Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery. 1 During that period, Hezekiah fell ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came to him and said, “Thus says the Lord: Put your affairs in order, for you are about to die; you will not recover.”
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “I beg you, O Lord, to remember how I have conducted myself faithfully in your presence and have always done what was pleasing to you.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah: Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David. I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. Therefore, I have decided to heal you. In three days you will go up to the temple of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria and defend this city.”
[21 Isaiah thereupon ordered a poultice of figs to be prepared and applied to the boil so that Hezekiah might recover. 22 Then Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign to confirm that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?”]
7 Isaiah replied, “This will be the sign to you from the Lord that he will do as he has promised. 8 I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the stairway of Ahaz to turn back ten steps.” And the sun then retreated the ten steps it had previously advanced.
Hezekiah’s Hymn of Thanksgiving.[a] 9 A canticle written by King Hezekiah of Judah after his recovery from his illness:
10 Once I said,
“In the noontime of my life
I must depart.
I will be consigned to the gates of Sheol
for the rest of my years.”
11 I said, “I will no longer see the Lord
in the land of the living.
I will no longer see any of my fellow men
as I did when I dwelled in the world.
12 “My dwelling has been torn down and thrown away
like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life
and the last thread has been severed.
Day and night I am subject to torment;
13 I cry out for help until the dawn.
All my bones are crushed, as if by a lion;
day and night I suffer in torment.
14 “Like a swallow I twitter;
I moan like a dove.
My eyes have grown dim looking up to heaven;
O Lord, come to my aid in my suffering.
15 Yet how can I complain? What should I say?
He himself has done this.
I will wander aimlessly for the rest of my years
because of the bitterness of my soul.
16 “However, you, O Lord, are always present to protect me,
and you grant life to my spirit;
you will restore me to health
and enable me to live.
17 Clearly it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish,
but you have preserved my life
from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
behind your back.
18 For Sheol cannot give you thanks,
nor can death praise you.
Those who go down into the pit
cannot hope for your kindness.
19 It is the living, only the living, who can thank you
as I am doing today,
just as fathers make known to their sons
your faithfulness, O God.
20 “The Lord is my savior,
and we will sing to stringed instruments
all the days of our lives
in the house of the Lord.”
- Isaiah 38:9 This prayer, which is lacking in 2 Kings, seems to be post-Exilic.