In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, "This is what the Lord says: 'Put your affairs in order,a for you are about to die; you will not recover.' "b2
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.
He said, "Please, Lord, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and wholeheartedly, and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah:
"Go and tell Hezekiah that this is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I am going to add 15 years to your life.c6
And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city.
This is the sign to you from the Lord that the Lord will do whatd He has promised:e8
I am going to make the sun's shadow that goes down on Ahaz's stairway return by 10 steps." So the sun's shadowf went back the 10 steps it had descended.
A poem by Hezekiah king of Judah after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness:
I said: In the primeg of my lifeh I must go to the gates of Sheol; I am deprived of the rest of my years.
I said: I will never see the Lord, the Lord in the land of the living; I will not look on humanity any longer with the inhabitants of what is passing away.i12
My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me like a shepherd's tent. I have rolled up my life like a weaver; He cuts me off from the loom.j You make an end of me from day until night.
I thought until the morning: He will break all my bones like a lion; You make an end of me day and night.
I chirp like a swallow [or] a crane; I moan like a dove. My eyes grow weak looking upward. Lord, I am oppressed; support me.
What can I say? He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it. I walk along slowly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul,
Lord, because of these [promises] people live, and in all of them is the life of my spirit as well; You have restored me to health and let me live.
Indeed, it was for [my own] welfare that I had such great bitterness; but Your love [has delivered] me from the Pit of destruction, for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back.
For Sheol cannot thank You; Death cannot praise You. Those who go down to the Pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.
The living, only the living can thank You, as I do today; a father will make Your faithfulness known to children.
The Lord willk save me; we will play stringed instruments all the days of our lives at the house of the Lord.
Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a lump of figs and apply it to his infected skin, so that he may recover."
And Hezekiah had asked, "What is the sign that I will go up to the Lord's temple?"