2 Kings 20; Hebrews 2; Hosea 13; Psalms 137–138

Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery

20 xIn those days yHezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, Thus says the Lord, zSet your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, Now, O Lord, aplease remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and bwith a whole heart, cand have done what is good in your sight. dAnd Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: Turn back, and say to Hezekiah ethe leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: fI have heard your prayer; gI have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, hand I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David's sake. And Isaiah said, Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover.

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day? And Isaiah said, This shall be ithe sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is an easy thing for the shadow jto lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps. 11 And Isaiah the prophet called to the Lord, kand he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz.

Hezekiah and the Babylonian Envoys

12 lAt that time mMerodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, nsent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah welcomed them, and he showed them oall his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, What did these men say? And from where did they come to you? And Hezekiah said, They have come from a far country, from Babylon. 15 He said, What have they seen in your house? And Hezekiah answered, They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord: 17 Behold, the days are coming, when pall that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 18 qAnd some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, rand they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, sThe word of the Lord that you have spoken is good. For he thought, Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?

20 tThe rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and all his might and how he made uthe pool and the conduit vand brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 wAnd Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.


Warning Against Neglecting Salvation

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since athe message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and bevery transgression or disobedience received a just cretribution, dhow shall we escape if we eneglect such a great salvation? It was fdeclared at first by the Lord, and it was gattested to us hby those who heard, gwhile God also bore witness iby signs and wonders and various miracles and by jgifts of the Holy Spirit kdistributed according to his will.

The Founder of Salvation

For it was not to angels that God subjected the world lto come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere,

mWhat is man, that you are mindful of him,

or the son of man, that you care for him?

You made him for a little while lower than the angels;

you have crowned him with glory and honor,1

putting everything in subjection under his feet.

Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, nwe do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him owho for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, pcrowned with glory and honor qbecause of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might rtaste death sfor everyone.

10 For it twas fitting that he, ufor whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons vto glory, should make the wfounder of their salvation xperfect through suffering. 11 For yhe who sanctifies and zthose who are sanctified aall have one source.2 That is why he is not ashamed to call them bbrothers,3 12 saying,

cI will tell of your name to my brothers;

in the midst of the dcongregation I will sing your praise.

13 And again,

eI will put my trust in him.

And again,

fBehold, I and the children gGod has given me.

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise hpartook of the same things, that ithrough death he might jdestroy kthe one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who lthrough fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he mhelps the offspring of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had nto be made like his brothers in every respect, oso that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest pin the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered qwhen tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.


The Lord's Relentless Judgment on Israel

13  When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling;

bhe was exalted in Israel,

but he incurred guilt cthrough Baal and died.

And now they sin more and more,

and dmake for themselves metal images,

idols skillfully made of their silver,

eall of them the work of craftsmen.

It is said of them,

Those who offer human sacrifice fkiss calves!

Therefore they shall be glike the morning mist

or glike the dew that goes early away,

hlike the chaff that swirls from the threshing floor

or ilike smoke from a window.

But jI am the Lord your God

from the land of Egypt;

kyou know no God but me,

and lbesides me there is no savior.

mIt was I who knew you in the wilderness,

in the land of drought;

nbut when they had grazed,1 they became full,

othey were filled, and their heart was lifted up;

otherefore they forgot me.

So pI am to them like a lion;

qlike a leopard I will lurk beside the way.

I will fall upon them rlike a bear robbed of her cubs;

I will tear open their breast,

and there I will devour them like a lion,

sas a wild beast would rip them open.

He destroys2 you, O Israel,

for you are against me, against tyour helper.

10  uWhere now is your king, to save you in all your cities?

Where are all your rulers

those of whom vyou said,

Give me a king and princes?

11  wI gave you a king in my anger,

and xI took him away in my wrath.

12  The iniquity of Ephraim is ybound up;

his sin is ykept in store.

13  zThe pangs of childbirth come for him,

but he is an unwise son,

for at the right time he does not present himself

aat the opening of the womb.

14  bI shall ransom them from the power of Sheol;

bI shall redeem them from Death.3

cO dDeath, where are your plagues?

cO dSheol, where is your sting?

eCompassion is hidden from my eyes.

15  Though fhe may flourish among his brothers,

gthe east wind, the wind of the Lord, shall come,

rising from the wilderness,

hand his fountain shall dry up;

his spring shall be parched;

it shall strip ihis treasury

of every precious thing.

16  4 Samaria jshall bear her guilt,

because kshe has rebelled against her God;

they shall fall by the sword;

ltheir little ones shall be dashed in pieces,

and their mpregnant women ripped open.


How Shall We Sing the Lord's Song?

137  By the waters of Babylon,

there we sat down and wept,

when we remembered Zion.

On the willows1 there

we hung up our lyres.

For there our captors

required of us songs,

and our tormentors, mirth, saying,

Sing us one of the songs of Zion!

sHow shall we sing the Lord's song

in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

tlet my right hand forget its skill!

Let my utongue stick to the roof of my mouth,

if I do not remember you,

if I do not set Jerusalem

above my highest joy!

Remember, O Lord, against the vEdomites

wthe day of Jerusalem,

how they said, xLay it bare, lay it bare,

down to its foundations!

O daughter of Babylon, ydoomed to be destroyed,

blessed shall he be who zrepays you

with what you have done to us!

Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones

and adashes them against the rock!

Give Thanks to the Lord

Of David.

138  bI give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;

before cthe gods I sing your praise;

I bow down dtoward your eholy temple

and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,

for you have exalted above all things

your name and your word.2

On the day I called, you answered me;

my strength of soul you increased.3

fAll the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,

for they have heard the words of your mouth,

and they shall sing of gthe ways of the Lord,

for great is the glory of the Lord.

hFor though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,

but the haughty he knows from afar.

iThough I walk in the midst of trouble,

you jpreserve my life;

you kstretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,

and your lright hand delivers me.

The Lord will mfulfill his purpose for me;

nyour steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.

Do not forsake othe work of your hands.