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Isaiah 38:15-17

Context

38:15 What can I say?

He has decreed and acted. 1 

I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief. 2 

38:16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;

may years of life be restored to me. 3 

Restore my health 4  and preserve my life.’

38:17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit. 5 

You delivered me 6  from the pit of oblivion. 7 

For you removed all my sins from your sight. 8 

1 tn Heb “and he has spoken and he has acted.”

2 tn Heb “because of the bitterness of my soul.”

3 tn The translation offered here is purely speculative. The text as it stands is meaningless and probably corrupt. It reads literally, “O lord, on account of them [the suffix is masculine plural], they live, and to all in them [the suffix is feminine plural], life of my spirit.”

4 tn The prefixed verbal form could be taken as indicative, “you restore my health,” but the following imperatival form suggests it be understood as an imperfect of request.

5 tn Heb “Look, for peace bitterness was to me bitter”; NAB “thus is my bitterness transformed into peace.”

6 tc The Hebrew text reads, “you loved my soul,” but this does not fit syntactically with the following prepositional phrase. חָשַׁקְתָּ (khashaqta, “you loved”), may reflect an aural error; most emend the form to חָשַׂכְת, (khasakht, “you held back”).

7 tn בְּלִי (bÿli) most often appears as a negation, meaning “without,” suggesting the meaning “nothingness, oblivion,” here. Some translate “decay” or “destruction.”

8 tn Heb “for you threw behind your back all my sins.”



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