Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
1In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill.#2Kg 20:1–6,9–11; 2Ch 32:24 The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your house in order,#2Sm 17:23 for you are about to die; you will not recover.’”#38:1 Lit live
2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. 3He said, “Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before you faithfully and wholeheartedly,#Gn 17:1; 1Kg 2:4; 3:6; 8:23; 2Kg 18:5–6; Ps 26:3 and have done what pleases you.”#Dt 6:18 And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5“Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I am going to add fifteen years to your life.#38:5 Lit days, also in v. 10#2Kg 18:2,13 6And I will rescue you and this city from the grasp of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city.#Is 31:5; 37:35 7This is the sign to you#Is 37:30 from the Lord that he will do what he has promised: 8I am going to make the sun’s shadow that goes down on the stairway of Ahaz go back by ten steps.’”#Jos 10:12–14 So the sun’s shadow#38:8 Lit And the sun went back the ten steps it had descended.
9A poem by King Hezekiah of Judah after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness:
10I said: In the prime#38:10 Lit quiet of my life#Ps 102:24
I must go to the gates of Sheol;#Ps 107:18
I am deprived of the rest of my years.
11I said: I will never see the Lord,
the Lord in the land of the living;#Ps 27:13; 116:9
I will not look on humanity any longer
with the inhabitants of what is passing away.#38:11 Some Hb mss, Tg read of the world
12My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
like a shepherd’s tent.#2Co 5:1,4; 2Pt 1:13–14
I have rolled up my life like a weaver;#Jb 7:6; Heb 1:12
he cuts me off from the loom.#Jb 6:9
By nightfall#38:12 Lit From day until night, also in v. 13 you make an end of me.#Jb 4:20; Ps 73:14
13I thought until the morning:
He will break all my bones like a lion.
By nightfall you make an end of me.
14I chirp like a swallow or a crane;
I moan like a dove.#Is 59:11; Ezk 7:16; Nah 2:7
My eyes grow weak looking upward.
Lord, I am oppressed; support me.#Jb 17:3; Ps 119:122
15What can I say?
He has spoken to me,
and he himself has done it.
I walk along slowly all my years#1Kg 21:27
because of the bitterness of my soul.#1Sm 1:10; Ezk 27:31; Jb 3:20; 7:11; 10:1
16Lord, by such things people live,#Ps 119:71,75
and in every one of them my spirit finds life;
you have restored me to health#Ps 39:13
and let me live.#Ps 119:25
17Indeed, it was for my own well-being
that I had such intense bitterness;#Heb 12:11
but your love has delivered me
from the Pit of destruction,#Jb 33:18,30; Ps 103:4; 106:23; Ezk 20:17; Jnh 2:6
for you have thrown all my sins behind your back.#Is 43:25; Jr 31:34; Mc 7:19
18For Sheol cannot thank you;
Death cannot praise you.#Ps 6:5; 30:9; 88:10–12; 115:17
Those who go down to the Pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19The living, only the living can thank you,
as I do today;
a father will make your faithfulness known to children.#Dt 6:7; 11:19; Ps 78:5–7
20The Lord is ready to save me;
we will play stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
at the house of the Lord.#Ps 23:6; 116:17–19
21Now Isaiah#2Kg 20:7–8 had said, “Let them take a lump of pressed figs and apply it to his infected skin, so that he may recover.” 22And Hezekiah had asked, “What is the sign that I will go up to the Lord’s temple?”