Bible: Isaiah 38-39

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 you 2  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 ancestor 7  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.”’ 38:7 Isaiah replied, 8  “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.” 9  And then the shadow went back ten steps. 10 

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:

38:10I thought, 11 

‘In the middle of my life 12  I must walk through the gates of Sheol,

I am deprived 13  of the rest of my years.’

38:11I thought,

I will no longer see the Lord 14  in the land of the living,

I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world. 15 

38:12 My dwelling place 16  is removed and taken away 17  from me

like a shepherd’s tent.

I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth; 18 

from the loom he cuts me off. 19 

You turn day into night and end my life. 20 

38:13 I cry out 21  until morning;

like a lion he shatters all my bones;

you turn day into night and end my life. 22 

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

I coo 23  like a dove;

my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky. 24 

O sovereign master, 25  I am oppressed;

help me! 26 

38:15 What can I say?

He has decreed and acted. 27 

I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief. 28 

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

may years of life be restored to me. 29 

Restore my health 30  and preserve my life.’

38:17Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit. 31 

You delivered me 32  from the pit of oblivion. 33 

For you removed all my sins from your sight. 34 

38:18 Indeed 35  Sheol does not give you thanks;

death does not 36  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, 37 

and we will celebrate with music 38 

for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.” 39 

38:21 40  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?

Messengers from Babylon Visit Hezekiah

39:1 At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been ill and had recovered. 39:2 Hezekiah welcomed 41  them and showed them his storehouse with its silver, gold, spices, and high-quality olive oil, as well as his whole armory and everything in his treasuries. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom. 42  39:3 Isaiah the prophet visited King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where do they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They come from the distant land of Babylon.” 39:4 Isaiah 43  asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah replied, “They have seen everything in my palace. I showed them everything in my treasuries.” 39:5 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the word of the Lord who commands armies: 39:6 Look, a time is coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors 44  have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 39:7 Some of your very own descendants whom you father 45  will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ 39:8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s word which you have announced is appropriate.” 46  Then he thought, 47 For 48  there will be peace and stability during my lifetime.”

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