Isaiah 38
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Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery
(2 Kings 20:1-11; 2 Chronicles 32:24-31)

1In 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.”

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

4And 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. 6And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city.a

7This will be a sign to you from the LORD that He will do what He has promised: 8I will make the sun’s shadow that falls on the stairway of Ahaz go ten steps backward.”

So the shadow cast by the sun went back the ten steps it had descended.

Hezekiah's Song of Thanksgiving

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

10“I said that in the primeb of my life

I must go to the gates of Sheol;

I will be deprived

of the remainder of my years.

11I said that I will never 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.

12My 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.

13I composed myselfc until the morning.

Like a lion He breaks all my bones;

from day until night

You make an end of me.

14I 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.

15What 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.

16O Lord, by such things men live,

and in all of them my spirit finds life.

You have restored me to health

and let me live.

17Surely, for my 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.

18For Sheol cannot thank You;

death cannot praise You.

Those who go down to the Pit

cannot hope for Your faithfulness.

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

as I do today;

fathers will tell their children

about Your faithfulness.

20The LORD will save me;

we will play songs on stringed instruments

all the days of our lives

in the house of the LORD.”

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

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

Footnotes:

6 a DSS includes for My sake and for the sake of my servant David.
10 b Or in the quiet or in the middle
13 c Or (with Targum) I cried out

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