This is what Hezekiah king of Judah wrote after he’d been sick and then recovered from his sickness: In the very prime of life I have to leave. Whatever time I have left is spent in death’s waiting room. No more glimpses of God in the land of the living, No more meetings with my neighbors, no more rubbing shoulders with friends. This body I inhabit is taken down and packed away like a camper’s tent. Like a weaver, I’ve rolled up the carpet of my life as God cuts me free of the loom And at day’s end sweeps up the scraps and pieces. I cry for help until morning. Like a lion, God pummels and pounds me, relentlessly finishing me off. I squawk like a doomed hen, moan like a dove. My eyes ache from looking up for help: “Master, I’m in trouble! Get me out of this!” But what’s the use? God himself gave me the word. He’s done it to me. I can’t sleep— I’m that upset, that troubled.
I said, in the middle of my days, I shall go to the gates of hell. I sought the residue of my years; (I said, in the middle of my days, I shall go now to the gates of Sheol, that is, to the gates of the land of the dead/I shall go now to the gates of the grave; I shall be deprived of the rest of my years;)
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