Isaiah 38

The Lord Hears Hezekiah’s Prayer

38:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness.1 The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 38:2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 38:3 “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you2 faithfully and with wholehearted devotion,3 and how I have carried out your will.”4 Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.5

38:4 The Lord told Isaiah,6 38:5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor7 David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 38:6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 38:218 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” 38:22 Hezekiah said, “What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the Lord’s temple?” 38:7 Isaiah replied,9 “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 38:8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.”10 And then the shadow went back ten steps.11

Hezekiah’s Song of Thanks

38:9 This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:

38:10 “I thought,12

‘In the middle of my life13 I must walk through the gates of Sheol,

I am deprived14 of the rest of my years.’

38:11 “I thought,

‘I will no longer see the Lord15 in the land of the living,

I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.16

38:12 My dwelling place17 is removed and taken away18 from me

like a shepherd’s tent.

I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;19

from the loom he cuts me off.20

You turn day into night and end my life.21

38:13 I cry out22 until morning;

like a lion he shatters all my bones;

you turn day into night and end my life.23

38:14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,

I coo24 like a dove;

my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.25

O sovereign master,26 I am oppressed;

help me!27

38:15 What can I say?

He has decreed and acted.28

I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.29

38:16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;

may years of life be restored to me.30

Restore my health31 and preserve my life.’

38:17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.32

You delivered me33 from the pit of oblivion.34

For you removed all my sins from your sight.35

38:18 Indeed36 Sheol does not give you thanks;

death does not37 praise you.

Those who descend into the pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.

38:19 The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,

as I do today.

A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.

38:20 The Lord is about to deliver me,38

and we will celebrate with music39

for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.”40

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