‘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
38:14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,
I coo 13 like a dove;
my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky. 14
O sovereign master, 15 I am oppressed;
help me! 16
38:15 What can I say?
He has decreed and acted. 17
I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief. 18
38:16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;
may years of life be restored to me. 19
Restore my health 20 and preserve my life.’
For you removed all my sins from your sight. 24
death does not 26 praise you.
Those who descend into the pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.
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.”
13 tn Or “moan” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); KJV, CEV “mourn.”
14 tn Heb “my eyes become weak, toward the height.”
16 tn Heb “stand surety for me.” Hezekiah seems to be picturing himself as a debtor who is being exploited; he asks that the Lord might relieve his debt and deliver him from the oppressive creditor.
17 tn Heb “and he has spoken and he has acted.”
18 tn Heb “because of the bitterness of my soul.”
19 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.”
20 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.
21 tn Heb “Look, for peace bitterness was to me bitter”; NAB “thus is my bitterness transformed into peace.”
22 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”).
23 tn בְּלִי (bÿli) most often appears as a negation, meaning “without,” suggesting the meaning “nothingness, oblivion,” here. Some translate “decay” or “destruction.”
24 tn Heb “for you threw behind your back all my sins.”
25 tn Or “For” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
26 tn The negative particle is understood by ellipsis in this line. See GKC 483 §152.z.