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Hezekiah’s Life Extended(A)

38 In (B)those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: (C)‘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, (D)“Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a [a]loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your (E)sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, “Go and tell 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 from the hand of the king of Assyria, and (F)I will defend this city.” ’ And this is (G)the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing which He has spoken: Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.

This is the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10 I said,
“In the prime of my life
I shall go to the gates of Sheol;
I am deprived of the remainder of my years.”
11 I said,
“I shall not see [b]Yah,
The Lord (H)in the land of the living;
I shall observe man no more [c]among the inhabitants of [d]the world.
12 (I)My life span is gone,
Taken from me like a shepherd’s tent;
I have cut off my life like a weaver.
He cuts me off from the loom;
From day until night You make an end of me.
13 I have considered until morning—
Like a lion,
So He breaks all my bones;
From day until night You make an end of me.
14 Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered;
(J)I mourned like a dove;
My eyes fail from looking upward.
O [e]Lord, I am oppressed;
[f]Undertake for me!

15 “What shall I say?
[g]He has both spoken to me,
And He Himself has done it.
I shall walk carefully all my years
(K)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;
So You will restore me and make me live.
17 Indeed it was for my own peace
That I had great bitterness;
But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption,
For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
18 For (L)Sheol cannot thank You,
Death cannot praise You;
Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.
19 The living, the living man, he shall praise You,
As I do this day;
(M)The father shall make known Your truth to the children.

20 “The Lord was ready to save me;
Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments
All the days of our life, in the house of the Lord.”

21 Now (N)Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover.”

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

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 38:3 whole or peaceful
  2. Isaiah 38:11 Heb. Yah, Yah
  3. Isaiah 38:11 LXX omits among the inhabitants of the world
  4. Isaiah 38:11 So with some Heb. mss.; MT, Vg. rest; Tg. land
  5. Isaiah 38:14 So with Bg.; MT, DSS Lord
  6. Isaiah 38:14 Be my surety
  7. Isaiah 38:15 So with MT, Vg.; DSS, Tg. And shall I say to Him; LXX omits first half of this verse

Hezekiah’s Illness(A)

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

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

Then the word(I) of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David,(J) says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;(K) I will add fifteen years(L) to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend(M) this city.

“‘This is the Lord’s sign(N) to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.(O)

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my life(P)
    must I go through the gates of death(Q)
    and be robbed of the rest of my years?(R)
11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himself(S)
    in the land of the living;(T)
no longer will I look on my fellow man,
    or be with those who now dwell in this world.
12 Like a shepherd’s tent(U) my house
    has been pulled down(V) and taken from me.
Like a weaver I have rolled(W) up my life,
    and he has cut me off from the loom;(X)
    day and night(Y) you made an end of me.
13 I waited patiently(Z) till dawn,
    but like a lion he broke(AA) all my bones;(AB)
    day and night(AC) you made an end of me.
14 I cried like a swift or thrush,
    I moaned like a mourning dove.(AD)
My eyes grew weak(AE) as I looked to the heavens.
    I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”(AF)

15 But what can I say?(AG)
    He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.(AH)
I will walk humbly(AI) all my years
    because of this anguish of my soul.(AJ)
16 Lord, by such things people live;
    and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
    and let me live.(AK)
17 Surely it was for my benefit(AL)
    that I suffered such anguish.(AM)
In your love you kept me
    from the pit(AN) of destruction;
you have put all my sins(AO)
    behind your back.(AP)
18 For the grave(AQ) cannot praise you,
    death cannot sing your praise;(AR)
those who go down to the pit(AS)
    cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise(AT) you,
    as I am doing today;
parents tell their children(AU)
    about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,
    and we will sing(AV) with stringed instruments(AW)
all the days of our lives(AX)
    in the temple(AY) of the Lord.

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

22 Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the sign(AZ) that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?”

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