New American Standard Bible
Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover."
King James Bible
For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.
Darby Bible Translation
Now Isaiah had said, Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover.
World English Bible
Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover."
Young's Literal Translation
And Isaiah saith, 'Let them take a bunch of figs, and plaster over the ulcer, and he liveth.'
Isaiah 38:21 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For Isaiah had said - In the parallel place in Kings the statement in these two verses is introduced before the account of the miracle on the sun-dial, and before the account of his recovery 2 Kings 20:7-8. The order in which it is introduced, however, is not material.
Let them take a lump of figs - The word used here (דבלה debēlâh) denotes "a round cake" of dried figs pressed together in a mass 1 Samuel 25:18. Figs were thus pressed together for preservation, and for convenience of conveyance.
And lay it for a plaster - The word used here (מרח mârach) denotes properly to rub, bruise, crush by rubbing; then to rub, in, to anoint, to soften. Here it means they were to take dried figs and lay them softened on the ulcer.
Upon the boil - (משׁחין mashechı̂yn). This word means a burning sore or an inflamed ulcer Exodus 9:9, Exodus 9:11; Leviticus 13:18-20. The verb in Arabic means to be hot, inflamed; to ulcerate. The noun is used to denote a species of black leprosy in Egypt, called elephantiasis, distinguished by the black scales with which the skin is covered, and by the swelling of the legs. Here it probably denotes a pestilential boil; an eruption, or inflamed ulceration produced by the plague, that threatened immediate death. Jerome says that the plaster of figs was medicinal, and adapted to reduce the inflammation and restore health. There is no improbability in the supposition; nor does anything in the narrative prohibit us from supposing that natural means might have been used to restore him. The miracle consisted in the arrest of the shade on the sun-dial, and in the announcement of Isaiah that he would recover. That figs, when dried, were used in the Materia Medica of the ancients, is asserted by both Pliny and Celsus (see Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxiii. 7; Celsus, v. 2, quoted by Lowth.)
LibraryThe Ambassadors from Babylon
In the midst of his prosperous reign King Hezekiah was suddenly stricken with a fatal malady. "Sick unto death," his case was beyond the power of man to help. And the last vestige of hope seemed removed when the prophet Isaiah appeared before him with the message, "Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live." Isaiah 38:1. The outlook seemed utterly dark; yet the king could still pray to the One who had hitherto been his "refuge and strength, a very present help …
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings
Letter Xliv Concerning the Maccabees but to whom Written is Unknown.
2 Kings 20:7
Then Isaiah said, "Take a cake of figs." And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
2 Kings 20:8
Now Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the LORD the third day?"
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