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Hezekiah’s Illness(A)

38 In those days Hezekiah was mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.”

Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying: “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Surely I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.

“This shall be a sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that He has spoken: I will cause the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, to go back ten steps.” So the sun’s shadow returned ten steps on the sundial by which it had gone down.

This is the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said: In the middle of my days,
    I shall go to the gates of Sheol;
    I am to be deprived of the rest of my years.
11 I said, I shall not see the Lord,
    even the Lord, in the land of the living;
I shall see man no more
    with the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling is pulled up
    and removed from me as a shepherd’s tent;
I rolled up my life like a weaver.
    He cuts me off from the loom;
    from day even to night You make an end of me.
13 I composed my soul until morning,
    like a lion, so He breaks all my bones;
    from day even to night You make an end of me.
14 Like a crane or a swallow, so I twitter;
    I mourn as a dove;
my eyes look wistfully upward.
    O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

15 What shall I say?
    For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it.
I shall wander about all my years
    in the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live,
    and in all these things is the life of my spirit;
O restore me to health
    and make me live!
17 Surely it was for my own peace
    that I had great bitterness;
but You have kept my soul
    from the pit of corruption,
for You have cast all my sins
    behind Your back.
18 For Sheol cannot thank You,
    death cannot praise You;
those who go down into the pit
    cannot hope for Your faithfulness.
19 It is the living who give thanks to You,
    as I do this day;
a father explains to his sons
    about Your faithfulness.

20 The Lord shall surely save me;
    therefore, we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
    in the house of the Lord.

21 For Isaiah had said, “Let them take a cake of figs and lay it on the boil, and he shall recover.”

22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”