Isaiah 19:9

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

Isaiah 19:9 in Other Translations

9 Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.
9 The workers in combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton.
9 There will be no flax for the harvesters, no thread for the weavers.
9 Textile workers will be out of work, all weavers and workers in linen and cotton and wool
9 Those who work with flax will be dismayed; the combers and weavers will turn pale.

Isaiah 19:9 Meaning and Commentary

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.

Isaiah 19:9 In-Context

7 also the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river. Every sown field along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more.
8 The fishermen will groan and lament, all who cast hooks into the Nile; those who throw nets on the water will pine away.
9 Those who work with combed flax will despair, the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.
10 The workers in cloth will be dejected, and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.
11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the wise men, a disciple of the ancient kings”?

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Joshua 2:6
  • 2. Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 16:10; Ezekiel 27:7
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