Isaiah 19:9

9 Those who work with combed flax will despair, the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.

Read Isaiah 19:9 Using Other Translations

Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.
The workers in combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton.
There will be no flax for the harvesters, no thread for the weavers.

What does Isaiah 19:9 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 19:9

Moreover they that work in fine flax
Of which they made fine linen cloth, and yarn, and was much wore by the Egyptians, and was the commodity of the country, and for which other nations traded with them, ( 1 Kings 10:28 ) ( Ezekiel 27:7 ) but now would have no flax to work, that being withered and gone which was sown by the sides of the brooks, ( Isaiah 19:7 Isaiah 19:15 ) and no linen cloth or yarn to sell, and consequently in great confusion and distress, as they are here represented F12. The Targum renders the whole verse thus,

``they shall be confounded which work flax, which they comb, and of it weave nets;''
and so Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it, not of persons that wrought in flax, to make yarn or linen of it; but who combed it, to make nets of it, as follows: and they that weave networks shall be confounded:
because they would have no sale for their nets, the fishermen having no use for them, the rivers being dried up. The word for "networks" signifies "holes", because nets are made with holes large enough to let the water through, and so small that the fishes may not get out. Some render the word "white works" F13, white linen, white cloth, of which white garments are made, such as nobles and princes formerly wore; hence, in the Hebrew language, they are called by a name of the same root and signification; but the former sense seems best.

F12 (twqyrv) is by us rendered "fine"; and so, Ben Melech says, in the Arabic language the best and finest linen is called (qrvla) ; and so says Kimchi in Sepher Shorash.; with which Schindler agrees, Arab. (qrvla) , sericum or "muslin"; but it is a question whether this is of so early a date, and especially not fit to make nets of. De Dieu and Bochart think it denotes the colour of the linen, which was yellow, that being the best; but others render it "combed".
F13 (yrwx Mygrwaw) "et textores alborum operum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
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