Isaiah 38
Contemporary English Version

Hezekiah Gets Sick and Almost Dies

(2 Kings 20.1-11; 2 Chronicles 32.24-26)

1About this time, Hezekiah got sick and was almost dead. So I went in and told him, “The Lord says you won't ever get well. You are going to die, and so you had better start doing what needs to be done.”

2Hezekiah turned toward the wall and prayed, 3“Don't forget that I have been faithful to you, Lord. I have obeyed you with all my heart, and I do whatever you say is right.” After this, he cried hard.

4Then the Lord sent me 5with this message for Hezekiah:

I am the Lord God, who was worshiped by your ancestor David. I heard you pray, and I saw you cry. I will let you live 15 more years, 6while I protect you and your city from the king of Assyria.

7Now I will prove to you that I will keep my promise. 8Do you see the shadow made by the setting sun on the stairway built for King Ahaz? I will make the shadow go back ten steps.

Then the shadow went back ten steps.+

King Hezekiah's Song of Praise

9This is what Hezekiah wrote after he got well:

10I thought I would die

during my best years

and stay as a prisoner forever

in the world of the dead.

11I thought I would never again

see you, my Lord,

or any of the people

who live on this earth.

12My life was taken from me

like the tent that a shepherd

pulls up and moves.

You cut me off like thread

from a weaver's loom;

you make a wreck of me

day and night.

13Until morning came, I thought

you would crush my bones

just like a hungry lion;

both night and day

you make a wreck of me.+

14I cry like a swallow;

I mourn like a dove.

My eyes are red

from looking to you, Lord.

I am in terrible trouble.

Please come and help me.+

15There's nothing I can say

in answer to you,

since you are the one

who has done this to me.+

My life has turned sour;

I will limp until I die.

16Your words and your deeds

bring life to everyone,

including me.+

Please make me healthy

and strong again.

17It was for my own good

that I had such hard times.

But your love protected me

from doom in the deep pit,+

and you turned your eyes

away from my sins.

18 No one in the world of the dead

can thank you or praise you;

none of those in the deep pit

can hope for you

to show them

how faithful you are.

19Only the living can thank you,

as I am doing today.

Each generation tells the next

about your faithfulness.+

20You, Lord, will save me,

and every day that we live

we will sing in your temple

to the music

of stringed instruments.

Isaiah's Advice to Hezekiah

21I had told King Hezekiah's servants to put some mashed figs on the king's open sore, and he would get well. 22Then Hezekiah asked for proof that he would again worship in the Lord's temple.


38.8 steps: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 8.
38.13 of me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
38.14 help me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 14.
38.15 There's … me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
38.16 Your … me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
38.17 deep pit: The world of the dead, as in verse 18.
38.19 about your faithfulness: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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