Isaiah Chapter 38 |
1In those days Hezekiah fell dangerously ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “Thus said the Lord: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die; you will not get well.” 2Thereupon Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord. 3“Please, O Lord,” he said, “remember how I have walked before You sincerely and wholeheartedly, and have done what is pleasing to You.” And Hezekiah wept profusely.
4Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5“Go and tell Hezekiah: Thus said the Lord, the God of your father David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. I hereby add fifteen years to your life. 6I will also rescue you and this city from the hands of the king of Assyria. I will protect this city. 7And this is the sign for you from the Lord that the Lord will do the thing that He has promised: 8I am going to make the shadow on the steps, which has descended on the dial of Ahaz because of the sun, recede ten steps.” And the sun[’s shadow] receded ten steps, the same steps as it had descended.
9A poem by King Hezekiah of Judah when he recovered from the illness he had suffered:
10I had thought:
I must depart in the middle of my days;
I have been consigned to the gates of Sheol
For the rest of my years.
11I thought, I shall never see Yah,
Yah in the land of the living,
Or ever behold men again
Among those who inhabit the earth.
12My dwelling is pulled up and removed from me
Like a tent of shepherds;
My life is rolled up like a web
And cut from the thrum.
Only from daybreak to nightfall
Was I kept whole,
13Then it was as though a lion
Were breaking all my bones;
I cried out until morning.
(Only from daybreak to nightfall
Was I kept whole.)
14I piped like a swift or a swallow,
I moaned like a dove,
As my eyes, all worn, looked to heaven:
“My Lord, I am in straits;
Be my surety!”
15What can I say? He promised me,
And He it is who has wrought it.
All my sleep had fled
Because of the bitterness of my soul.
16My Lord, for all that and despite it
My life-breath is revived;
You have restored me to health and revived me.
17Truly, it was for my own good
That I had such great bitterness:
You saved my life
From the pit of destruction,
For You have cast behind Your back
All my offenses.
18For it is not Sheol that praises You,
Not [the Land of] Death that extols You;
Nor do they who descend into the Pit
Hope for Your grace.
19The living, only the living
Can give thanks to You
As I do this day;
Fathers relate to children
Your acts of grace:
20“[It has pleased] the Lord to deliver us,
That is why we offer up music
All the days of our lives
At the House of the Lord.”
21When Isaiah said, “Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the rash, and he will recover,” 22Hezekiah asked, “What will be the sign that I shall go up to the House of the Lord?”