Isaiah 38:12 MEANING

Isaiah 38:12
(12) Mine age is departed . . .--Better, my home, or habitation . . . as in Psalm 49:19, and thus fitting in better with the similitude that follows. The "home" is, of course, the body, as the dwelling-place of the spirit. (Comp. Psalm 52:5, "hurl thee away tentless," Heb., and Job 21:28, "Is not their tent-cord torn away?" Heb.) The "shepherd's tent" is the type of a transitory home (2 Corinthians 5:1-4).

I have cut off like a weaver my life . . .--The words express the feeling of one who had been weaving the web of his life with varied plans and counsels (comp. Isaiah 30:1), and now had to roll it up, as finished before its time, because Jehovah had taken up the "abhorred shears" to cut it from the thrum, which takes the place of "with pining sickness." There is, perhaps, a tone of reverence in the impersonal form of the statement. The sufferer will not name Jehovah as the author of his trouble.

From day even to night.--The words speak of the rapidity rather than of the prolongation of suffering. The sick man expects that death will come before the morrow's dawn.

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.

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.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.

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