‘In the middle of my life 2 I must walk through the gates of Sheol,
I am deprived 3 of the rest of my years.’
38:11 “I thought,
‘I will no longer see the Lord 4 in the land of the living,
I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world. 5
like a shepherd’s tent.
I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth; 8
from the loom he cuts me off. 9
You turn day into night and end my life. 10
like a lion he shatters all my bones;
you turn day into night and end my life. 12
1 tn Or “I said” (KJV, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
2 tn The precise meaning of the phrase בִּדְמִי יָמַי (bidmi yamay, “in the [?] of my days”) is uncertain. According to HALOT 226 s.v. דְּמִי this word is a hapax legomenon meaning “half.” Others derive the form from דַּמִי (dami, “quiet, rest, peacefulness”).
3 tn The precise meaning of the verb is uncertain. The Pual of of פָּקַד (paqad) occurs only here and in Exod 38:21, where it appears to mean “passed in review” or “mustered.” Perhaps the idea is, “I have been called away for the remainder of my years.” To bring out the sense more clearly, one can translate, “I am deprived of the rest of my years.”
4 tn The Hebrew text has יָהּ יָהּ (yah yah, the abbreviated form of יְהוָה [yÿhvah] repeated), but this is probably a corruption of יְהוָה.
5 tc The Hebrew text has חָדֶל (khadel), which appears to be derived from a verbal root meaning “to cease, refrain.” But the form has probably suffered an error of transmission; the original form (attested in a few medieval Hebrew
6 tn According to HALOT 217 s.v. דּוֹר this noun is a hapax legomenon meaning “dwelling place,” derived from a verbal root meaning “live” (see Ps 84:10). For an interpretation that understands the form as the well-attested noun meaning “generation,” see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:679, n. 4.
7 tn The verb form appears to be a Niphal from גָּלָה (galah), which normally means “uncovered, revealed” in the Niphal. Because of the following reference to a shepherd’s tent, some prefer to emend the form to וְנָגַל, a Niphal from גָלָל (galal, “roll”) and translate “is rolled [or “folded”] up.”
8 tn Heb “I rolled up, like a weaver, my life” (so ASV).
9 sn For a discussion of the imagery employed here, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:684.
10 tn Heb “from day to night you bring me to an end.”
11 tn The verb form in the Hebrew text is a Piel from שָׁוַה (shavah). There are two homonyms שָׁוַה, one meaning in the Piel “level, smooth out,” the other “set, place.” Neither fits in v. 13. It is likely that the original reading was שִׁוַּעְתִּי (shivva’ti, “I cry out”) from the verbal root שָׁוַע (shava’), which occurs exclusively in the Piel.
12 tn Heb “from day to night you bring me to an end.”