2 Kings 20:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Isaiah answered, "This is the LORD's sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?"

New Living Translation
Isaiah replied, "This is the sign from the LORD to prove that he will do as he promised. Would you like the shadow on the sundial to go forward ten steps or backward ten steps?"

English Standard Version
And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”

Berean Study Bible
And Isaiah replied, “This is the sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised: Would you like the shadow to go forward ten steps, or back ten steps?”

New American Standard Bible
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?"

King James Bible
And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

Christian Standard Bible
Isaiah said, "This is the sign to you from the LORD that he will do what he has promised: Should the shadow go ahead ten steps or go back ten steps?"

Contemporary English Version
Isaiah replied, "The LORD will prove to you that he will keep his promise. Will the shadow made by the setting sun on the stairway go forward ten steps or back ten steps?"

Good News Translation
Isaiah replied, "The LORD will give you a sign to prove that he will keep his promise. Now, would you prefer to have the shadow on the stairway go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?"

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Isaiah said, "This is the sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised: Should the shadow go ahead 10 steps or go back 10 steps?"

International Standard Version
So Isaiah replied, "This will be your sign from the LORD that the LORD will do what he has promised. Shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?"

NET Bible
Isaiah replied, "This is your sign from the LORD confirming that the LORD will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps?"

New Heart English Bible
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?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Isaiah said, "This is your sign from the LORD that he will do what he promises. Do you want the shadow to go forward ten steps or come back ten steps?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Isaiah said: 'This shall be the sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that He hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

New American Standard 1977
And 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?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees or go back ten degrees?

King James 2000 Bible
And Isaiah said, This sign shall you have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

American King James Version
And Isaiah said, This sign shall you have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

American Standard Version
And Isaiah said, This shall be the sign unto thee from Jehovah, that Jehovah will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Isaias said to him: This shall be the sign from the Lord, that the Lord will do the word which he hath spoken: Wilt thou that the shadow go forward ten lines, or that it go back so many degrees?

Darby Bible Translation
And Isaiah said, This [shall be] the sign to thee from Jehovah, that Jehovah will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

English Revised Version
And Isaiah said, This shall be the sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?

Webster's Bible Translation
And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

World English Bible
Isaiah said, "This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?"

Young's Literal Translation
And Isaiah saith, 'This is to thee the sign from Jehovah, that Jehovah doth the thing that He hath spoken -- The shadow hath gone on ten degrees, or it doth turn back ten degrees?'
Study Bible
Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery
8Now Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the house of the LORD on the third day?” 9And Isaiah replied, “This is the sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised: Would you like the shadow to go forward ten steps, or back ten steps?” 10“It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps,” answered Hezekiah, “but not for it to go back ten steps.”…
Cross References
2 Kings 19:29
And this will be a sign to you, O Hezekiah: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what springs from the same. But in the third year you will sow and reap; you will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

2 Kings 20:8
Now Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the house of the LORD on the third day?”

2 Kings 20:10
“It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps,” answered Hezekiah, “but not for it to go back ten steps.”

Isaiah 38:1
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.’”

Isaiah 38:7
This will be a sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised:

Isaiah 38:8
I will make the sun’s shadow that falls on the stairway of Ahaz go ten steps backward.” So the sun’s shadow went back the ten steps it had descended.

Treasury of Scripture

And Isaiah said, This sign shall you have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

This sign.

Isaiah 38:7,8 And this shall be a sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will …

Matthew 16:1-4 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired …

Mark 8:11,12 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking …

Luke 11:29,30 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, …







(9) Shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?--Rather, the shadow hath marched (or travelled) ten steps; shall it return ten steps? This is what the Hebrew text seems to say at a first glance. But Hezekiah's answer apparently implies an alternative; and we might render: "the shadow shall have travelled ten steps; or shall it return ten steps?" (Comp. the LXX. ??????????.) The Targum has: "shall the shadow march ten hours or return ten hours?" The Vulgate also makes it a double question. The Syriac is: "the shadow shall march ten steps, or return ten steps."

It is very probable that the Hebrew text is corrupt. We might read the first word as an infinitive instead of a perfect, after the analogy of 2Kings 19:29 ("ye shall eat"). Or we might read "shall it march?" as a question (h?-y?l?k); or better still, "shall it go up" (h?-y?l?k), after the hint afforded by the Vulgate: "Vis ut ascendat umbra . . . Et ait Ezeehias, Facile est umbram crescere," &c. It is obvious that a kind of sun-dial is meant, though what kind is not so clear. The word "degrees" (ma'?loth) means "steps" or "stairs" wherever it occurs. (See Exodus 20:26; Ezekiel 40:6; Ezekiel 40:22; Ezekiel 40:26; Ezekiel 40:31, &c; 1Kings 10:20; Nehemiah 3:15.) There is probability, therefore, in Knobel's conjecture that "the dial of Ahaz" consisted of a column rising from a circular flight of steps, so as to throw the shadow of its top on the top step at noon, and morning and evening on the bottom step. This, or some similar device, was set up in the palace court, and was probably visible to Hezekiah lying on his sick bed and facing the window. Herodotus (ii. 9) ascribes the invention of the gnomon to the Babylonians. From the inscriptions we know that they divided time into periods of two hours, each called in Sumerian kasbumi, and in Assyrian asli. Each kasbu or aslu was subdivided into sixty equal parts.

Verse 9. - And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken. Hezekiah is no more reproved for asking for a sign than was Gideon (Judges 6:37, 39). Ahaz, his father, had been reproved for not asking (Isaiah 7:13). It would be faithless now for Christians to demand signs; but in an age of miracles, when there were prophets upon the earth empowered to give signs, faithful men might request them without incurring God's displeasure. Shall the shadow go forward ten degrees? The Hebrew text will scarcely bear this translation, which, however, seems to be required by Hezekiah's answer. Perhaps for חָלַך we should read הֲחָלך. Or go back ten degrees? literally, in both clauses, ten steps. There are abundant reasons for believing that the early dials consisted of a gnomon set up on the top of a flight of steps, and that time was measured by the number of steps on which the shadow of the gnomon fell (see a paper by Mr. Bosanquet, in the 'Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology' for 1874, pp. 1-82). And Isaiah said, this sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he hath spoken,.... Cure him of his disorder, so that he should be able to go to the temple on the third day:

shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees? that is, the shadow of the sun on a dial plate; it was left to his option to choose which he would, as the confirming sign of his recovery. 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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