|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 21. - For Isaiah had said; literally, and Isaiah said. It seems as if this verse and the next had been accidentally omitted from their proper place in the narrative, which was between vers. 6 and 7, and had then been appended by an after-thought. They reproduce nearly, but not exactly, the words of 2 Kings 19:7, 8. Let them take a lump of figs. This remedy is said to be one still employed in the East for the cure of ordinary boils; but it must have been quite insufficient for the cure of such a dangerous tumour, or carbuncle, as that from which Hezekiah was suffering. In miraculous cures, both the Old Testament prophets and our Lord himself frequently employed a means, insufficient in itself, but supernaturally rendered sufficient, to effect the intended purpose (see 1 Kings 17:21; 2 Kings 4:35, 41, 5:14; John 9:6; Mark 7:33; Mark 8:23, etc.). Upon the boil. The term here translated "boil" is used in Exodus (Exodus 9:9-11) for the affliction which constituted the sixth plague, in Leviticus (Leviticus 13:18-23) for an ulcer accompanying one of the worst forms of leprosy, in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 28:27, 35) for "the botch of Egypt," and in Job (Job 2:7) for the last of the visitations from which he suffered. It is not unlikely that it was of a leprous character.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For Isaiah had said,.... Before the above writing was made, which ends in the preceding verse; for this and the following are added by Isaiah, or some other person, taken out of 2 Kings 20:7. The Septuagint version adds, "to Hezekiah"; but the speech seems rather directed to some of his servants, or those that were about him:
let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover; which was done, and he did accordingly recover. Aben Ezra, Jarchi, and. Kimchi, all of them say, that this was a miracle within a miracle, since figs are hurtful to ulcers; and so say others; though it is observed by some, that they are useful for the ripening and breaking of ulcers; however, it was not from the natural force of these figs, but by the power of God, that this cure was effected; for, without that, it was impossible so malignant an ulcer and so deadly a sickness as Hezekiah's were could have been cured, and especially so suddenly; nor were these figs used as a medicine, but as a sign of recovery, according to the Lord's promise, and as a means of assisting Hezekiah's faith in it.
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