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2 Kings 20:8-11

Context

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?” 1  20:10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it 2  to go back ten steps.” 20:11 Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord 3  made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz. 4 

1 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.”

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 The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“it”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

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

4 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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