercise of faith and hope concerning these things.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. death—that is, the dead; Hades and its inhabitants (Job 28:22; see on [776]Isa 38:11). Plainly Hezekiah believed in a world of disembodied spirits; his language does not imply what skepticism has drawn from it, but simply that he regarded the disembodied state as one incapable of declaring the praises of God before men, for it is, as regards this world, an unseen land of stillness; "the living" alone can praise God on earth, in reference to which only he is speaking; Isa 57:1, 2 shows that at this time the true view of the blessedness of the righteous dead was held, though not with the full clearness of the Gospel, which "has brought life and immortality to light" (2Ti 1:10).

hope for thy truth—(Ps 104:27). Their probation is at an end. They can no longer exercise faith and hope in regard to Thy faithfulness to Thy promises, which are limited to the present state. For "hope" ceases (even in the case of the godly) when sight begins (Ro 8:24, 25); the ungodly have "no hope" (1Th 4:13). Hope in God's truth is one of the grounds of praise to God (Ps 71:14; 119:49). Others translate, "cannot celebrate."

Isaiah 38:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
Hezekiah's Song of Thanksgiving
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. 19"It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.…
Cross References
Numbers 16:33
They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.

Psalm 6:5
Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?

Psalm 28:1
Of David. To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.

Psalm 30:9
"What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

Psalm 88:11
Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?

Psalm 115:17
It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to the place of silence;

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
Treasury of Scripture

For the grave cannot praise you, death can not celebrate you: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for your truth.

the grave

Psalm 6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of you: in the grave who shall …

Psalm 30:9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall …

Psalm 88:11 Shall your loving kindness be declared in the grave? or your faithfulness …

Psalm 115:17,18 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence…

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there …

they that

Numbers 16:33 They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the …

Proverbs 14:32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous has …

Matthew 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: …

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous …

Luke 16:26-31 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: …

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