2 Kings 20:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps," said Hezekiah. "Rather, have it go back ten steps."

New Living Translation
"The shadow always moves forward," Hezekiah replied, "so that would be easy. Make it go ten steps backward instead."

English Standard Version
And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.”

New American Standard Bible
So Hezekiah answered, "It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps."

King James Bible
And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Hezekiah answered, "It's easy for the shadow to lengthen 10 steps. No, let the shadow go back 10 steps."

International Standard Version
Hezekiah answered, "It's an easy thing for a shadow to lengthen ten steps. So let the shadow go backward ten steps."

NET Bible
Hezekiah answered, "It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it to go back ten steps."

New Heart English Bible
Hezekiah answered, "It is a light thing for the shadow to go forward ten steps. Nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Hezekiah replied, "It's easy for the shadow to extend ten [more] steps forward. No, let it come back ten steps."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Hezekiah answered: 'It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten degrees; nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.'

New American Standard 1977
So Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Hezekiah answered, It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees, but not for the shadow to return backward ten degrees.

King James 2000 Bible
And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

American King James Version
And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: no, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

American Standard Version
And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Ezechias said: It is an easy matter for the shadow to go forward ten lines: and I do not desire that this be done, but let it return back ten degrees.

Darby Bible Translation
And Hezekiah said, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: no, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

English Revised Version
And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go forward ten degrees: no, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

World English Bible
Hezekiah answered, "It is a light thing for the shadow to go forward ten steps. Nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps."

Young's Literal Translation
And Hezekiah saith, 'It hath been light for the shadow to incline ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow turn backward ten degrees.'
Study Bible
Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery
9Isaiah said, "This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?" 10So Hezekiah answered, "It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps." 11Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD, and He brought the shadow on the stairway back ten steps by which it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.…
Cross References
2 Kings 20:9
Isaiah said, "This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?"

2 Kings 20:11
Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD, and He brought the shadow on the stairway back ten steps by which it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.
Treasury of Scripture

And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: no, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

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(10) It is a light thing for the shadow to go down.--Because that was the ordinary course of things. As a natural phenomenon, of course, the sudden extension of the shadow would have been as wonderful as its retrogression; but what is in any way a familiar occurrence must needs seem easier than what has never fallen under observation.

To go down.--Rather, to spread. The LXX. has ??????, another use of the Hebrew verb. The Targum, Syriac, and Arabic render "to go forward" (march).

Verse 10. - And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees. Hezekiah views it as a comparatively easy thing for the shadow, which is already descending the steps, to accelerate its pace and rapidly descend fifteen degrees instead of slowly traversing them; and therefore accepts Isaiah's other offer. Nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. Let it, i.e., change its direction, and having descended a certain distance, suddenly return and ascend again. This will be no "light thing," but a great marvel, which will thoroughly convince him. The thought was natural, though perhaps not strictly logical. And Hezekiah answered, it is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees,.... That is, it was comparatively so, otherwise to go down ten degrees at once would be extraordinary and miraculous; but that was more agreeable to the nature and course of it to go forward, and so the miracle would be less apparent:

nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees; which was directly contrary to its natural order and course, whereby the miracle would appear more clear and manifest: these degrees are by some said (x) to be half hours, and not full ones, since it is observed the sun shines not twenty full hours on any dial, unless under the pole; the sun is supposed to have been now at the fifth full hour; the sun was brought back five whole hours, then came forward five, then came forward two degrees, or one hour, to the sixth hour; which made sixteen; then it was six hours to sunset; so that day was prolonged twenty two hours: the Chinese (y) relate, that, in the time of Kingcungus, the planet Mars, for sake of the king, went back three degrees.

(x) Weemse's Christ. Synagog. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 6. p. 167. See his Exposition of the Judicial Laws, c. 25. p. 90. &c. (y) Martin. Sinic. Hist. l. 4. p. 138. 20:1-11 Hezekiah was sick unto death, in the same year in which the king of Assyria besieged Jerusalem. A warning to prepare for death was brought to Hezekiah by Isaiah. Prayer is one of the best preparations for death, because by it we fetch in strength and grace from God, to enable us to finish well. He wept sorely: some gather from hence that he was unwilling to die; it is in the nature of man to dread the separation of soul and body. There was also something peculiar in Hezekiah's case; he was now in the midst of his usefulness. Let Hezekiah's prayer, see Isa 38. interpret his tears; in that is nothing which is like his having been under that fear of death, which has bondage or torment. Hezekiah's piety made his sick-bed easy. O Lord, remember now; he does not speak as if God needed to be put in mind of any thing by us; nor, as if the reward might be demanded as due; it is Christ's righteousness only that is the purchase of mercy and grace. Hezekiah does not pray, Lord, spare me; but, Lord, remember me; whether I live or die, let me be thine. God always hears the prayers of the broken in heart, and will give health, length of days, and temporal deliverances, as much and as long as is truly good for them. Means were to be used for Hezekiah's recovery; yet, considering to what a height the disease was come, and how suddenly it was checked, the cure was miraculous. It is our duty, when sick, to use such means as are proper to help nature, else we do not trust God, but tempt him. For the confirmation of his faith, the shadow of the sun was carried back, and the light was continued longer than usual, in a miraculous manner. This work of wonder shows the power of God in heaven as well as on earth, the great notice he takes of prayer, and the great favour he bears to his chosen.
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