In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz1 went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order,2 because you are going to die; you will not recover."32
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD,
"Remember, O LORD, how I have walked4 before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion5 and have done what is good in your eyes.6" And Hezekiah wept7 bitterly.
Then the word8 of the LORD came to Isaiah:
"Go and tell Hezekiah, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David,9 says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;10 I will add fifteen years11 to your life.
And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend12 this city.
" 'This is the LORD's sign13 to you that the LORD will do what he has promised:
I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.' " So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.149
A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:
I said, "In the prime of my life15 must I go through the gates of deatha16 and be robbed of the rest of my years?17"
I said, "I will not again see the LORD, the LORD,18 in the land of the living;19 no longer will I look on mankind, or be with those who now dwell in this world.b12
Like a shepherd's tent20 my house has been pulled down21 and taken from me. Like a weaver I have rolled22 up my life, and he has cut me off from the loom;23 day and night24 you made an end of me.
I waited patiently25 till dawn, but like a lion he broke26 all my bones;27 day and night28 you made an end of me.
I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove.29 My eyes grew weak30 as I looked to the heavens. I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!"3115
But what can I say?32 He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.33 I will walk humbly34 all my years because of this anguish of my soul.3516
Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live.3617
Surely it was for my benefit37 that I suffered such anguish.38 In your love you kept me from the pit39 of destruction; you have put all my sins40 behind your back.4118
For the gravec42 cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise;43 those who go down to the pit44 cannot hope for your faithfulness.
The living, the living--they praise45 you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children46 about your faithfulness.
The LORD will save me, and we will sing47 with stringed instruments48 all the days of our lives49 in the temple50 of the LORD.
Isaiah had said, "Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover."
Hezekiah had asked, "What will be the sign51 that I will go up to the temple of the LORD?"