King Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery
(2 Kings 20.1-11; 2 Chronicles 32.24-26)
1About this time King Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him and said to him, “The Lord tells you that you are to put everything in order because you will not recover. Get ready to die.”
2Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed: 3“Remember, Lord, that I have served you faithfully and loyally, and that I have always tried to do what you wanted me to.” And he began to cry bitterly.
4Then the Lord commanded Isaiah 5to go back to Hezekiah and say to him, “I, the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will let you live fifteen years longer. 6I will rescue you and this city of Jerusalem from the emperor of Assyria, and I will continue to protect the city.”
21Isaiah told the king to put a paste made of figs on his boil, and he would get well. 22Then King Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign to prove that I will be able to go to the Temple?”#38.22: Verses 21-22 are moved here from the end of the chapter (see 2 K 20.6-9).
7Isaiah replied, “The Lord will give you a sign to prove that he will keep his promise. 8On the stairway built by King Ahaz, the Lord will make the shadow go back ten steps.” And the shadow moved back ten steps.#38.8: stairway … ten steps … steps; or sundial … ten degrees … degrees (see 2 K 20.9-11).
9After Hezekiah recovered from his illness, he wrote this song of praise:
10I thought that in the prime of life
I was going to the world of the dead,
Never to live out my life.
11I thought that in this world of the living
I would never again see the Lord
Or any living person.
12My life was cut off and ended,
Like a tent that is taken down,
Like cloth that is cut from a loom.
I thought that God was ending my life.#38.12: I thought … my life; Hebrew unclear.
13All night I cried out with pain,
As if a lion were breaking my bones.
I thought that God was ending my life.#38.13: Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear.
14My voice was thin and weak,
And I moaned like a dove.
My eyes grew tired from looking to heaven.
Lord, rescue me from all this trouble.
15What can I say? The Lord has done this.
My heart is bitter, and I cannot sleep.#38.15: One ancient translation suggests I cannot sleep; Hebrew unclear.
16Lord, I will live for you, for you alone;
Heal me and let me live.#38.16: Verses 15 and 16 in Hebrew are unclear.
17My bitterness will turn into peace.
You save#38.17: Some ancient translations save; Hebrew love. my life from all danger;
You forgive all my sins.
18 # Si 17.27Ba 2.17 No one in the world of the dead can praise you;
The dead cannot trust in your faithfulness.
19It is the living who praise you,
As I praise you now.
Parents tell their children how faithful you are.
20Lord, you have healed me.
We will play harps and sing your praise,
Sing praise in your Temple as long as we live.#38.20: Verses 21-22 are placed after verse 6.