Isaiah 38:18

18 For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

Isaiah 38:18 in Other Translations

KJV
18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
ESV
18 For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness.
NLT
18 For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness.
MSG
18 The dead don't thank you, and choirs don't sing praises from the morgue. Those buried six feet under don't witness to your faithful ways.
CSB
18 For Sheol cannot thank You; Death cannot praise You. Those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

Isaiah 38:18 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 38:18

For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate
thee
That is, they that are in the grave, and under the power of death, they cannot celebrate the praises of God with their bodily organs; their souls may praise him in heaven, but they in their bodies cannot till the resurrection morn, or as long as they are under the dominion of the grave; so the Targum,

``they that are in the grave cannot confess before thee, and the dead cannot praise thee;''
in like manner the Septuagint and Arabic versions: this shows the design of God in restoring him from his sickness, and the view he himself had in desiring life, which was to praise the Lord; and which end could not have been answered had he died, and been laid in the grave: they that go down to the pit cannot hope for thy truth:
for the performance of promises, in which the truth and faithfulness of God appear; or for the Messiah, the truth of all the types of the former dispensation; those that go down to the pit of the grave, or are carried and laid there, can have no exercise of faith and hope concerning these things.

Isaiah 38:18 In-Context

16 Lord, by such things people live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live.
17 Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.
18 For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness.
20 The LORD will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the LORD.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Numbers 16:30; S Ecclesiastes 9:10
  • 2. Psalms 6:5; Psalms 88:10-11; Psalms 115:17
  • 3. S Psalms 30:9