A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:
I said, "In the prime of my life1 must I go through the gates of deatha2 and be robbed of the rest of my years?3"
I said, "I will not again see the LORD, the LORD,4 in the land of the living;5 no longer will I look on mankind, or be with those who now dwell in this world.b12
Like a shepherd's tent6 my house has been pulled down7 and taken from me. Like a weaver I have rolled8 up my life, and he has cut me off from the loom;9 day and night10 you made an end of me.
I waited patiently11 till dawn, but like a lion he broke12 all my bones;13 day and night14 you made an end of me.
I cried like a swift or thrush, I moaned like a mourning dove.15 My eyes grew weak16 as I looked to the heavens. I am troubled; O Lord, come to my aid!"1715
But what can I say?18 He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this.19 I will walk humbly20 all my years because of this anguish of my soul.2116
Lord, by such things men live; and my spirit finds life in them too. You restored me to health and let me live.2217
Surely it was for my benefit23 that I suffered such anguish.24 In your love you kept me from the pit25 of destruction; you have put all my sins26 behind your back.2718
For the gravec28 cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise;29 those who go down to the pit30 cannot hope for your faithfulness.
The living, the living--they praise31 you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children32 about your faithfulness.