Isaiah 38:1-39:8, NLT

Isaiah 38

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, 3“Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.

4Then this message came to Isaiah from the Lord: 5“Go back 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. I will add fifteen years to your life, 6and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.

7“‘And this is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised: 8I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial*38:8 Hebrew the steps. of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps.

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?”

Isaiah 39

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. 2Hezekiah was delighted with the Babylonian envoys and showed them everything in his treasure-houses—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the aromatic oils. He also took them to see his armory and showed them everything in his royal treasuries! There was nothing in his palace or kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

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: 6‘The time is coming when everything in your palace—all the treasures stored up by your ancestors until now—will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 7‘Some of your very own sons will be taken away into exile. They will become eunuchs who will serve in the palace of Babylon’s king.’”

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.”