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Hezekiah Becomes Sick

20 In those days Hezekiah became very sick. He was about to die. Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him. Isaiah told Hezekiah, “The Lord says, ‘Put everything in order. Make out your will. You are going to die soon. You will not get well again.’ ”

Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall. He prayed to the Lord. He said, Lord, please remember how faithful I’ve been to you. I’ve lived the way you wanted me to. I’ve served you with all my heart. I’ve done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Isaiah was leaving the middle courtyard. Before he had left it, a message came to him from the Lord. He said, “Go back and speak to Hezekiah. He is the ruler of my people. Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of King David, says, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. And I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to my temple. I will add 15 years to your life. And I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. I will guard this city. I will do it for myself. And I will do it for my servant David.” ’ ”

Then Isaiah said, “Press some figs together. Spread them on a piece of cloth.” So that’s what they did. Then they applied it to Hezekiah’s boil. And he got well again.

Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “You say the Lord will heal me. You say that I’ll go up to his temple on the third day from now. What will the sign be to prove he’ll really do that?”

Isaiah answered, “The Lord will do what he has promised. Here is his sign to you. Do you want the shadow the sun makes to go forward ten steps? Or do you want it to go back ten steps?”

10 “It’s easy for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “So have it go back ten steps.”

11 Then Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord. And the Lord made the shadow go back ten steps. It went back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway Ahaz had made.

Messengers Come From Babylon to Hezekiah

12 At that time Marduk-Baladan, the king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah letters and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. Marduk-Baladan was the son of Baladan. 13 Hezekiah received the messengers. He showed them everything in his storerooms. He showed them the silver and gold. He showed them the spices and the fine olive oil. He showed them where he kept his weapons. And he showed them all his treasures. In fact, he showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah. He asked him, “What did those men say? Where did they come from?”

“They came from a land far away,” Hezekiah said. “They came from Babylon.”

15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “I showed them all my treasures.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the Lord’s message. He says, 17 ‘You can be sure the time will come when everything in your palace will be carried off to Babylon. Everything the kings before you have stored up until this day will be taken away. There will not be anything left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Some of the members of your family line will be taken away. They will be your own flesh and blood. They will include the children who will be born into your family line in years to come. And they will serve the king of Babylon in his palace.’ ”

19 “The message the Lord has spoken through you is good,” Hezekiah replied. He thought, “There will be peace and safety while I’m still living.”

20 The other events of the rule of Hezekiah are written down. That includes how he made the pool and the tunnel. He used them to bring water into Jerusalem. Everything he accomplished is written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 21 Hezekiah joined the members of his family who had already died. Hezekiah’s son Manasseh became the next king after him.

Hezekiah’s Illness(A)

20 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember,(B) Lord, how I have walked(C) before you faithfully(D) and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard(E) your prayer and seen your tears;(F) I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend(G) this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”

Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil,(H) and he recovered.

Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?”

Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign(I) 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?”

10 “It is a simple(J) matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”

11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back(K) the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

Envoys From Babylon(L)(M)

12 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. 13 Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”

15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.(N) Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18 And some of your descendants,(O) your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”(P)

19 “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”

20 As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool(Q) and the tunnel(R) by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.