Isaiah 38:14

Isaiah 38:14

Like a crane, or a swallow, so did I chatter
Rather, "like a crane and a swallow", like both; sometimes loud and clamorous, like a crane F15, when the pain was very acute and grievous; and sometimes very low, through weakness of body, like the twittering of a swallow; or the moan he made under his affliction was like the mournful voices of these birds at certain times. Some think he refers to his prayers, which were quick and short, and expressed not with articulate words, but in groans and cries; at least were not regular and orderly, but interrupted, and scarce intelligible, like the chattering of the birds mentioned: I did mourn as a dove;
silently and patiently, within himself, for his sins and transgressions; and because of his afflictions, the fruit of them: mine eyes fail with looking upwards;
or, "on high"; or, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions express it, "to the height of heaven"; to the Lord there, whose Shechinah, as the Targum, is in the highest heavens: in his distress he looked up to heaven for help, but none came; he looked and waited till his eyes were weak with looking, and he could look no longer; both his eyes and his heart failed him, and he despaired of relief; and the prayer he put up was as follows: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me;
or, "it oppresseth me F16"; that is, the disease; it lay so heavy upon him, it bore him down with the weight of it, he could not stand up under it; it had seized him, and crushed him; it held him fast, and he could not get clear of it; and therefore entreats the Lord to "undertake" for him, to be his surety for good, as in ( Psalms 119:122 ) , he represents his disease as a bailiff that had arrested him, and was carrying him to the prison of the grave; and therefore prays that the Lord would bail him, or rescue him out of his hands, that he might not go down to the gates of the grave. So souls oppressed with the guilt of sin, and having fearful apprehensions of divine justice, should apply to Christ their surety, and take refuge in his undertakings, where only peace and safety are to be enjoyed. So Gussetius renders the words, "I have unrighteousness, be surety for me" {q}; and takes them to be a confession of Hezekiah, acknowledging himself guilty of unrighteousness, praying and looking to Christ the Son of God, and to his suretyship engagements, who, though not yet come to fulfil them, certainly would.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 So it is said in the Talmud, "Resh-Lakish cried like a crane", T. Bab. Kiddushin, col. 42. 1.
F16 "Opprimit me, [sub.]infirmitas, vel morbus", Munster.
F17 (yl hqve) "[njustitia est mihi] hoc est, habeo injustitiam, reus suro injustitia, [sponde pro me]", Ebr. Comment, p. 654.
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