Hezekiah gets sick and almost dies
(2 Kings 20.1–11; 2 Chronicles 32.24–26)
1About this time, Hezekiah got sick and was almost dead. So I went in and told him, “The Lord says you won't ever get well. You are going to die, and so you had better start doing what needs to be done.”
2Hezekiah turned towards the wall and prayed, 3“Don't forget that I have been faithful to you, Lord. I have obeyed you with all my heart, and I do whatever you say is right.” After this, he cried hard.
4Then the Lord sent me 5with this message for Hezekiah:
I am the Lord God, who was worshipped by your ancestor David. I heard you pray, and I saw you cry. I will let you live fifteen years more, 6while I protect you and your city from the king of Assyria.
7Now I will prove to you that I will keep my promise. 8Do you see the shadow made by the setting sun on the stairway built for King Ahaz? I will make the shadow go back ten steps.
Then the shadow went back ten steps.#38.8 steps: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
King Hezekiah's song of praise
9This is what Hezekiah wrote after he got well:
10I thought I would die
during my best years
and stay as a prisoner for ever
in the world of the dead.
11I thought I would never again
see you, my Lord,
or any of the people
who live on this earth.
12My life was taken from me
like the tent that a shepherd
pulls up and moves.
You cut me off like thread
from a weaver's loom;
you make a wreck of me
day and night.
13Until morning came, I thought
you would crush my bones
just like a hungry lion;
both night and day
you make a wreck of me.#38.13 of me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
14I cry like a swallow;
I mourn like a dove.
My eyes are red
from looking to you, Lord.
I am terribly abused.
Please come and help me.#38.14 help me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
15There's nothing I can say
in answer to you,
since you are the one
who has done this to me.#38.15 There's … me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
My life has turned sour;
I will limp until I die.
16Your words and your deeds
bring life to everyone,
including me.#38.16 Your … me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Please make me healthy
and strong again.
17It was for my own good
that I had such hard times.
But your love protected me
from doom in the deep pit,#38.17 deep pit: The world of the dead, as in verse 18.
and you turned your eyes
away from my sins.
18No one in the world of the dead
can thank you or praise you;
none of those in the deep pit
can hope for you to show them
how faithful you are.
19Only the living can thank you,
as I am doing today.
Each generation tells the next
about your faithfulness.#38.19 about your faithfulness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
20You, Lord, will save me,
and every day that we live
we will sing in your temple
to the music
of stringed instruments.
Isaiah's advice to Hezekiah
21I had told King Hezekiah's servants to put some mashed figs on the king's open sore, and he would get well. 22Then Hezekiah asked for proof that he would again worship in the Lord's temple.
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