Isaiah 38

Hezekiah’s Illness

38 At that time Hezekiah became very sick; he was almost dead. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him and told him, “This is what the Lord says: Make arrangements, because you are not going to live, but die.”

2 Hezekiah turned toward the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 Lord, please remember that I have always obeyed you. I have given myself completely to you and have done what you said was right.” Then Hezekiah cried loudly.

4 Then the Lord spoke his word to Isaiah: 5 “Go to Hezekiah and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. So I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 I will save you and this city from the king of Assyria; I will defend this city.

7 “‘The Lord will do what he says. This is the sign from the Lord to show you: 8 The sun has made a shadow go down the stairway of Ahaz, but I will make it go back ten steps.’” So the shadow made by the sun went back up the ten steps it had gone down.

9 After Hezekiah king of Judah got well, he wrote this song:

10 I said, “I am in the middle of my life.
Do I have to go through the gates of death?
Will I have the rest of my life taken away from me?”
11 I said, “I will not see the Lord
in the land of the living again.
I will not again see the people
who live on the earth.
12 Like a shepherd’s tent,
my home has been pulled down and taken from me.
I am finished
like the cloth a weaver rolls up and cuts from the loom.[a]
In one day you brought me to this end.
13 All night I cried loudly.
Like a lion, he crushed all my bones.
In one day you brought me to this end.
14 I cried like a bird
and moaned like a dove.
My eyes became tired as I looked to the heavens.
Lord, I have troubles. Please help me.”

15 What can I say?
The Lord told me what would happen and then made it happen.
I have had these troubles in my soul,
so now I will be humble all my life.
16 Lord, because of you, people live.
Because of you, my spirit also lives;
you made me well and let me live.
17 It was for my own good
that I had such troubles.
Because you love me very much,
you did not let me die
but threw my sins
far away.
18 People in the place of the dead cannot praise you;
those who have died cannot sing praises to you;
those who die don’t trust you
to help them.
19 The people who are alive are the ones who praise you.
They praise you as I praise you today.
A father should tell his children
that you provide help.
20 The Lord saved me,
so we will play songs on stringed instruments
in the Temple of the Lord
all the days of our lives.

21 Then Isaiah said, “Make a paste from figs and put it on Hezekiah’s boil. Then he will get well.” 22 Hezekiah then asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign? What will show that I will go up to the Temple of the Lord?”


  1. 38:12 loom A machine for making cloth from thread.

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