Isaiah 38:9 MEANING

Isaiah 38:9
(9) The writing of Hezekiah . . .--Isaiah 38:21-22 would seem to have their right place before the elegiac psalm that follows. The culture which the psalm implies is what might have been expected from one whom Isaiah had trained, who had restored and organised the worship of the Temple (2 Chronicles 29:25-30), who spoke to Levites and soldiers as a preacher (2 Chronicles 30:22; 2 Chronicles 32:6), "speaking comfortably" (literally, to their heart), and who had directed the compilation of a fresh set of the proverbs ascribed to Solomon (Proverbs 25:1). It will be seen, as we go through the hymn, that it presents echoes of the Book of Job as well as of the earlier Psalms.

Verse 9. - The writing of Hezekiah; rather, a writing. After he had recovered from his illness, Hezekiah, it would seem, retraced his feelings as he lay upon his sick-bed, and embodied them in this monody. It has been well termed, "a peculiarly sweet and plaintive specimen of Hebrew psalmody" (Cheyne). Four stanzas or strophes of unequal length are thought to be discernible:

(1) from the beginning of ver. 10 to the end of ver. 12;

(2) from the beginning of ver. 13 to the end of ver. 14;

(3) from the beginning of ver. 15 to the end of ver. 17;

(4) from the beginning of ver. 18 to the end of ver. 20.

In the first two the monarch is looking forward to death, and his strain is mournful; in the last two he has received the promise of recovery, and pours out his thankfulness.

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.The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah,.... The Septuagint and Arabic versions call it a "prayer": but the Targum, much better,

"a writing of confession;''

in which the king owns his murmurings and complaints under his affliction, and acknowledges the goodness of God in delivering him out of it: this he put into writing, as a memorial of it, for his own benefit, and for the good of posterity; very probably he carried this with him to the temple, whither he went on the third day of his illness, and hung it up in some proper place, that it might be read by all, and be sung by the priests and the Levites; and the Prophet Isaiah has thought fit to give it a place among his prophecies, that it might be transmitted to future ages:

when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness; or, "on his being sick (e)"; on his sickness and recovery, which were the subject matter of his writing, as the following show; though it is true also of the time of writing it, which was after he had been ill, and was well again.

(e) "in aegrotando ipsum", Montanus.

Courtesy of Open Bible