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The New International Version

Isaiah 38:1–39:8

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Hezekiah’s Illness

38:1–8pp—2Ki 20:1–11; 2Ch 32:24–26

38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amozk went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order,l because you are going to die; you will not recover.”m

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Remember, Lord, how I have walkedn before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotiono and have done what is good in your eyes.p” And Hezekiah weptq bitterly.

Then the wordr of the Lord came to Isaiah: “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David,s says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;t I will add fifteen yearsu to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defendv this city.

“ ‘This is the Lord’s signw to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.’ ” So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.x

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:

10 I said, “In the prime of my lifey

must I go through the gates of deathz

and be robbed of the rest of my years?a

11 I said, “I will not again see the Lord himselfb

in the land of the living;c

no longer will I look on my fellow man,

or be with those who now dwell in this world.

12 Like a shepherd’s tentd my house

has been pulled downe and taken from me.

Like a weaver I have rolledf up my life,

and he has cut me off from the loom;g

day and nighth you made an end of me.

13 I waited patientlyi till dawn,

but like a lion he brokej all my bones;k

day and nightl you made an end of me.

14 I cried like a swift or thrush,

I moaned like a mourning dove.m

My eyes grew weakn as I looked to the heavens.

I am being threatened; Lord, come to my aid!”o

15 But what can I say?p

He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.q

I will walk humblyr all my years

because of this anguish of my soul.s

16 Lord, by such things people live;

and my spirit finds life in them too.

You restored me to health

and let me live.t

17 Surely it was for my benefitu

that I suffered such anguish.v

In your love you kept me

from the pitw of destruction;

you have put all my sinsx

behind your back.y

18 For the gravez cannot praise you,

death cannot sing your praise;a

those who go down to the pitb

cannot hope for your faithfulness.

19 The living, the living—they praisec you,

as I am doing today;

parents tell their childrend

about your faithfulness.

20 The Lord will save me,

and we will singe with stringed instrumentsf

all the days of our livesg

in the templeh of the Lord.

21 Isaiah had said, “Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover.”

22 Hezekiah had asked, “What will be the signi that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?”

Envoys From Babylon

39:1–8pp—2Ki 20:12–19

39 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylonj sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery. Hezekiah received the envoysk gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold,l the spices, the fine olive oil—his entire armory and everything found among his treasures.m There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,n” Hezekiah replied. “They came to me from Babylon.”

The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the wordo of the Lord Almighty: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.p Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.q

“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,r” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.s

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