Isaiah 38
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Hezekiah’s Illness

1In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.” 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord: 3“Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5“Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city.

7“This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: 8See, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.[a]

9A writing of King Hezekiah of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10I said: In the noontide of my days
    I must depart;
I am consigned to the gates of Sheol
    for the rest of my years.
11I said, I shall not see the Lord
    in the land of the living;
I shall look upon mortals no more
    among the inhabitants of the world.
12My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me
    like a shepherd’s tent;
like a weaver I have rolled up my life;
    he cuts me off from the loom;
from day to night you bring me to an end;[b]
13    I cry for help[c] until morning;
like a lion he breaks all my bones;
    from day to night you bring me to an end.[d]

14Like a swallow or a crane[e] I clamor,
    I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upward.
    O Lord, I am oppressed; be my security!
15But what can I say? For he has spoken to me,
    and he himself has done it.
All my sleep has fled[f]
    because of the bitterness of my soul.

16O Lord, by these things people live,
    and in all these is the life of my spirit.[g]
    Oh, restore me to health and make me live!
17Surely it was for my welfare
    that I had great bitterness;
but you have held back[h] my life
    from the pit of destruction,
for you have cast all my sins
    behind your back.
18For Sheol cannot thank you,
    death cannot praise you;
those who go down to the Pit cannot hope
    for your faithfulness.
19The living, the living, they thank you,
    as I do this day;
fathers make known to children
    your faithfulness.

20The Lord will save me,
    and we will sing to stringed instruments[i]
all the days of our lives,
    at the house of the Lord.

21Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it to the boil, so that he may recover.” 22Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”


  1. Isaiah 38:8 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Isaiah 38:12 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Isaiah 38:13 Cn: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  4. Isaiah 38:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Isaiah 38:14 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Isaiah 38:15 Cn Compare Syr: Heb I will walk slowly all my years
  7. Isaiah 38:16 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  8. Isaiah 38:17 Cn Compare Gk Vg: Heb loved
  9. Isaiah 38:20 Heb my stringed instruments
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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