Isaiah 38

About 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.”
   2 Hezekiah turned toward 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.
   4 Then the Lord sent me 5 with this message for Hezekiah:

   I am the Lord God, who was worshiped by your ancestor David. I heard you pray, and I saw you cry. I will let you live fifteen years more, 6 while I protect you and your city from the king of Assyria.
7 Now I will prove to you that I will keep my promise. 8 Do 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.

King Hezekiah’s Song of Praise

   9 This is what Hezekiah wrote after he got well:
10 I thought I would die
        during my best years
    and stay as a prisoner forever
        in the world of the dead.
11 I thought I would never again
        see you, my Lord,
    or any of the people
        who live on this earth.
12 My 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.
13 Until morning came, I thought
     you would crush my bones
        just like a hungry lion;
    both night and day
        you make a wreck of me.
14 I 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.
15 There’s nothing I can say
        in answer to you,
    since you are the one
        who has done this to me.
    My life has turned sour;
        I will limp until I die.

16 Your words and your deeds
     bring life to everyone,
        including me.
     Please make me healthy
        and strong again.
17 It was for my own good
        that I had such hard times.
    But your love protected me
        from doom in the deep pit,
    and you turned your eyes
        away from my sins.
18 No 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.
19 Only the living can thank you,
        as I am doing today.
     Each generation tells the next
        about your faithfulness.
20 You, 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

   21 I had told King Hezekiah’s servants to put some mashed figs on the king’s open sore, and he would get well. 22 Then Hezekiah asked for proof that he would again worship in the Lord’s temple.

The Contemporary English Version c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary