38 At that time Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him and told him, “The Lord told me to tell you this: ‘You will die soon. So you should tell your family what they should do when you die. You will not get well.’”
2 Hezekiah turned toward the wall that faced the Temple and began praying to the Lord. 3 “Lord, remember that I have faithfully served you with all my heart. I have done what you say is good.” Then Hezekiah cried very hard.
4 Then Isaiah received this message from the Lord: 5 “Go to Hezekiah and tell him that the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says, ‘I heard your prayer, and I saw your tears. I will add 15 years to your life. 6 I will save you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will protect this city.’”
21 [a] Then Isaiah told Hezekiah, “Crush figs together and put them on your sore. Then you will get well.”
22 Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that proves I will get well and go to the Lord’s Temple?”
7 This is the sign from the Lord to show you that he will do what he says: 8 “Look, I am causing the shadow that is on the steps of Ahaz[b] to move back ten steps. The sun’s shadow will go back up the ten steps that it has already been on.”
9 This is the letter from Hezekiah when he became well:
10 I thought I would live a full life.
But now, in the middle of my life, the time has come for me to die.
11 So I said, “I will not see the Lord Yah[c] in the land of the living again.
I will not see the people living on earth.
12 My home, my shepherd’s tent, is being pulled down and taken from me.
I am finished like the cloth someone rolls up and cuts from the loom.
You ended my life in such a short time.
13 All night I cried as loud as a lion,
but my hopes were crushed like a lion eating bones.
You finished my life in such a short time.
14 I cried like a bird
and moaned like a dove.
My eyes became tired,
but I continued looking to the heavens.
Lord, I am so depressed.
Promise to help me.”
15 What can I say?
He told me what would happen,
and he will make it happen.
I have had these troubles in my soul,
so now I will be humble all my life.
16 Lord, use this hard time to make my spirit live again.
Help my spirit become strong and healthy.
Help me become well!
Help me live again!
17 Look, my troubles are gone!
I now have peace.
You love me very much.
You did not let me rot in the grave.
You took my sins
and threw them away.
18 The dead cannot praise you.
People in Sheol cannot sing praises to you.
Those who have died and gone below
are not trusting in your faithfulness.
19 People who are alive, people like me,
are the ones who will praise you.
Fathers should tell their children about how faithful you are.
20 So I say, “The Lord saved me.
So we will sing and play songs in the Lord’s Temple all our lives.”
- Isaiah 38:21 These verses fit better here than at the end of the chapter, where they appear in the standard Hebrew text. See 2 Kings 20:6-9.
- Isaiah 38:8 steps of Ahaz The steps of a special building that Hezekiah used like a clock. When the sun shone on the steps, the shadows showed what time of the day it was.
- Isaiah 38:11 the Lord Yah Or “Yahweh,” a Hebrew name for God. See “Yahweh” in the Word List.