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38 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him, and said to him, “Yahweh says, ‘Set your house in order, for you will die, and not live.’”

Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to Yahweh, and said, “Remember now, Yahweh, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then Yahweh’s word came to Isaiah, saying, “Go, and tell Hezekiah, ‘Yahweh, the God of David your father, says, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city. This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do this thing that he has spoken. Behold, I will cause the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down on the sundial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps.”’” So the sun returned ten steps on the sundial on which it had gone down.

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

10 I said, “In the middle of my life I go into the gates of Sheol.[a]
    I am deprived of the residue of my years.”
11 I said, “I won’t see Yah,
    Yah in the land of the living.
    I will see man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling is removed,
    and is carried away from me like a shepherd’s tent.
I have rolled up my life like a weaver.
    He will cut me off from the loom.
    From day even to night you will make an end of me.
13 I waited patiently until morning.
    He breaks all my bones like a lion.
    From day even to night you will make an end of me.
14 I chattered like a swallow or a crane.
    I moaned like a dove.
    My eyes weaken looking upward.
    Lord, I am oppressed.
    Be my security.”
15 What will I say?
    He has both spoken to me, and himself has done it.
    I will walk carefully all my years because of the anguish of my soul.
16 Lord, men live by these things;
    and my spirit finds life in all of them:
    you restore me, and cause me to live.
17 Behold, for peace I had great anguish,
    but you have in love for my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption;
    for you have cast all my sins behind your back.
18 For Sheol[b] can’t praise you.
    Death can’t celebrate you.
Those who go down into the pit can’t hope for your truth.
19 The living, the living, he shall praise you, as I do today.
    The father shall make known your truth to the children.
20 Yahweh will save me.
    Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in Yahweh’s house.

21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover.” 22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I will go up to Yahweh’s house?”

Footnotes

  1. 38:10 Sheol is the place of the dead.
  2. 38:18 Sheol is the place of the dead.

Hezekiah’s Illness(A)

38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz(B) went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order,(C) because you are going to die; you will not recover.”(D)

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked(E) before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion(F) and have done what is good in your eyes.(G)” And Hezekiah wept(H) bitterly.

Then the word(I) of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David,(J) says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;(K) I will add fifteen years(L) to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend(M) this city.

“‘This is the Lord’s sign(N) to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.(O)

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

10 I said, “In the prime of my life(P)
    must I go through the gates of death(Q)
    and be robbed of the rest of my years?(R)
11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself(S)
    in the land of the living;(T)
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(U) my house
    has been pulled down(V) and taken from me.
Like a weaver I have rolled(W) up my life,
    and he has cut me off from the loom;(X)
    day and night(Y) you made an end of me.
13 I waited patiently(Z) till dawn,
    but like a lion he broke(AA) all my bones;(AB)
    day and night(AC) you made an end of me.
14 I cried like a swift or thrush,
    I moaned like a mourning dove.(AD)
My eyes grew weak(AE) as I looked to the heavens.
    I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”(AF)

15 But what can I say?(AG)
    He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.(AH)
I will walk humbly(AI) all my years
    because of this anguish of my soul.(AJ)
16 Lord, by such things people live;
    and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
    and let me live.(AK)
17 Surely it was for my benefit(AL)
    that I suffered such anguish.(AM)
In your love you kept me
    from the pit(AN) of destruction;
you have put all my sins(AO)
    behind your back.(AP)
18 For the grave(AQ) cannot praise you,
    death cannot sing your praise;(AR)
those who go down to the pit(AS)
    cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise(AT) you,
    as I am doing today;
parents tell their children(AU)
    about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,
    and we will sing(AV) with stringed instruments(AW)
all the days of our lives(AX)
    in the temple(AY) of the Lord.

21 Isaiah had said, “Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover.”

22 Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the sign(AZ) that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?”

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