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2 Kings 20:1-11

Context
Hezekiah is Healed

20:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. 1  The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give your household instructions, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 2  20:2 He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 20:3 “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you 3  faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, 4  and how I have carried out your will.” 5  Then Hezekiah wept bitterly. 6 

20:4 Isaiah was still in the middle courtyard when the Lord told him, 7  20:5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. The day after tomorrow 8  you will go up to the Lord’s temple. 20:6 I will add fifteen years to your life and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’” 9  20:7 Isaiah ordered, “Get a fig cake.” So they did as he ordered 10  and placed it on the ulcerated sore, and he recovered. 11 

20:8 Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What is the confirming sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple the day after tomorrow?” 20:9 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps?” 12  20:10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it 13  to go back ten steps.” 20:11 Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord 14  made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz. 15 

1 tn Heb “was sick to the point of dying.”

2 tn Heb “will not live.”

3 tn Heb “walked before you.” For a helpful discussion of the background and meaning of this Hebrew idiom, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 254.

4 tn Heb “and with a complete heart.”

5 tn Heb “and that which is good in your eyes I have done.”

6 tn Heb “wept with great weeping.”

7 tc Heb “and Isaiah had not gone out of the middle courtyard, and the word of the Lord came to him, saying.” Instead of “courtyard” (חָצֵר, khatser), the marginal reading, (Qere), the Hebrew consonantal text (Kethib) has הָעִיר (hair), “the city.”

8 tn Heb “on the third day.”

9 tn Heb “for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.”

10 tn Heb “and they got [a fig cake].”

11 tn Heb “and he lived.”

12 tn The Hebrew הָלַךְ (halakh, a perfect), “it has moved ahead,” should be emended to הֲיֵלֵךְ (hayelekh, an imperfect with interrogative he [ה] prefixed), “shall it move ahead.”

13 tn Heb “the shadow.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“it”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

14 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

15 tn Heb “on the steps which [the sun] had gone down, on the steps of Ahaz, back ten steps.”

sn These steps probably functioned as a type of sundial. See HALOT 614 s.v. מַעֲלָה and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 256.



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