2 Kings 20:1–19; Isaiah 38–39; 2 Chronicles 32:24–31

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?


Hezekiah's Sickness and Recovery

38 qIn those days Hezekiah became rsick and was at the point of death. And sIsaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die, you shall not recover.1 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, and said, Please, O Lord, remember how tI have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight. And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will add ufifteen years to your life.2 vI will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and will defend this city.

This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: wBehold, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps. So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.3

A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10  I said, xIn the middle4 of my days

I must depart;

I am consigned to the gates of Sheol

for the rest of my years.

11  I said, I shall not see the Lord,

the Lord yin the land of the living;

I shall look on man no more

among the inhabitants of the world.

12  My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me

zlike a shepherd's tent;

alike a weaver bI have rolled up my life;

che cuts me off from the loom;

dfrom day to night you bring me to an end;

13  eI calmed myself5 until morning;

like a lion fhe breaks all my bones;

from day to night you bring me to an end.

14  Like ga swallow or a crane I chirp;

hI moan like a dove.

iMy eyes are weary with looking upward.

O Lord, I am oppressed; jbe my pledge of safety!

15  What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,

and he himself has done it.

kI walk slowly all my years

because of the bitterness of my soul.

16  lO Lord, by these things men live,

and in all these is the life of my spirit.

Oh restore me to health and make me live!

17  mBehold, it was for my welfare

that I had great bitterness;

nbut in love you have delivered my life

from the pit of destruction,

nfor you have cast all my sins

behind your back.

18  oFor Sheol does not thank you;

death does not praise you;

those who go down to the pit do not hope

for your faithfulness.

19  The living, the living, he thanks you,

as I do this day;

pthe father makes known to the children

your faithfulness.

20  The Lord will save me,

and we will play my music on stringed instruments

all the days of our lives,

qat the house of the Lord.

21 rNow Isaiah had said, Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover. 22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?

Envoys from Babylon

39 sAt that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, tsent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. And Hezekiah welcomed them gladly. And he showed them his treasure house, uthe silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. vThere was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 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? Hezekiah said, They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon. He said, What have they seen in your house? Hezekiah answered, They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.

Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: wBehold, the days are coming, when all 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. xAnd some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good. For he thought, yThere will be peace and security in my days.


Hezekiah's Pride and Achievements

24 vIn those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to the Lord, and he answered him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah wdid not make return according to the benefit done to him, for xhis heart was proud. Therefore ywrath came upon him and Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But Hezekiah zhumbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 And Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of acostly vessels; 28 storehouses also for the yield of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and sheepfolds. 29 He likewise provided cities for himself, and flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great possessions. 30 This same Hezekiah bclosed the upper outlet of the waters of cGihon and directed them down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 And so in the matter of the envoys of the princes of Babylon, dwho had been sent to him to inquire about ethe sign that had been done in the land, God left him to himself, fin order to test him and to know all that was in his heart.