The Lord Hears Hezekiah’s Prayer
1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 The Lord told Isaiah, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 21 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” 22 Hezekiah said, “What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the Lord’s temple?” 7 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” And then the shadow went back ten steps.
Hezekiah’s Song of Thanks
9 This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:
10 “I thought,
‘In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol,
I am deprived of the rest of my years.’
11 “I thought,
‘I will no longer see the Lord in the land of the living,
I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me
like a shepherd’s tent.
I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;
from the loom he cuts me off.
You turn day into night and end my life.
13 I cry out until morning;
like a lion he shatters all my bones;
you turn day into night and end my life.
14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,
I coo like a dove;
my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.
O sovereign master, I am oppressed;
15 What can I say?
He has decreed and acted.
I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.
16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;
may years of life be restored to me.
Restore my health and preserve my life.’
17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.
You delivered me from the pit of oblivion.
For you removed all my sins from your sight.
18 Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks;
death does not praise you.
Those who descend into the pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.
19 The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,
as I do today.
A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.
20 The Lord is about to deliver me,
and we will celebrate with music
for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.”