Hezekiah’s Sickness and Recovery
1About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’”
2When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord,
4Then this message came to Isaiah from the Lord:
7“‘And this is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised:
Hezekiah’s Poem of Praise
9When King Hezekiah was well again, he wrote this poem:
10I said, “In the prime of my life,
must I now enter the place of the dead?*38:10 Hebrew enter the gates of Sheol?
Am I to be robbed of the rest of my years?”
11I said, “Never again will I see the Lord God
while still in the land of the living.
Never again will I see my friends
or be with those who live in this world.
12My life has been blown away
like a shepherd’s tent in a storm.
It has been cut short,
as when a weaver cuts cloth from a loom.
Suddenly, my life was over.
13I waited patiently all night,
but I was torn apart as though by lions.
Suddenly, my life was over.
14Delirious, I chattered like a swallow or a crane,
and then I moaned like a mourning dove.
My eyes grew tired of looking to heaven for help.
I am in trouble, Lord. Help me!”
15But what could I say?
For he himself sent this sickness.
Now I will walk humbly throughout my years
because of this anguish I have felt.
16Lord, your discipline is good,
for it leads to life and health.
You restore my health
and allow me to live!
17Yes, this anguish was good for me,
for you have rescued me from death
and forgiven all my sins.
18For the dead*38:18 Hebrew Sheol. cannot praise you;
they cannot raise their voices in praise.
Those who go down to the grave
can no longer hope in your faithfulness.
19Only the living can praise you as I do today.
Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.
20Think of it—the Lord is ready to heal me!
I will sing his praises with instruments
every day of my life
in the Temple of the Lord.
21Isaiah had said to Hezekiah’s servants, “Make an ointment from figs and spread it over the boil, and Hezekiah will recover.”
22And Hezekiah had asked, “What sign will prove that I will go to the Temple of the Lord?”
Envoys from Babylon
1Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick and that he had recovered.
3Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did those men want? Where were they from?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came from the distant land of Babylon.”
4“What did they see in your palace?” asked Isaiah.
“They saw everything,” Hezekiah replied. “I showed them everything I own—all my royal treasuries.”
5Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies:
8Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “This message you have given me from the Lord is good.” For the king was thinking, “At least there will be peace and security during my lifetime.”