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Hezekiah’s Hymn of Thanksgiving. The song of Hezekiah, king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness:

10 In the noontime of life[a] I said,
    I must depart!
To the gates of Sheol I have been consigned
    for the rest of my years.(A)
11 I said, I shall see the Lord[b] no more
    in the land of the living.
Nor look on any mortals
    among those who dwell in the world.
12 My dwelling, like a shepherd’s tent,
    is struck down and borne away from me;
You have folded up my life, like a weaver
    who severs me from the last thread.[c](B)
From morning to night you make an end of me;
13     I cry out even until the dawn.
Like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from morning to night you make an end of me.(C)
14 Like a swallow I chirp;
    I moan like a dove.
My eyes grow weary looking heavenward:
    Lord, I am overwhelmed; go security for me!
15 [d]What am I to say or tell him?
    He is the one who has done it!
All my sleep has fled,
    because of the bitterness of my soul.
16 Those live whom the Lord protects;
    yours is the life of my spirit.
You have given me health and restored my life!
17     Peace in place of bitterness!
You have preserved my life
    from the pit of destruction;
Behind your back
    you cast all my sins.[e]
18 [f]For it is not Sheol that gives you thanks,
    nor death that praises you;
Neither do those who go down into the pit
    await your kindness.(D)
19 The living, the living give you thanks,
    as I do today.
Parents declare to their children,
    O God, your faithfulness.
20 The Lord is there to save us.
    We shall play our music
In the house of the Lord
    all the days of our life.

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Footnotes

  1. 38:10 In the noontime of life: long before the end of a full span of life; cf. Ps 55:24; 102:25.
  2. 38:11 See the Lord: go to the Temple and take part in its service.
  3. 38:12 These two metaphors emphasize the suddenness and finality of death.
  4. 38:15–16 The Hebrew text is very problematic and its meaning uncertain.
  5. 38:17 Behind your back you cast all my sins: figurative language to express the divine forgiveness of sins, as if God no longer saw or cared about them.
  6. 38:18–19 See note on Ps 6:6.

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my life(A)
    must I go through the gates of death(B)
    and be robbed of the rest of my years?(C)
11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself(D)
    in the land of the living;(E)
no longer will I look on my fellow man,
    or be with those who now dwell in this world.
12 Like a shepherd’s tent(F) my house
    has been pulled down(G) and taken from me.
Like a weaver I have rolled(H) up my life,
    and he has cut me off from the loom;(I)
    day and night(J) you made an end of me.
13 I waited patiently(K) till dawn,
    but like a lion he broke(L) all my bones;(M)
    day and night(N) you made an end of me.
14 I cried like a swift or thrush,
    I moaned like a mourning dove.(O)
My eyes grew weak(P) as I looked to the heavens.
    I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”(Q)

15 But what can I say?(R)
    He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.(S)
I will walk humbly(T) all my years
    because of this anguish of my soul.(U)
16 Lord, by such things people live;
    and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
    and let me live.(V)
17 Surely it was for my benefit(W)
    that I suffered such anguish.(X)
In your love you kept me
    from the pit(Y) of destruction;
you have put all my sins(Z)
    behind your back.(AA)
18 For the grave(AB) cannot praise you,
    death cannot sing your praise;(AC)
those who go down to the pit(AD)
    cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise(AE) you,
    as I am doing today;
parents tell their children(AF)
    about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,
    and we will sing(AG) with stringed instruments(AH)
all the days of our lives(AI)
    in the temple(AJ) of the Lord.

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The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:

10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.

11 I said, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.

12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.

13 I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.

14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.

16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.

17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

20 The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord.

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