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Isaiah 38

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
(2 Kings 20:1–11; 2 Chronicles 32:24–31)

1 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.’ ”

2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 saying, “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and with wholehearted devotion; I have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 And the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah that this is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: ‘I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city. a  7 This will be a sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised: 8 I will make the sun’s shadow that falls on the stairway of Ahaz go back ten steps.’ ”

So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had descended.

Hezekiah’s Song of Thanksgiving

9 This is a writing by Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime b of my life

I must go through the gates of Sheol

and be deprived of the remainder of my years.”

11 I said, “I will never again see the LORD,

even the LORD, in the land of the living;

I will no longer look on mankind

with those who dwell in this world.

12 My dwelling has been picked up and removed from me

like a shepherd’s tent.

I have rolled up my life like a weaver;

He cuts me off from the loom;

from day until night You make an end of me.

13 I composed myself c until the morning.

Like a lion He breaks all my bones;

from day until night You make an end of me.

14 I chirp like a swallow or crane;

I moan like a dove.

My eyes grow weak as I look upward.

O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security.”

15 What can I say?

He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done this.

I will walk slowly all my years

because of the anguish of my soul.

16 O Lord, by such things men live,

and in all of them my spirit finds life.

You have restored me to health

and have let me live.

17 Surely for my own welfare

I had such great anguish;

but Your love has delivered me from the pit of oblivion,

for You have cast all my sins behind Your back.

18 For Sheol cannot thank You;

Death cannot praise You.

Those who descend to the Pit

cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

19 The living, only the living, can thank You,

as I do today;

fathers will tell their children

about Your faithfulness.

20 The LORD will save me;

we will play songs on stringed instruments

all the days of our lives

in the house of the LORD.

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

22 And Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the sign that I will go up to the house of the LORD?”

 

Footnotes:

6 a MT and LXX; DSS includes for My sake and for the sake of My servant David ; see 2 Kings 20:6.
10 b Or In the quiet or In the middle
13 c Or I cried out ; see Targum Yonaton.

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