20:1 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 your household instructions, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’ ”2 20:2 He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 20:3 “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you3 faithfully and with wholehearted devotion,4 and how I have carried out your will.”5 Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.6
20:4 Isaiah was still in the middle courtyard when the Lord told him,7 20:5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. The day after tomorrow8 you will go up to the Lord’s temple. 20:6 I will add fifteen years to your life and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.” ’ ”9 20:7 Isaiah ordered, “Get a fig cake.” So they did as he ordered10 and placed it on the ulcerated sore, and he recovered.11
20:8 Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What is the confirming sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple the day after tomorrow?” 20:9 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps?”12 20:10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it13 to go back ten steps.” 20:11 Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord14 made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.15
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